Back To Shanghai
Shanghai Travel Blog› entry 115 of 117 › view all entries
The overnight train was, supposedly, the worst journey, according to the rest of the group, but, ironically, I had the best sleep I had had on any.
Once in Shanghai it was back to the same hotel. We headed out to explore Dongtai Lu antique market. Antiques should be in inverted commas as I doubt very much if anything on sale can be classed as antique. Some was very dusty, but that might just be an indication of neglect than of age. There was all the usual Mao memorobilia on sale; I missed out on a Mao clock cos the price wasn't right, but I haven't given up yet.
The following day was a day of culture. I headed to the newly-built Shanghai Museum, which cost 570 million Yuan to construct.
Afterwards, Steve and I sat off in Fuxing Park after admiring (kind of) the French architecture of the French Concession. We had spent over three quid a bottle on beers the previous night so were reluctant to spend the same on some thing we could get for a few yuan in a supermarket. So while the Chinese were performing a few of their favourite pastimes (tai chi, playing cards, walking backwards in a circle, singing, clapping hands - and anything else that now ceases to amaze me) we proceeded to partake in a shared Anglo-Aussie pastime: drinking beer in a public place. They say that you can tell a lot about someone by what they buy in a supermarket; I wonder what the Chinese worker deduced from my purchase - a toilet roll and a beer.
The following day was spent perusing a couple more of the markets. The market around the French concession, Xiangyang Market, has now been closed by the Chinese government because it mainly sold knock-off goods. That hasn't deterred the market workers, though, who have now converted houses down back alleys into market stalls, with each room selling a different type of product. You can't walk two minutes without, "Hey, bags, watches, shoes, sunglasses?" After a while you go beyond getting annoyed; I found myself finding my own amusement by telling them that Steve "wants sexy DVDs...involving two men," to which they usually walk off.
Shanghai marks the end of the Geckos tour. It was nice to have a meal with the group for one last time, but it was a bit sad to say goodbye to a bunch of people I have got on very well with. And Dragon will go down in folklore history for his blunt answers, mispronunciation of people's names and appalling maps he drew by using his feet on the floor.