Helllllo…..Shanghai, Nice to meet you.
The best way to describe a city such as Shanghai is an American city with European flare…the architecture and the scenery and everything around you felt like you were in Europe but the lifestyle you got to live was like you were in America….I was more than comfortable “living” or staying in Shanghai for a week, I with out a doubt want to make time to return to the city. It is a place that is easier to remember than to describe. One thing Shanghai was great at doing though was take my money…..I could have been smarter about what my money went to as well, such as transportation we took cabs EVERYWHERE which every time was about 50 Yuan when we could have taken the subway ANYWHERE for about 6 Yuan. It was shear laziness we did it merely because we didnt want to sit on the subway for an hour when we could grab a taxi and be there in 10. Next time subway and I will become great friends. So here is a brief run down of what took place day to day in the good ole’ Paris of the East….
The beginning of our trip started out a bit rocky I must say, we had some troubles finding a taxi, mostly because it was National Day the busiest time of the year in China… We finally get a taxi and we agree to a 100 RMB ($15), only because it was the only taxi we had seen in about 40 minutes and it was holiday. (May be thinking it is a cheap fare for a 30 minute taxi ride but the typical fare for the ride to the airport is 50RMB). We arrive at the airport and the guy tries to rip us off even more and says, “300 RMB, 100 RMB per person” and we say, “NO WAY we arent dumb Americans here is 100 RMB dont be dumb your already getting a good deal”, because we could have called the cops and made it so we only had to pay the 50RMB normal fare.
Then we arrive in Shanghai late Monday, took a speed train into downtown and a cab the rest of the way to our hostel. We finally meet up with Paige and Shaina who are teaching in Tianjin for the year. Our hostel of course our luck tells us they overbooked and they have no room for us….which I wasnt terribly upset about as it looked like a hostel for 5 year olds….Spongebob everywhere!
After about an hour of waiting around to be placed into another hostel, they miraculously found a room to shove us in just has to be cleaned, so we are exhausted and say thats fine we just want it as soon as possible. They “clean” our room and we head off to a local restaurant for dinner. Called it an early night.
Met up with some Shijiazhuang teachers (Lauren, Meredith, and Emily) down in the French Concession after a morning of exploring through People’s Square and W. Nanjing Rd (Most famous for shopping)
After walking around for a few hours we finally met up with the girls. We then split up I went back to the girls hostel and the four others stayed down in French Concession for dinner….I may have regretted my choice a little as I saw my first midget in China….I tried not making a huge deal about it and did my best to avoid the situation entirely….but for those of you that know me well, I have an extreme fear of midgets…..dont ask why
After my traumatizing experience, we met up with the rest of the crew, up on the north side of the city near Ike’s apartment. We met at a restaurant/bar called Helen’s and ate dinner and celebrated Meredith’s birthday. It was a really nice and relaxing bar. We then got to see where Ike’s humble abode was for the next few years….very nice if I do say so myself hes done himself well. He has 5 roommates of which we met two (they were very nice).
We went to see The Bund, basically just a huge tourist trap to get pictures of the skyline. Had a little taste of Shanghai Mexican, was much better than our Mexican restaurant in Chongqing…but still not all that great. We then all split up into smaller groups for the afternoon and night to do our own thing around the town. We decided to go up to the top of Shanghai’s World Financial Center building, apparently the tallest observation deck in the world (it was beautiful). Sean and I may have had our best drink ever as well in the Park Hyatt hotel which just so happens to be the observation deck as well 🙂 Double awesome.
Back down to my new favorite place the French Concession for dinner, where we met some Holland sisters (really nice and interesting flight attendants). Which we happened to run into them again “Old Town” at an AMAZING sushi restaurant the next night….talk about a small world. Completely different parts of town and we happen to eat at the same restaurant two nights in a row, weird.
Plus, to make the day even better….we got massages from some blind folks and boy was it good…I went with my friend Paige and my lady was put together and all about the massage, while her guy sounded like he was going to die while giving her a massage…he was making every noise you could think, coughing, weezing, belching, snorting, so on and so forth….Dont get me wrong though it was a great massage, and very relaxing. While we were getting that done Sean was getting cupping done it, we only got to see the aftermath but man does it look freaky….it is essentially these suction cups that they attach to your back for like 10 minutes and it is supposed to release all the toxins from your body but it leaves marks all over your back for about a week….you should google it and check it out its crazy weird! Sorry I didnt get a picture of my own.
Surprise, surprise go back to French Concession for an amazing steak lunch at New York Style. Then hit up a market near by called Tao Bao City, aka all fake merchandise (I believe it is actually stolen not fake) they do to good of a job “replicating” it if its fake. Anywho, got amazing deals on everything (think Mexico) you get to bargain….sooooo much fun. So I bet your wondering what I got….
Rosetta Stone Mandarin: 170 RMB–$25 (First thing I bid on, could have gotten it WAY cheaper)
D Rose Jersey: 80 RMB–$12
Kane Blackhawk Jersey: 140 RMB–$22
Prada Purse: 200 RMB–$30
Marc Jacobs Clutch: 200RMB–$30
Movies (15): 120 RMB–$18
Chopstick holders: FREE
So overall a good trip…..they literally
have anything you could think of to buy it was GREAT, but also a little rough on the money (Everything is in cash, I only brought so much to Shanghai).
The day was just getting started though….as I said earlier we had the most amazing sushi ever for dinner…Sushi is my cuisine I could eat it everyday all day! Then of course the best part of the day, a pub crawl through Ike’s company with all of my friends from Drake….there were about 20 of us in town and it made us feel right at home as if it was a normal weekend at Drake, someones birthday (Merediths) booze cruise….or at least thats how we celebrated.
Almost everyone had gone back to there respective cities except Sarah, Byron, Aaron and the three of us from Chongqing so we laid low Friday and went to the French Concession again (cant help all the great restaurants and atmosphere they have there)… and hung out for the night in Old Town at an American Bar and Grill called Camel, it was a typical sports bar and was soo nice to relax in a familiar atmosphere and watch American sports….I loved it basically…
It was our last day in the city so we went back to Tao Bao City to try and bargain for more goodies….I came out empty handed this time (No more money 😦 ) and walked around the city a bit more till we ended back up in Old Town at a British restaurant called Abbey Road (I bet your shocked)…wasn’t to bad but we were all so exhausted from the week, we decided to call it an early night as our travels had us getting up bright and early and we were back to reality in less than a day…..
Days since Shanghai….I must say I was not looking forward the reality of teaching another week… but it went by quickly…
Till Next Time