Weekend in Shanghai
Shanghai Travel Blog› entry 5 of 6 › view all entries
Inga and I jumped in a cab after lunch and arrived to mayhem at Beijing airport...
Due to severe fog, there were massive delays to all flights, so we were stranded for 5 hours.
We expected to arrive at our hotel in Shanghai at around 6pm but instead we made it at 11pm. It was a shame to have missed part of the evening but I was just glad we made it at all.
We were lucky enough to be staying at the Grand Hyatt in the Jin Mao Tower – one of the best hotels in Shanghai, with amazing views across the Bund and the world’s highest bar on the 88th floor!
When we got there, Mike Wakefield and Mexican Daniel (from the UIBE programme) were there to meet us.
We enjoyed a great but pricey cocktail and a little snack, before Mike, Daniel and I headed out to sample the bars on the Bund. Inga bailed because she wasn’t feeling too well...
The boys took me to a bar called ‘I love Shanghai’, where we got stuck into the Long Island Ice Teas, and then we went to a glam bar called Bar Rouge. This night was no different to most other nights out in China – I had a lot to drink and ended up getting to bed hideously late.
The next morning (lunchtime) I felt rubbish and needed to ordered room service and shower before I could even consider moving from the room.
Inga and I then headed to Huaihai Road to go shopping. Despite the great selection of shops I didn’t buy anything except a t-shirt for my nephew Edward. I also didn’t have much time because I needed to get back to the hotel to get ready for my godfather’s wedding, which was due to start at 5pm.
I got to the hotel where the wedding was taking place without a problem and was the first guest to arrive. I was shown straight to my seat in the reception room and offered a drink. I then sat there on my own for a while. A guy then appeared and started filming me – it’s was really quite bizarre and I didn’t really know what to do. I wasn’t sure if he was an official videographer, but regardless I’m also not sure how exciting it would be for anyone, including the bride and groom, to watch a lonesome guest sitting by herself.
The wedding got underway around 6.30pm. As expected, it was pretty different to a Western wedding. The event really centres on the meal. There are a few speeches from various people and then everyone jumps up to leave once the food has stopped coming. There’s no dancing and it only lasts a few hours as opposed to all day.
I had a great time though. I was honoured enough to be sitting on the top table next to my godfather, and the other guests at the table were really good fun.
I was intrigued by the wedding cake. Apparently it’s common at Chinese weddings for them to have display cakes – i.e. most of the cake is a dummy, but there is a section that can be removed and replaced with real cake that can be cut and served to guests. Quite clever I thought and definitely saves on a lot of wasted gateau.
The wedding was over by 9pm, so I met up with Inga back at the hotel and we went to meet Mike and Daniel at Attica, which is supposed to be one of the best clubs in Shanghai.
Another fun evening was had by all and I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to dance! There were a lot of photos being taken and apparently pictures of my crazy dancing have appeared both on the Attica website and in one of Shanghai’s events magazines.
Inga had me in hysterics that evening. She got really drunk on the deadly Long Island’s and at one point turned to me and said, ‘you know it’s really impressive...no one would ever realise you were retarded’. She was referring to my deafness and her comment was meant as a compliment, but clearly the correct language escaped her. I’ve never laughed so hard – I thought it was one of the funniest things ever. Sadly for Inga, that quote will go down in history as THE classic quote from the China trip.
The evening ended with a very amusing cab ride home, with Inga telling me in detail what she was going to order from room service when she got back to the hotel followed by me having to remove her from between the two beds where she’d managed to get stuck after rolling off her bed.
After another hideously late night, we had to get up in order to check out of the room. Inga was clearly incapable of doing anything, so I left her at the hotel and went off to The Bund to take a stroll before meeting Mark and Jane for lunch.
The weather was great...Unlike freezing Beijing, Shanghai was still experiencing t-shirt weather, and Mark, Jane and I were able to sit outside for lunch at a restaurant called New Heights at 3 on the Bund. It was lovely to get the opportunity to spend a little more time with them both and again I felt quite honoured they’d made the time to see me the day after their wedding.
After lunch they took me to Nanjing Road, which is another popular shopping street in Shanghai. Sadly, as with the previous day, I didn’t have much time to look around but that was probably best for my bank balance.
We had the usual cab problems at Beijing airport and when we got back to the flat it was so cold I had to wear triple layers of clothing to bed!