Better City, Better Life
Shanghai Travel Blog› entry 8 of 95 › view all entries
One thing I've learned in China is to always ALWAYS bring your own food when traveling. On the 11.5 hour train ride from Beijing to Shanghai they sold food.. well, if you consider sauced pig elbow lunch. I do not. The ride was nice enough, though, and I got to see lots of scenery in the countryside.
I stayed at The Phoenix hostel near People's Square. It was a great location and on my first night in I met Clara from Italy and David (I think) from Ireland. Both really nice people, and both of them ironically coming off of a trans-Siberian trip across Russia separately.
All week there was a New Zealand 'couple' (guy and a girl who are friends) staying in the room, Jen and Steven, and although they were perfectly nice I feel like we didn't click or something. One day I did meet them to go up the Jinmao Tower, the second tallest building in China. It would have had spectacular views if we could see them, but unfortunately we went on a rainy day so it was a bit disappointing. I met this girl Beatriz in a Starbucks (I know, I know, I don't even like it at home, I just needed a place to sit out of the rain) who came to Shanghai to work for the World Expo starting May 1. She's from Chile and will be working at, ta-da, the Chilean Pavilion. She was AWESOME. I feel like she was my parallel life person. We didn't get to hang out long, but I was really glad to have met and talked to her.
On Thursday I visited Yu Garden which was perhaps my favorite sight in Shanghai. It's a beautifully preserved garden in the middle of a gaudy, yet amusing, tourist area with spectacular rock archways and formations and tiny pavilions and temples throughout. I was brought back to my good old Houston days when a group of Mexican tourists passed by and one said 'hola fuera' (hi beautiful) and I responded 'thank you!' and they all laughed. Thank you Marcos for teaching me Mexican come-ons! I don't think they expected me to know Spanish. The rest of the time they kept yelling at me to join their tour. I then met up with Jen, my friend Helena's friend, who's living in Shanghai for the year. We went to a traditional-esque tea tasting which was really cool.
Perhaps the most awful thing to happen in Shanghai is that I lost my black travel pants :( I washed them and put them out to dry on the balcony of Jen's 15th floor apartment, but I suppose I highly underestimated the wind and voila, they were goners. I was a bit surprised how upset I felt, but they were probably the second most expensive thing I brought with me, I put lots of time into picking them out, and I've only been on the road a month! How sad that I'm already losing stuff. Se la vie.
On Monday I got my visa and was outta there! So long, Shanghai.