Rescued by New Friends

Shanghai Travel Blog

 › entry 50 of 174 › view all entries
Was so excited for good food forgot to take a picture of the presentation before diving in. YUM.
Tuesday night turned out to be a really great night.  So good it seemed my run-in with the would be thief was in the distant past.  Not really, but it was nice to be out enjoying myself and not festering over it.

I met up with Bev, a friend of my friend Lisa's, whom I electronically reached out to before embarking on this trip of mine.  We went to Din Tai Fung, a Taiwanese restaurant specializing in soup dumplings, located in the midst of a very happening ex-pat area.  I overheard more English (and French) than I've heard since I left the States.  It felt like home.  And I was very, very under dressed.  The whole travel thing has been great and all, but being forever costumed as a backpacker is starting to bruise my ego.

With the help of Mandarin-fluent Bev I was able to order my first 100% vegetarian meal in China.  And it was DELICIOUS.  I had big soft steamed vegetarian buns stuffed with spinach and mushrooms, and Taiwanese noodles in a slightly spicy peanut sauce.  Soooo yummy.  We split a plate of Asian greens, and Bev had pork soup dumplings (the house special).  I was a very happy camper.  From Din Tai Fung we hopped in a cab and went to a restaurant with fantastic Taiwanese desserts.  We shared two different iced treats: one with fresh mangos and coconut milk, topped with fresh pumelo, and one that was a creamy milky ice, half black sesame and half peanut.  They were soooo good!  Amazing.  Loved them both.

Thanks to Bev I had the best night (and meal) in China yet.  Everything was delicious, and it was SO NICE to talk with someone from my own background, who felt and perceived things the way I did, yet also had the enormous perk of being able to speak the native language and help navigate certain cultural hurdles for me.  (She was also a wonderful resource in the Chinese politics department.)  She helped pick Shanghai back up for me, and really turned around an otherwise ugly day.  So grateful.  Thanks Bev!

Seeing as the dessert place wasn't that far and I was familiar with the part of the city we were in, I opted to walk home (rather than subway).  It was a nice enough night, and I had a full tummy to walk off.
  About midway home I was stopped at a corner, and overheard a big booming southern accent talking about North Carolina in response to a local's inquiries.  I was doing everything in my power not to laugh outright; it was pretty comical listening to this exchange.  That's how I met Bill.  We exchanged a few pleasantries and he invited me up to his lobby for a drink.  So off we went, to the swank J.W. Marriott, to sip a long overdue (and ridiculously delicious) glass of wine, forty stories up, overlooking Shanghai.  Sadly, at this point, it was just after 10, and the city turns off its lights along its skyline at 10pm.  So the view was rather dark and limited (read: nonexistent), but it was still very nice to be sitting in a posh hotel lounge savoring French wine.  YUM.  It was the perfect nightcap to a delightful evening.  Even if I was self-consciously squirming under everyone's looks in my backpacker getup.  Yes I know I am under dressed, thank you.  Please stop making me so keenly aware of it.  Although, in their defense, I fire the same laser beams when the tables are turned; if you want to wine and dine with the big boys, you better be dressed like one.  Sounds like this buckaroo needs to find herself a decent outfit.  Stat.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Was so excited for good food forgo…
Was so excited for good food forg…
photo by: spocklogic