Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Day 3 in Shanghai - 12th March 2012

Today was about visiting my first school in China. It was Dulwich College, Shanghai, situated in the Jinqiao area in Pudong. This was my first ranked school. I had made an appointment to visit on this day, via email with one of its admissions officers. The school looked impressive from outside. The building looked real solid, and very British. The students all wore very smart uniform as can be seen in the two photos above (not my photos).
LM drove me there, we went in and were brought to meet with the head of admissions. We had a really nice chat about the school, about what I expected from the school, what my sons were like. Then, one of her assistants, Dora, a new staff, took us on a tour of the school grounds. She showed us a lot of things about the school. I was impressed with some of the facilities. However, that was about all I was impressed with. I felt the snobbery of the school. I felt that a lot of importance was placed on the school and its reputation but not much on the students' interests and welfare. Maybe it was just me. Or perhaps it was the educator in me. I was just not convinced it was the school for my boys. I was worried. My first ranked school was not looking good. One of the things which I didn't particularly like was that Jonathan's level onwards will require the students to have a Mac laptop each. Imagine that!
Anyway, after visiting the school, we adjourned to a shopping mall nearby, in the Biyun / Jinqiao area. It was next to the Carrefour. We went to Carrefour first, to have an early lunch, then to buy a few things. After that we went back to the mall and bought a few more things from Pines, where one could get imported goods. Next we went to a sports shop called Decathlon. The shop was huge and sold lots of sports related gears - from tents to clothes to equipment. And the clothes were really of good quality and CHEAP.

This is Decathlon, Longyang.
I managed to buy quite a lot of things, mainly clothes, for myself and also for the boys. It was satisfying to know there are places I can get things for a much lower price than expected.

After visiting the Biyun area, we went back to LM's apartment and she called on a real estate agent to have a look at apartments in the neighbourhood. Jenny, the agent, came by and we went to have a look at some apartments within out rental budget, well, actually slightly above our budget. We looked at 2 apartments in Summit Panorama and 2 in Summit Residences. They are near to LM's apartment, and can actually see the Bund from some of those apartments. Nice. Gave me an idea of what we can expect.

We spent the rest of the evening in the apartment. I spent a lot of time with LM's daughter. Tried to draw her out of her shell and get her to learn to respond. It was tiring actually. But I was happy that she was responding to me.

In the night, before bed, I had a good look at the brochures and booklets given by Dulwich. On paper everything was good. I prayed. I prayed for the next day which was going to be an adventure as I would have to be on my own from afternoon onwards.

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