2013.09.15 - Shanghai

Trip to Shanghai and Ms. Yang's wedding

Last Sunday we flew to Shanghai for a three-day business trip. That is - business for me and pleasure for Paula. In spring we had this trip half-planned but it came to nothing when my meeting was cancelled. 4 months later it was back in my calendar and off we were. Paula had arranged for us to stay with her old school mate from Santiago, Cecilia, while we would be in town. Leaving on a Sunday afternoon we almost lost our flight when the traffic came to a complete stop in Yangsan (on our way to Busan airport). We got off the expressway and darted through parts of Busan which were previously unknown to us, to arrive just in time - before check-in closed. After the rush ... the flight was delayed !

Once on the plane we met our friend Kevin. It's funny how we always meet him when we are travelling!

In Shanghai we were met at the airport by Huang - Cecilia's driver. It soon became clear to us that although Cecilia lived in a foreigner's compound, there would be very few other similarities between our homes. Just the name - Paula: Hyundai Foreigner's Compound, Cecilia: Shanghai Dongjiao State Guest Hotel Garden Villa ! In our compound the HHI CEO lives - in Cecilia's the chairman (yes ... THE Chairman) has his summer residence. Paula: oldish apartment, Cecilia: Huge new villa. I could go on. We were not jealous as we are extremely pleased with where we live - I am just stating the brutal facts. Anyway, 40 minutes drive and Paula and Cecilia saw each other for the first time in 20 years! Happy reunion with munch Chilean goodies. First glass of Pisco Sour in almost two years ....

With Cecilia

Sebastian - or should I say Capt. Hook ?!?

The girls had plenty to talk about so I left them chatting at the dining table until late. Next morning Huang drove me across town for my meeting. The girls went sightseeing in the town centre, ate well and, I suppose, chatted. They picked me up in the late afternoon when I was finished with the meeting (yes - a rather long meeting), and then back to the house for more Chilean delights. Paula was in heaven ! Funny how you have to travel to the other side of the world to see your old friends. Cecilia is number three of Paula's old schoolmates to cross our ways in Asia.


Paula having a good time

Paula and Cecilia having a good time

The must-take photo

Paula and the ever-present Volkswagen Santana

Next day another meeting/factory visit while the girls went to IKEA - the bestest place in the world according to Paula ! After the meeting the girls picked me up - living in Shanghai involves a lot of driving. I was a little surprised how green it was. I had not seen so many trees on our first visit to Shanghai (we were based in downtown on our first visit 4 years ago). In the evening we went for dinner on a riverside rooftop restaurant in front of the Pearl Tower. Pretty and very different from Ulsan. We were trying to imagine what we would show Cecilia if (when) she comes to Korea ... Ilsan Beach didn't really seem on par with the Bund! But we do hope that Cecilia, the Helmuts, Antonia and Sebastian will come see us here in Korea. Countryside vacation for them!

Tour of Compound - here in the bamboo garden

Tour of IKEA

Pudong by night

The food was good but the view even better.

Last night with the friend

Tacky pirate ship. Shanghai loves neon!

Pearl Tower in the background

Back in our world again, we dropped past the clubhouse on Thursday to see the Hanbok fashion show. This is a yearly event arranged by Hyundai's FLIK (Foreigners Living In Korea). This year I was asked if Paula and I would join, but I politely declined not once but twice. Too much attention! But the show was good and I enjoyed seeing a couple of my biking mates dressed up in traditional Korean dresses!

Paula and Georgina at the Hanbok show

My mtb mate Derrick and his wife Sherryl

Jason and Erica were also drawn in. Jason with his foot in a cast after twisting it on a mountain run.

Saturday I worked all day to catch up on the backload (mission impossible) before joining Paula, Agnieszka, Michal, Ivan and Olga for a BBQ at the J-block garden. Autumn is here and the temperature is now a pleasant 28-29 degrees when the sun is out - not 35 as one month ago.

Homemade French hot dog - or at least that's what we call it in Denmark. Sausage in a bun, basically.

Ivan may as well just fry the meat directly with the fire-starter. Big toys for big boys

J-Block Garden BBQ

Sunday was Hyeran's (Ms. Yang's) big day. Hyeran was on our last Lauritzen project, so we have known each other some years now. She met Dene at the current project and by chance got married on Paula and my 12 years-day. The ceremony took place at the old stadium - for some reason there is always a wedding hall next to the sports complexes here. But then again, one is never far from a wedding hall.

Hyeran waiting for the ceremony

Anatoliy, Arina, Valeria and Oksana were there

Serhiy was also there

And so was Dene

The document controllers made a surprise event for Hyeran - Korean line dance.

As expected - loads of foreigners turned up as Hyeran works in a 40-man big project team and Dene in a 40-man big operational team

At the lunch in the traditional dress (Hanbok)

Our Sunday came to a close with a swim in the pool and a trip down to Ilsan Beach for a coffee/ice tea. Ivan was out windsurfing ... got a little tempted myself !!

Last Sunday we got together with Ruaraidh, Nicola, Erkan and Asli for coffee - Here's the latest addition to the MacMillan clan, Tyree.

Last week's ride with Dan - here we are at the fishing village of Jujeon, looking at our drillship leaving for the Offshore yard (where it will have it's 6 thrusters installed due to insufficient draft at the Shipbuilding division quays)