Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Early last week, I found out about an organization for expatriates in Shanghai, it’s called the American Women’s Club of Shanghai (AWCS). So to describe it, I’m cutting and pasting their own description from their webpage:

The AWCS is a social non-profit club focused on enriching women’s lives while living in Shanghai. The Club supports social functions such as monthly luncheons and coffees, cultural day tours and evening events as well as soft fundraising for local community outreach groups in Shanghai.

If you are interested in knowing more about them their website is:

During the summer months, the club sort of becomes more dormant because a lot of the ladies return to the states with their children. That said, on Wednesdays, they do have a weekly Summer Coffee Morning. So last week I ventured off by myself using the buses and metro (subway) to find the ladies in Puxi. I felt a bit like Little Red Robin Hood – wandering through an unknown location to find a place that was supposed to offer me some comfort.

I tackled the bus and metro systems like I have been a major city dweller for years. After correcting the error of wandering the wrong way on one of the streets, I found the meeting place. Before I even left Pudong, I figured the worst case scenario was to become lost, hail a taxi and have them deliver me to the coffee shop. I was glad that didn’t happen. It was a nice event and even nicer to interact with a group that I felt more connected to than the Shanghainese.

The ladies were all pleasant, but maybe not my typical crowd. When talking to another acquaintance, she summarized the group as “Veteran Expat Wives,” which is pretty accurate. They are definitely full of information about the city and willing to share it, which is nice to a newbie like myself.

There is another girl, Suzanne, who I feel as though I have much more in common with and is closer to my age. She has been in Shanghai for about 4 months and only recently found out about the AWCS. She has sort of taken me under her wing, and after today’s coffee she and I went to lunch and then did some shopping at one of the pedestrian malls. We ate a Japanese-style noodle house, where we both had the lunch special (including iced tea) for $6. At the pedestrian malls the most common phase you hear is “Missy, you want watch/purse/bag/shoes/etc. I give you great deal.” So I got to practice my “Bu yao” (don’t want) quite a bit.

Suzanne is traveling to Beijing next week, but I figure I’ll still go to the coffee and maybe explore the Xintiandi neighborhood of Puxi more by myself.

No comments: