Finishing up with a mini-reunion

Shanghai Travel Blog

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The team in Shanghai

Today was supposed to be the Olympic Torch Relay past the office at lunch time, but this was also postponed due to the mourning period.  As a result of this, plus the fact that I was very impressed with the results of my testing in the office (to the point that we were finished in the morning), I took the group to lunch.  We went to a nice place near the international expo center chosen by the ladies (supposedly this is the same place they take my company’s CFO to), who proceeded to take around 15 minutes of talking back and forth in Mandarin between themselves and the waiter to finish ordering.  Around 20 courses came out for the seven of us…the total bill in the end came to around 80 Euros!!!  I don’t know what everything was…but it was all very good!


After lunch, as I had finished my testing, I decided I would try to hit the US Consulate to get some additional passport pages.  Fill out the application, print out the directions, order a taxi, then read the fine print on the web site…closed Tuesday afternoons.  ARGH!!!  Oh well.  Went back to the hotel to drop off my computer then ran back down to the market under the museum to see if there was anything else I needed (new wallet, etc.)  I love haggling at these places…I usually pick my price and never budge.  The first time you start to walk away after they say no, if they start calling you back, you know your price will work. 


After leaving the market, tried to hit an ATM for some cash for the evening…denied.  Tried another bank…denied.  Uh oh! Ran back to the hotel and tried the ATM I had used a few nights earlier with no problem…denied!  Luckily, I had a feeling I knew what was up.  The last few trips, I have been using my Dutch ATM card as that is where most of my pay goes…however, on day two of this journey, the ATM card broke!  I have one piece with the magnetic strip, and another piece with the rest of the card.  Nothing I can do with this card.  I had to use my US account for the rest of this trip (exchange rate rape L  Thanks USD!)  Problem is, my US account has tighter security, and after seeing withdrawals in Singapore, Seoul and Shanghai, they decided to block my card to make sure it wasn’t stolen.  Had to call the bank in the US and confirm it was me and the card was not stolen, and was told the card would work again in a couple hours when the office opened.  Decided instead to do an exchange of some of my reserve currencies at the front desk.


Back down to the metro to meet up with Johan.  We were to meet in People’s Square at 6:30PM.  So I got a real treat…I rode the metro from Science and Technology Museum to People’s Square during rush hour.  My god it was PACKED!!!  Unfortunately I didn’t bring my camera, but even if I did I wouldn’t have been able to move my arms into any position to take a picture.


Made it to the square, met up with Johan and his two friends and we had dinner at a Peking Duck restaurant then walked down to the Bund.  Was a little eerie to look across the Bund and see almost no lights…also off due to the mourning period.  Called it an early night as I had an early wakeup the next day for my flights to Hong Kong / Taichung.

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The team in Shanghai
The team in Shanghai
photo by: spocklogic