I have a number of pictures and other items to share from wandering around Shanghai on Saturday, but it’s 10pm here and I’m finally getting switched around on time and am starting to get tired…

I’ve had jetlag before, but not quite like this.  I think I’ve finally got it straightened around.  Mostly because even though my streak of waking up at 2 in the morning continues, it’s easier to fall back to sleep.

Such was the case last the other night.  I woke up at about 2:30 in the morning, but without too much struggle went back to sleep and again at 5:56.  The alarm on the phone was set for 6, so I lay there and wait for it to signal it’s time to get up.  6:01 and still no alarm.  I flip through the phone to check what time I had set the alarm for and apparently I had not saved my changes from the night before.  It was waiting for 7:04pm.  Not sure what I was thinking when I set that original alarm, but oh, well – off we go.

In all my travels, I have never used the clothesline in the shower.  Ever.  Until this weekend.  I have a very small washer which is also a dryer.  To say it didn’t do so well drying my jeans would be quite the understatement.  All the buttons and dials are in Chinese, but there is a (sort of) translated manual that tells me what to do.  This thing has to be able to run just as a dryer and I think I have it all figured out.  That’d be a no.  So my jeans got washed a second time and got even less dry this go-round.  To avoid a third washing, I hung them to dry using the line in the shower.  I put my jeans away this morning, finally dry, then proceeded to hang myself as I got into the shower because the clothes line was still out.  I hadn’t put my contacts in yet and couldn’t see it until it was wrapped around my neck…

So…

It’s 6:40 when I’m walking out the door and the shuttle to campus leaves at 7.  If I miss that one, I’m stuck for an hour.  So I’m booking it through the subway station.  There’s two stops for the bus and I know I can’t make the closer one.  The other is only a block further, but the bus has to sit through two lights and do a U-turn to get back to it so even if I miss it at the stop, it will be headed towards me and I’ll be able to flag it down. I’m a genius.

One small problem with my plan:  I never see the bus.  At all.  Dejected and confused, I slowly walk over to the other stop and what do I see driving towards me?  THE BUS!  So I climb on board.  Apparently this one is scheduled for a 7:30 departure which I had not seen on the schedule.

So, things are seemingly back to normal…

There is an outdoor basketball court here and apparently the different Microsoft groups here put their own teams together and they have some kind of a league.  I wasn’t sure when I left the states if I would have the room in my luggage to bring my basketball shoes, but somehow managed to make it work.

I don’t want to disappoint the people I’m working with, so I agree to play.  I have to admit, I’m not a fan of outdoor courts and really hope this isn’t an asphalt surface.  I decide to go check out the court.  The landscaping around the campus here is beautiful and I’m not surprised to see a small group of groundskeepers near the basketball court.  There’s also an odd smell in the air, but nothing I pay that much attention to.  As I get closer to the court, I can see the surface is rubber-like.  Awesome!  I have to feel the stuff and see what it’s like.  So I bend down and put my hand… Right. Through. The. Surface.

Those ‘landscapers’?  They were the crew that had just finished installing a brand new topping on the court which I have now turned into my own version of a Hollywood star.  They were NOT amused.  Extremely embarrassed, but unable to say so in Mandarin, I shrink as much as I can while also trying to get out of there as fast as I can.  The nearest door is about 15 yards away and I beeline it over there.  Only this door is locked and my badge won’t open it.  I try again, imagining an angry Guild of Landscapers closing in on me from behind.  Still no joy after the third try and I have to slink the length of the building before I can find a corner to go around.

I wanted to go back yesterday and how well they covered up my mark, but they were painting the court and I decided it best to keep my distance…  I did make it this morning and there is no evidence of my crime.

So, as I said.  Everything is back to normal.  Nothing to see here, folks.  Move along.