Trip Start Mar 16, 2010
Trip End Mar 27, 2010

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Flag of China  , Shanghai,
Thursday, March 18, 2010

My first day in Shanghai started with a bang.  Quite literally actually!  I walked outside and started walking toward the Bund (an area of early 1900's European style buildings) and I heard a loud noise.  I turned and saw a man and a woman, on the ground on a motorbike, with a car on top of them.  The guy got up and started screaming and hitting the car.  I didn't stay to assess the damage, I just got out of there!  I've heard too many stories about mobs hurting people after car accidents in India.  While this is China, I didn't want to take any chances.

I took the "Bund Sightseeing Tunnel" over to the Pearl Tower.  It was by far the lamest and therefore somewhat funny thing I've seen.  There was a little cart that took people under the river, and lights swirling around you, with people talking about meteors, and hell, and snow in a bunch of different languages.  It was so strange!!  But it got me to the Pearl Tower!  When I was up on the tower, I realized how expansive Shanghai is.  In most US cities, there is one area where there are high rises, but Shanghai is full of tall buildings!  Too bad it's so smoggy you can't see anything further than a few miles away...

I took the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel back to the Bund side, then walked to the Pedestrian Mall.  I was surprised to see that almost every store was something that we have in the states.  It wasn't what I expected, and I had no desire to buy anything.  But I was surprised that everywhere I went, there were university students approaching me.  Since I was alone, I really enjoyed talking to them, but every one of them asked me to see their art or come to tea with them.  And this happened at least 4 times.  Everytime I hoped that they really just wanted to talk to me (and mention how "special" my hair color is or how nice my pale skin is... And this is why I like going East.  My pale skin becomes enviable!) but it turned out they were all scammers.  I almost wish I would have gone with them, just to see what the fuss was about!

I also went to an Urban Development museum, which sounds lame as hell, but it was pretty interesting.  They showed pictures of Shanghai from the 1800's and early 1900's.  Then they compared Pudong each year from 1994 til 2008.  It's amazing how much it is growing!  There was an exhibit about the World Expo that will begin 5/1/10, and they had models of what will be there.  I hate to admit that I had no idea that there was even going to be a World Expo, but now I want to see it!  At the same time, they said that they were expecting millions of people each day, and I don't know if I want to be in the crowds.  It gets bad enough as it is!

Later I went to the Yu Yuan garden.  It was pretty, I'm glad I found it (it was a pain in the butt to get to!).  My Frommer's guide mentioned a dumpling shop that was right near the garden so I stopped by for dinner.  I'm not exaggerating when I say that I waited in line for 50 minutes to pay a little more than $2 for 16 dumplings.  And that was the extra expensive dinner price.  It got me thinking about econ - supply and demand. (You have to remember I was standing in line for a LONG time!)  Why in the world do they keep their prices so low??  You could tell the workers were stressed out, hand making the dumplings and serving them to the never ending stream of customers.  I just don't understand it.  I was hoping the dumplings would be the best I've ever had, but really, they were about average.  How disappointing!
My flight to Nanning was early the next morning so I called it a day pretty early.  Plus my body was exhausted, I walked everywhere today, besides the amazing BUND SIGHTSEEING TUNNEL.  I'm not used to so much moving!!  But I do think it speaks to the hostel I was in, it was a GREAT location!  I got to see everything I wanted and each was probably less than 2 miles away.
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Norma on

Glad you made it OK! Shanghai is so far away. The pictures were beautiful and your blog almost made me feel that I was walking next to you! Thanks for sharing, and may God keep you safe always.

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