Feeling famous in Shanghai
Shanghai Travel Blog› entry 11 of 39 › view all entries
So, finally in Shanghai.
After we checked into our hostel we headed straight back to bed, the lack of sleep and trek getting there had wiped us out so we crawled into bed for a few hours. We woke up a few hours later and headed downstairs to the bar where we got dinner and bought a map to help us work out what we wanted to see over the next few days. We spent a few hours in the bar before heading back to bed, figuring after a good nights rest we would be able to start fresh in the morning. Unfortunately............we found our beds had a few univited guests, yep, BEDBUGS!!! Needless to say we werent very happy about this discovery, and they werent even little ones, but huge buggers that looked liked they'd been feasting on people for a while.
The next morning we marched back down to reception with our new batch of bugs in a bottle. There were new girls on reception so we had to once again go through what was happening. They also looked at the bugs in facination and asked to keep them (be my guest, not like I was planning to keep them as pets), but did give us the keys to a new room. We happily gethered all our stuff together and switched rooms but on looking through our bags Rachel found a bedbug. This was bad news for us as they can be hard to get rid of, the only sure way is to wash ALL your clothes on a high temperature. We bundled all our clothes into a bag (except what we were wearing of course) and I took it all down to reception. I told them what we had found and said that under the circumstances I thought it was only right that they wash our clothes free of charge.
We then headed out to explore. We walked down to the Bund, which is a walkway that follows the edge of the Huangpu river. The river itself is very dirty, but a busy river with many boats traversing its length. Along the adjascent bank are a line of sky scrapers, which can be reached via a strange neon light filed tunnel under the river (we will be trying it in a few days).
Today took a walk down the Nanjing Road, which is one of the major commercial areas. We went in a few shops, window gazed a bit then headed into a restaurant when it got too hot to find some refreshments. We bought a drink and sat down at one of the tables, finding ourselves opposite a Chinese family. There was a girl of about 5 who kept giving us very shy smiles, and her mum and dad kept encouraging her to say hello to us. After a few minutes the dad actually produced a camera and asked if she could have her picture taken with us, so we got her to sit inbetween us and again posed for a random photo. Shortly after we left and walked a bit further on, stopping to sit on the grass in a patch of shade after a while. We had been sitting for a few minutes when a Chinese man and woman sat down a short distance from us and engaged us in conversation. We chatted for quite some time, the woman speaking for the most part as her English was better but we discovered the man had quite the knowledge about Chinese history. She also said that the Chinese dont like the sun, as it darkens their skin and they place high value on pale skin (explains the adverts we've seen for skin whitening creams) and envy English people for their skin colouring. They said the were off to a tea ceremony and invited us to join them. We declined as we were wary of being scammed and they didnt seem to mind so we parted company.
We then headed into the Peoples Park, a nice little park in the middle of the commercial area. We wandered around, walking past the Museum of contemporary art and rockeries. When we got tired again we found a bench in a shaded spot and sat down. Not a minute had gone past before we had a couple of Chinese men come up and start talking to us. They were very interested to learn we were from England, one of them had spent time studying in Bristol, and another had studied a map of England so well he had memorised most of it and knew where places were better than I did! As we were chatting several other people came up, some stood and just listened while other started talking to us too. I had a smart alec kid ask me 'I.Q. questions' which I of course couldnt answer (it was his bad English not my lack of brains honest!). At one point we had about thirty people gathered round us, asking many questions of us, and kept us talking for two hours! before we had to make our excuses and leave. We had booked tickets to see the acrobatics show at the theatre at 7.30, and it was already gone 6. We had to speed walk our way to the theatre to collect our tickets, which was further than we thought and didnt arrive til five to seven. We hadnt eaten so had to pop into a pub that was nearby and order some snack food as it would be the quickest to prepare. We managed to wolf it down and be in our seats with five minutes to spare.
The show was brilliant! It opened with several young girls doing various bendy poses, placing their feet on their shoulders and such. The acts were amazing, such performances were clearly achieved through years of dedicated training and some actually made the crowd gasp in amazement.