Spending Christmas in Shanghai

Trip Start Sep 01, 2010
Trip End Jul 31, 2011

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Where I stayed
The Phoenix Hostel

Flag of China  , Shanghai,
Saturday, December 25, 2010

We awoke the next quite exhausted and tired from the heavy partying from Zapata's in the French Concession. It took us awhile for all of us to get going, but Liz was first to rise and head out to meet her Shanghai based family members. Forrest also woke up early and was upstairs in the bar area of the hostel doing some reading, he was also kind enough to purchase each of us some McDonald's breakfast sandwiches. I got the ball rolling with Forrest and we both headed out towards the French Concession in the daylight hours. Jeff would stay behind in the hostel to meet his family relatives later in the day, and Stacey and Dee continued to rest up comfortably.

Forrest and I got off line 2's Hengshan station and began to wander aimlessly about. Our objective after exploring the French Concession was to end up at the Indian restaurant we had spotted the previous night. We started off by heading south and found ourselves near Xujiahui park. We entered the park and enjoyed the greenery and elevated walkway which allowed visitors to seemingly rise amongst the growth of trees. The buildings in the district were clearly not Chinese but in fact influenced by French architecture. Only the newer and somewhat more modern buildings lacked any resemblance to French design. While walking we even discovered the nightclub, Zapata's during the daytime. It was quite a different scene than at night time. Forrest and I continued walking up the street until we were arrived at an Indian restaurant we had spotted the previous night while riding a taxi.

Forrest and I quickly ordered up our Indian dishes while the others began to finish up their morning activities. Liz had met with her Shanghai relatives and received a copy of her family tree which dated back several generations. Stacey and Dee met us at the restaurant a little while later after having the morning to relax and to recuperate. Liz already had lunch with her relatives, a meal which included Shanghai's famous hairy crabs. I was moronic enough to have the Chicken Madras which engulfed my entire mouth in a flaming sensation of pain.

After lunch we walked north towards Jing'an Park. I recalled a bar called Bali Laguna in this exact park four years ago and indeed we found it. Unfortunately, the bar was closed for renovations so we walked along the pathway lined with curious little statues. After exiting the park, we were presented with a golden temple which I had no recollection of four years ago. Apparently the entire area had been revamped and remade into a commercial district. Next to the Jing'an Temple was a upscale mall complete with Christmas decorations. Outside of the temple was a metallic sculpture of Santa Claus and his reindeer pal.

To kill some time, we went inside the mall and lounged on the extremely comfortable massage chairs. Forrest and I were mesmerized by a certain clock which its defining feature was the whole clock ticking back and forth while the hands stood in place. Jeff would soon met up with us as he took the subway over to Pudong and did some electronics shopping in that area of Shanghai. Once he had returned he entered the Jing'an Temple and snapped up some shots of the temple for us while we continued to lounge in the massage chairs.

We left Jing'an and entered Shanghai's Raffles City near People's Park. We experience a massive Christmas crowd of shoppers within the multi-storey mall itself. We retreated to the lower level and purchased some piping hot egg tarts. Once again, I remembered these specific egg tarts as they were so hot and fresh they did not have time to solidify to its normal appearance. As a result, I burnt the inside of my mouth a bit and retreated back to hostel to rest up a bit before meeting with some of our Beijing friends who made the trip down to Shanghai.

We were unable to meet Paulina for dinner but instead ate dinner next door to our hostel. Before dinner, we lounged about the room drinking wine and let the dogs of war loose with derogatory comments. After dabbling with many put downs we began to put makeup on Forrest. The girls had already succeed with putting makeup on me for my Halloween costume and now Forrest would be the next target. Surprisingly, he was very cooperative during the entire ordeal, they succeeded in covering half of his face with eye liner, eye shadow and lipstick before he washed it off. The restaurant had a slight Guangdong flavoring in their cooking as they had offered many dishes from the south. We had beef fried noodles which were quickly devoured by Forrest, and we also had some dim sum dishes in the flavor of haigow. Other dishes included: hot and sour potatoes, Chinese broccoli (gai lan), and fried tofu.

We received the directions to the club from Xixi and set forth by taking two cabs, Jeff did not take part as he was not feeling well from the night before. We arrived at Muse and got down to partying for the rest of the night. We met some of Xixi's friends from Shanghai and from all over the place. Our table was located in an awkward location behind the dance floor and required some effort to reach but was suitable for our large group. We quickly got down with the introductions and our evening of partying began.
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