I have lots to share...and limited space and time to do it. Today is Sunday in Shanghai and, as usual, Allison and I were awake at the crack of dawn. Last night's adventures left me feeling extra confident, so I decided that Alli and I would enjoy street food for breakfast and walk to the Shanghai museum downtown (about 1.2 miles). We got up and dressed, checked our map (地图 di tu, say dee too), and headed out into the warm and very sunny day. It was about 80 degrees at 9am, so Allison was worried about getting too hot. I reminded her that we had packed her sun parasol, and she felt much better.
We wound our way through the city looking for street vendors. It was startling to see the number of homeless people sleeping on the ground, so Alli decided to leave them some money. We had a few Chinese coins, yuan, worth about a dollar each, so I dropped them near each sleeping body we came across. Every little bit helps, y'know?
In an alley about 8 blocks from the hotel, we finally found what we were looking for- Chinese breakfast! We had some delicious spring onion pancakes, they were really cheap and only cost one yuan each! We shared one and continued walking downtown. For a drink, I got a caramel flavored milk tea drink with tapioca bubbles in the bottom. To drink it properly, we were given a huge straw, and after every few sips a soft tapioca pearl would pop into our mouths. Weird, but really tasty. After a half an hour of walking, we got to downtown Shanghai and ordered some large meat filled steamed buns from another vendor. They were delicious, but so big we only ate one of them. Still, they were a steal at 2 yuan each (about 30 cents).
We walked another several blocks and saw the museum in the distance. It is truly a striking building! We had to take an underground tunnel to cross the street and encountered a complete underground mall. I swear, when they can't build any higher, the Chinese build lower! This "mall" had 1930's China as its theme and was amazing! We reached the surface again and entered the daylight, and saw....an amusement park?1? Rides and all! I told Alli we would come back for that another day, and we walked the short distance through People's Square to get to the museum.
Though we arrived at 10:30, we waited in the line (outside and in the heat) until 11:10 to enter the building. It was amazing...I had forgotten that I had seen it already, though this time with Allison's fresh perspective, it was much different.
After spending hours in the museum (the wing dedicated to China's minority cultures was closed, hmm, I wonder...) we decided to go get lunch at an upscale Chinese restaurant. We dined on spring rolls, shredded beef and fried rice- but skipped the "bull penis strengthens the body" soup and the "rooster testicles and veins of the earth" hot pot. Did you know that "veins of the earth" is just potatoes? How literal- and funny! ANyway, our entire fantastic meal was just $13! Cheaper than 2 meals at McD's for sure!
Tomorrow is our moving day, wish us luck!
Please check out our pictures on flickr, its the only place that I seem to be able to post reliably. My account is simonemollock. Send me an email if you have trouble!