More and more friends and acquaintances are asking me what’s going on, what can we do this week, where to eat, and where to buy something (at least this one makes sense, given my company). I’m not sure why, maybe its because I’ve been here longer than many of them (shocking isn’t it, considering I’ve been here a little over 2 months, but that just shows the turnover of expats–or half-pats–in China) or maybe its just because I make a point of being ‘in the know.’ Its definitely flattering to have people ask me for advice and I’ve always been one to enjoy being knowledgeable about something, so I shall have to try to keep up this role. Just to show my knowledge of and involvement in the city, I’ll tell you a few highlights of what I’ve done in the last week: I’ve been to 2 art/photography shows, I went out drinking 5 of the last 7 nights, I went to 2 networking events, and I’ve tried 4 new restaurants. If this isn’t enough for you, here’s the schedule I made for Rola to show her all the events we could go to last week:
Monday: Swing dancing at Tanghui Bar. No cover. 9:30pm til late. Also, Zapatas–free Margaritas for ladies
Tuesday: I Love Shanghai (on the Bund) Tuesday night, b/c ladies drink free all night.
Wed: California club for ladies night. Also, Zapatas–free Margaritas for ladies
Thursday: Oriented Happy Hour is Thursday this week, so register online. Thereâ€™s also Fabrique (for after, maybe) with Latin, Arabic, & African music and RMB15 vodka martinis. Or alternatively, movie night at the US Consulate on Nanjing Road. Or, EPWS networking and membership renewal night at Sasha’s.
Friday: Watch the USC football game on Friday from 6:30-9:30 at Big Bamboo (I think its just north of Nanjing Rd, 132 Nanyang Road, near Tongren Rd).
Saturday: Macy Gray is in concert at the F1 opening ceremony on Saturday, Sept 23 at 9p. tickets from RMB168-1588. tel: 6212-2929
Of course, I don’t find all these events & activities by myself and neither are they listed all in 1 place. The main way I find out about them is by reading That’s Shanghai, City Weekend-Shanghai, and SH (see Blogroll. Yes, I know blogroll is for blogs, not magazine websites, but they update their content, so it works). I also hear about them through email listserves I’ve subscribed to since being in Shanghai.
Anyway, whether you’re a tourist coming to Shanghai or newly arrived expat/half-pat, the magazines are great resources. They are mostly free and are available in bars and restaurants, or checkout their website.
P.S. Half-pat (a term I picked up from City Weekend) is derived from the term expat (expatriate). An expat is someone who is sent overseas by their employer with full benefits including housing, extra compensation, children’s private school tuition, and in China, car, driver, maid/nanny, etc. A half-pat is someone who goes overseas and then finds a job. City Weekend defines ‘”half-pats” as the new foreigners coming to China with half the luxuries (or less, in my case) of a traditional ex-pat. Half-pats left their home countries looking for something and found it in China. They’ve started careers here (instead of being sent over by a company), are generally more interested in Chinese culture and language and have a deeper connection to the Chinese community.’ Of course, I am one example; other examples include Ian, Andrew, & Jeffrey. Best of luck to all the half-pats out there.