Shanghai

Clearly, there is a language barrier for us in Shanghai.  We flew from Laos to Shanghai with a stop through Changsha.  Except for the fact that we were the only Americans in the place, from the look and feel of the airport, we could have been in Cleveland.  Although the women toilets were a hole in the floor except for the one western toilet I thankfully found.  I applaud the women who can use those holes.  It is not something I am looking to master anytime soon.

First frustration is getting email although VPN solved that although we have not found it easy to do any search whatsoever on the fly.  We have found some similarities to Tokyo where you have an address but the place isn’t there.  It is down the street or up a floor.  We walked about 7 miles just looking and getting a feel for the city.

We walked the Bund this morning.  Above is a photo of the People’s Square.  This bamboo is in a small park en route to the Yu Garden.  I love bamboo but know full well the havoc it can wreak.  Growing up my parents put a handful of bamboo stalks between us and the neighbors thinking it would be a beautiful way to create separation.  Little did they realize that bamboo is unstoppable and its roots get into everything including your foundation.  What a monster!  Note to self, bamboo should always be planted inside metal vessels.

The Yu Garden area is madness.  Tons of people.  It costs money to get in.  We have learned that cash in Asia is king.

The old neighborhoods are definitely on the outs.  I would imagine unless someone seriously championed preservation, this will all be gone sooner than later.

We popped into Blue Shanghai White, a wonderful ceramic store, although the challenge is getting it back.  I am thinking about it.

Were challenged in finding the galleries.  We finally found Shanghai Gallery of Art which is on the 3rd floor of a building.  The art installation was all about the pull between the past and the future.  All connected to Buddhism.

Really loved this one of Buddhist prayer beads and Yak hair.

This is great.

Thrilled with ourselves finding Pearl Lam Gallery where there was a David LaChapelle exhibit.

We hunted down Yangs Fried Dumplings.  It was down the street not on the main street and it was really because of me looking at an exterior photo on Foursquare to find it.  Delicious!

We wandered back to the hotel and saw a show put on by XCommon.  Not sure what it was but we wandered in and I was told I couldn’t buy a thing but could look.  Alas.  I really liked these hot mitts for the oven.

Then we collapsed before dinner.

A drink at the top of the hotel before going out.  That alone was an odd experience.

Then to Lost Heaven for dinner.  Definitely a restaurant where you get people from everywhere coming.  Yunan dishes.  My favorite was the vegetables and noodles.  Maybe I am ready to go home or maybe I am too harsh of a critic but I wasn’t wowed by the food here.  We have been on this side of the globe for a long time.  Glad we experienced as much as we have but it is time to return.