Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Shanghai (Day 14-22)

First impression: What the hell have i gotten myself into? Walking with Joe and Claire through a neighborhood that looked like it had been hit by an air raid, sidewalks destroyed and buildings gutted. What appeared to be fog from the boat was actually just what the air looks like most of the time. Found my hostel, the Naza, with no trouble, and attempted to get settled.
While waiting for Jo from the boat to arrive to go and get some food, i was accosted by a disheveled man with open sores on his mouth; he either thought i was a prostitute or wanted to take me to one. Not a good start. But then i met Dan, and through him Neil, Alice, and Yanyan. They took me to a place called Latina, an all you can eat Brazillian joint. I stuffed myself full of delicious food, and watched Dan eat more than i thought humanly possible.
 Spent the next couple of days wandering the city with Yanyan, who is one of the sweetest people i have met. We hit the MOCA and the Urban Planning Exhibition Center, and walked People's Square, Nanjing Road, and The Bund. She took me to some hole in the wall eateries that i could never have navigated on my own, and in turn i took her to the first two clubs she has ever been to, Logo and Shelter. Saw some decent drum and bass and dubstep dj sets. Met Ian of Heatwolves. Had a good time wednesday with Joe and Claire for Joe's birthday. Yanyan left thursday, which made me a bit sad. Friday i spent with Claire at Yuyuan Garden and the surrounding marketplace, where i located the dumpling place from No Reservations completely by accident. Sadly, the line was a mile long, so i did not get to sample them. Then it was off to the Shanghai Aquarium, which i quite enjoyed. Saturday i spent walking around the French Concession area, which was fairly calm compared to some of the other sights i had seen. Sampled some beers at Boxing Cat brewery; the stout was tasty. Met a fellow there named Steve from Denver, who i bequethed my Chinese phrasebook to. One less thing to carry around!
Sunday i paid a final visit to Best Choice coffee shop, my daily starting point. Then it was off to figure out the train station, which was quite confusing. Thinking i was in the right area, i waited with the locals, ony to find that i needed to be on the other side of the station and cleared through passport control. Only a tiny sign well past the main entrance was the indicator of this, but i made my train anyway.

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