Church and other news

Sunday we checked out a church we might like to attend. There aren’t many churches here that offer services in English and we will likely end up going to a Catholic church, because those seem to be most prevalent in our area and we aren’t doing the long commute to church again! This was a 7 min taxi ride. I quite like that!

I picked out St Peter’s Church because it was purported to “pack them in” and I thought it would be nice to go to a church that was really full.

Yup, it was full-about 450 people full!

I can’t imagine what its like on Christmas and Easter. It’s not surprising, really when you consider there’s probably 2 million expats in Shanghai and there’s maybe 6 or so churches you can go to.

So, I’m sitting there waiting for church to start and I have a moment of panic when I realize that we haven’t brought our passports. But then I think, wait, they already let us in, it’s ok. You see, the Chinese government requires that you show proof that you are an expat before you can go to these English churches. (Chinese people can go to the Chinese churches, just not these) so some of these churches are sticklers and require you to show your passport to get in. And you thought getting in to heaven was hard!

The front of the St. Peter's. The church was moved about 20 years ago to make way for an elevated highway that runs in front of it.

For some reason St Peter’s doesn’t.  Perhaps they think if you climb two huge flights of stairs to get to the sanctuary (yes, even less handicap accessible than Holy Trinity!) then you’ve earned your entrance ticket.

Or maybe it’s because they have the most uncomfortable pews I have ever sat in and they think we’ve suffered enough. Seriously, I did not know you could make a device to park your behind that could hurt that much from the moment you sat down.

The rose window

This was a really beautiful service complete with smells and bells (yes real bells!), only marred by the sermon which was given by a man whose Chinese accented English was, shall we say, less than comprehensible? But there are 4 priests who no doubt rotate sermon giving and they give out a bulletin that has a mini sermon on it so if you don’t catch the pastor’s, at least you have some sort of lesson.

The altar

The best part of the service was the singing of the psalm.  The man who sang it had a beautiful angelic voice that was perfectly suited to singing the psalms.  It made me realize for the first time that this is how the psalms were meant to be sung when they were written. I would have been happy to forget the rest of the service and listen to him sing for the rest of the next hour! He was that good!

In other news, Tues. I visited the Avocado Lady, a market that is run by a Chinese woman who caters to the Expat community. I went with tirZah, a neighbor of mine from Corning who by coincidence has also just moved to Shanghai. She has lived in Beijing and knows some Mandarin, which is always a good thing!

tirZah in the foreground, the shop in the background

The prices are excellent here, she speaks some English, and she has amazing things squirreled away in hidden cubby holes. Basmati rice? Scrabble, scrabble, scrabble-big bag appears for $15 USD (same as in US). Sun dried tomatoes? Sure, up there on that high shelf, $3.75 USD, probably less than in the US. I came armed with my “note” for the week.

About $38 USD which includes the rice and tofu and sun dried tomatoes

Her avocado’s really were less expensive than the grocery store’s by a huge amount and she had sweet potatoes, something I haven’t found here yet.  We’ll have to see if they taste the same.

She was able to tell us whether to eat raw or cook some of the unidentified greens she had, so I knew I needed to cook those red and green leaves I had from the other day. So I made a dish with rice and olive oil and carrots and the leaves that were originally supposed to be swiss chard:

The leaves looked pretty slimy at first, but they came around in the end!

It was an interesting street that had other markets where I bought apples, and places that sold steamed buns and dumplings. I will definitely be checking them out in the future.

There was also this:

Not the best shot because as you can see the guard is shouting at me. The woman crossing the street looks shocked doesn't she?

It’s a Middle Eastern Embassy! (the one that begins with an “I” and ends with an “n”) Little touchy aren’t they?

East Elevator Flowers

Good night to you all-time for my lunch!

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About DECRYPTKNIT: knitter on the loose in Shanghai

Hi, I'm Marisa Newhouse, a former pharmacist (for a brief time during the Reagan administration) who's real calling was probably anything that has to do with cooking, plants, literature and especially knitting; hence my last and favorite job, working at Woolyminded, a wonderful yarn store. But now, I have moved half a world away to Shanghai where my husband will be working. Lots of people are interested in what we will be doing here and I have always kept journals of our travels, so I thought I'd do it the modern way and keep a blog.
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One Response to Church and other news

  1. Lois says:

    These are so wonderful to read. Keep up the great work!

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