Clouds and Crowds
Trip Start May 25, 2011
15Trip End Jun 07, 2011
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We used the "people mover" to get through the Sea Tunnel to Pudong (literally means east of the Huangpu River) or the other side of the river in Shanghai. We waited through lines to get up to the observation desk in the Peal Tower
After the Pearl Tower we were given a task, we were to go to Wal-Mart and each of the kids were to find five things that they would buy in the US and take note of the price to compare when we were home. This was a super fun assignment as we ran around the store looking for the stuff we loved and gawking at the unusual items (pig's feet, seaweed Pringles, blueberry Lay's, green tea Oreos, and so on). We were surprised that all of the raw meat is just out in the open for people to pick through. Also it you are buying a duck or chicken you get the whole thing - beak and all. I have pic of some of the items that we saw. The prices are in yuan so you have to divide by 6.45 to get dollars. It was a 2 story building and there was a "travelator". We thought that was a funny word for escalator until we saw it. It is a flat escalator (no steps) so you can take your cart on it
Oh, I forgot to mention that we also used the opportunity to stock up on whatever we needed - candy, snacks, and luggage. Ms. Sidner also found some great books for her 2nd grade class.
We then went to lunch. It was a fabulous lunch in a very nice hotel. Grace, Garrett and Heidi entertained us on the piano as we ate our lunch. As you can tell from the pictures, most of the meals we are served large plates in a family style atmosphere. All of the plates are on the lazy Susan and we take what we want. They just keep serving and we keep eating. We always know that we are done when they bring the watermelon. Today we were very disappointed to see the watermelon as we loved all of the dishes that they were bringing out. The kids typically have extras food left in all of the dishes but they clear the watermelon plate as soon as it hits the table.
After lunch we headed to the Yuyuan (Yu) Gardens which was adjacent to a shopping area. The garden was first established in 1559 as a private garden created by Yunduan, who spent almost 20 years building a garden to please his father Pan En, a high-ranking Ming Dynasty official, during his father's old age. We spent a couple of hours shopping after our tour. It was packed. We picked up a few things but are concerned about packing up in two days so took it easy on the purchases. Amid the fancy stores next to the flea market type places were some local artisans - a lady who made paper cuts, a man painting on leaves, etc.. These artists were very interesting to sit, watch, and hear how the trade was passed down through their families
We saw some more split pants. I know that it helps them potty train their kids more quickly as the chubby cheek tot that we saw had to be pretty close to one and diaper free.
We loaded on the pink bus with our purchases and headed to the French Concession and Xintiandi, where the CCP (China Communist Party was founded). The French Concession was established in 1849, when the French Consul to Shanghai obtained a proclamation from the Governor (Daotai) of Shanghai, which conceded certain territory for a French settlement. This is how all of the foreign groups would operate in Shanghai, carving out a piece of land to rule as they did business in Shanghai. In this process, they introduce their architecture, plants, foods, and culture to the area. The practice of these concessions came to an end in 1943 when the French government signed it over to the pro-Japanese puppet government in Nanking.
We wrapped up at the French concession area and headed off to a Brazilian barbecue for dinner
We hiked back to the hotel. Trent and I were so exhausted that we felt asleep as we working on the itouch and computer.
It is the morning of the 6th now. Getting up and ready for our last day in China.
See you soon,