Here we are again, the end of another year. I won’t do a full review, but here are a few highlights from 2009:
- Part of the CCTV building burned down thanks to some idiots who decided that it would be a good idea to let off fireworks inside the building.
- Some very cunning con artists swindled hundreds of people in to buying tickets for a non-existent Daft Punk concert in Shanghai. Although not a scam, thousands of people bought tickets to see Michael Jackson as well but sadly will never get the chance to attend the concert.
- YouTube and Facebook was (and still is) blocked in China along with Twitter.
- WoAi moved downtown after 4 years living on the outskirts (well, by Lupu Bridge)
- The longest solar eclipse this century was “enjoyed” in Shanghai in July although due to the cloudy overcast weather, nobody saw a damn thing and my optimistic purchase of special glasses was a complete waste of 10 rmb!
- Swine flu paranoia results in men in bio hazard suits check temperatures of all passengers landing in China from overseas before passengers are permitted to disembark.
- And of course 2009 was the year the Gang Of 3 podcasts were launched and enjoyed by millions!
Housewarming party at WoAi’s new digs in June 2009
So we’ve had the sixties (well, I only just caught the very end of that decade!), seventies, eighties, nineties and now even the “naughties” are at an end. What do we call the next ten years? The teenies? Pedants will argue it’s not yet the end of the decade, and I suppose they’d be correct – the decade doesn’t actually end til 31st December 2010, but most people will still regard today as the end of the first decade of the 21st century and will be marking the occasion with wild celebrations that continue till sunrise.
I know this will disappoint many readers who live vicariously through this blog, but WoAi won’t be one of those out partying tonight. I’m feeling my age and will be tucked up in bed well before midnight strikes. It’s been a long year and it’s far too cold to be wandering the streets at 3am looking for a vacant taxi and wishing I was home. If you include the weekend, it’s a 3 day holiday here in Shanghai (as it is in England) so I’m perfectly happy to have a nice evening out on the 1st January while everyone else nurses their hangovers and restaurant prices will be more reasonable.
I haven’t forgotten that some readers will be looking to me for guidance and fear not, I have not forgotten you. WoAi’s pick of the parties is the “Mini skirt lady and shirt gentleman” party at Paramount in Jing An (2/F, 218 Yuyuan Road, near Huashan Rd). Apparently, if you didn’t already get the concept, girls should wear all kinds of mini skirts and guys should wear all kinds of, er …. shirts. Is it me or do the guys get the better end of that deal! It’s full open bar RMB150 if you say the password “Happy New Year” to the receptionist, or RMB 200 if you don’t have password, so please write down the password in case you forget it.
So all that remains is to wish you all a very happy new year, whatever your plans and thank you for following the blog and listening to the podcasts, both of which will of course continue in 2010, despite the loss of Swiss James following his return to Britain.