When we lived in Barcelona four years ago, we met a wonderful family who became our companions as we explored the city. While we have met many interesting people here in Shanghai, no one has quite fit the bill of accompanying us on adventures, particularly food related ones.
Many people we meet are hard working professionals, busy doing big corporate jobs. We also have met many interesting students who are saving their kuai to pay for rent or buy beer. So it was a pleasant surprise to meet Rolf and Kaki who like us are here for six months and trying to soak up as much of the local culture as possible.
Rolf is a Canadian anesthesiologist who works part of the year as a temporary MD in a hospital, then takes the rest of the year to explore some interesting place in the world. His wife Kaki is also a medical professional. They have an 8 month old baby who is a social magnet. They also have wisely hired a nanny, giving them free time for language study and exploring the city.
Last night we went with them to a Uigur restaurant, which served roast leg of lamb accompanied by song and tribal dance. It was a lively place. Frances was dancing in the center of the restaurant with the waiters even before we sat down at the table. After stuffing ourselves with lamb and local black beer, we piled in a taxi and went to the opening of a dance club named Space Ibiza.
Frances’ Latina connection got us invitations to the club’s grand opening. Imagine an aircraft hanger sized building with three stories of seating around a giant dance floor. Many private rooms set up for karaoke. Part of the dance floor was on hydraulics which bounced it up and down to the music beat. The djs were imported from Ibiza for the event. Lots of high decibel pulsing music, changing ever so slightly every ten minutes. We staggered out of the place around 1 am when things just as the place was beginning to warm up. Alas, our nights of late night partying are years behind us.
I know that Rolf and Kaki have a long list of restaurants that they want to visit before they leave in January. This is a challenge that I am sure that we can help them accomplish. While no one can really replace our good friends the Millikens, it is good to find some people here to help us explore.