Party With the Ex-Pats

Well, we didn’t exactly “party” the way one might typically expect college kids to, but Brit and I did accompany her parents tonight to a goodbye get together for an ex-pat colleague who, after five years abroad, will finally be returning to the states. It began as your standard “adult” party does – there were appetizers, slideshows, toasts, barbecued chicken, and classic rock – but it ended with a bang. Literally.

Around 8:20, the party got up, put on their shoes, and all walked out together into the streets of Shanghai – many carrying along their red solo cups full of beer or sangria.  After a short distance, within sight of the World Financial Center (aka “the bottle cap”), the Jin Mao Tower, and the Pearl Tower, the group came to a halt on the sidewalk. We were on a busy street corner – high rises surrounding us, the sky scrapers lit up bright with flashing colors and twinkling lights, the bottle cap glowing in the night, cars, bikes, and buses speeding by, and what is waiting for us in the middle of the intersection of this busy street? All the drivers of the ex-pats, with big boxes of fireworks, just chillin’, waiting for us to arrive. And when I say fireworks, I don’t mean the kinds you grab from stop and shop for the 4th of July weekend, nor do I mean the little rockets you drive up to New Hampshire for when you’re in the mood to celebrate in Connecticut. I mean real, big, you-need-a-serious-license-for-this-s**t, New Year’s Eve explosives. Right in the middle of the financial district of Shanghai (don’t forget that we are in the middle of a busy intersection, that’s practically the best part!). Luckily, I had my pocket camera in my purse, and some of the pictures turned out pretty okay, as did the video I took.

However, you probably already noticed this post has no photos. I promise, those will come tomorrow. I can’t seem to find the plug to get the photos off my camera and onto my laptop right now, but I’m also in a pitch black bedroom while my best friend is asleep next to me, so I’m trying harder to not make noise than I am to actually find the plug. Unlucky #2 – the video is much better than the photos, but I can’t post a video to the blog without paying. I’ll find a way around this when I get home and post a link to youtube or something to that extent.

For now, I just wanted to share an excerpt of my night. It was amazing, because nowhere else in the world can I imagine witnessing such a dangerous and beautiful sight without it ending with handcuffs and/or a huge fine. The flashing colorful lights of the buildings alongside the beauty of these high quality fireworks made for one hell of a light show…

And this is only day 3!

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