A lot has happened since my last post! Probably the most important thing is that I went to China!!!! And boy can I tell you, being the only person in a group of friends who speaks mandarin in downtown Shanghai, is F-U-N. In the afternoon of the first day I went around town with my friend Cheryl and we saw a lot of cool stuff. We went to one of the old town parts of Shanghai. In my photo gallery I uploaded a photo of her eating some noodles. As you can see from the next few photos after that there is a lot of exotic food in Shanghai. Then we went to the Jade Buddha Temple and saw a bunch of Buddhas. The people who worked there were very impressed with my Chinese. Then we went on a walk near the canal and had some Haagendazs Although 2 scoops of ice-cream was 60 kuai, it’s hard to pass up Haagendazs.
Later that night two other friends joined us and we went to a couple clubs. One of them was on the top of the tallest building in Shanghai, which is also the highest club in the world. It’s on the 92nd floor. I took a photo from the 87th floor, and you can see my ship the Volendam all lit up in the top right of that photo. That was one hoppin’ club! I sure wasn’t drinking too much there though as drinks were $11 each. The next club we went to was only on the 24th floor of a different building, but it was probably even more fun. We went back to the ship surprisingly early actually – only 2:30am.
The next day I went out with Tino and Nicoleta to a different old part of Shanghai and had some amazing food. I ordered Di San Qian, Tang Tsu Rou and some sort of fried fish. I think he called it Zha Jin Yu. Gold fish or something. haha. It didn’t look like gold fish though. We couldn’t spend too long out there because it was an hour drive from the ship and all aboard was 3pm.
Today we were in Nagasaki, which was kinda fun, but not really that amazing. I’ve uploaded a few photos from there. Tino and I walked around and had a pretty good meal however just my portion of the meal was about $9. The other day in Shanghai all that food I mentioned cost a total of $8 and fed four adults and one kid. Japan is a lot more expensive than China.
Tomorrow is the last day of this cruise before we have our next embarkation in Kobe, Japan. We still need to make like $18,000 tomorrow in photo sales alone in order to make target. I’ll tell you right now, it’s not gonna happen. That’s alright this season in Asia is mainly just about seeing new places and having fun, once I get to Alaska I’ll make more money. Speaking of that however, my company has asked me to go back to just photographer because they need to provide a job for someone else. The someone else who will be joining our team has been a manager for many years and I guess they just don’t have enough ships to employ everyone, so they are giving him the assistant manager position. They told me I’ll be photographer just for the Alaska season, and then it’s back to assistant manager. This means about 20% less money, but at the same time it’s at least 20% more free time, so whatever. Not the coolest thing they could have done but I’m just going with the flow at this point.
To end on a happy note however, this contract so far has been a lot better for me photographically speaking than the last. In the last 2 weeks I have taken almost as many photos as I took my entire last contract. I’m talking about just photos I took for myself, not work related. Many of the really nice ones I’ve uploaded in my photo gallery but there are tons of other great ones too that I just don’t want to overwhelm people with. I suspect once I get to Alaska it will slow down because I’ve already been there, but then once we go over to Hawaii, New Zealand and Australia I’m sure I’ll take a bunch more again.