Monday, May 5, 2008

Wanna Buy a Rolex?

After the silk tour we hopped on the bus for the 2 hour ride to Shanghai. We settled into our new hotel, got cleaned up and went to the Acrobat Show that evening. There was something wrong (ergonomically speaking) with the seats, but it didn't seem to matter because the show was so exciting. The best part was when they rolled a giant steel mesh ball onto the stage and put 5 *yes FIVE* motorcycles into it. They were zooming around inside it, avoiding each other by mere inches, at high speed. It was amazing! I'd never seen anything like it. I tried to get a picture of it, but the motorcycles just look like grey blobs.

Our first day in Shanghai we went to the Shanghai History Museum. Its four floors contain a wonderful array of artifacts, all beautifully displayed. Unfortunately, we only had an hour and a half to see it all; not nearly enough. I was particularly interested in the costume section where we saw an impressive collection of native clothing. I had no idea anyone made clothes from salmon skins!

We also saw fabulous pottery like this gorgeous Ming/Ching/whatever bowl. This thing is hundreds of years old, but it looks brand new. Not at all like the "antiques" the vendors sell that look old, but were made last night.

Then we drove to the Pudong area and went to the observation deck of the Jin Mai Tower. The elevator ride to the 88th floor is smooth, quiet and non-stop. The only sensation of rising is your popping ears. The view was awesome, but smoggy. The building just to the right in the photo below is a new building under construction that will be even taller than the Jin Mai.

After a double-whammy daily obligatory factory tour (silk rugs and cashmere sweaters) we had Mongolian barbeque for lunch and went to the Knock-Offs market. I'm not a haggler, I don't understand the whole process, I don't like being grabbed and pulled into shops, and we both found it extremely tiring, but the Lord of the Manor bought a Rolex anyway. So what do you think, does it look real?

Our last day in Shanghai we walked to the Yu Garden and Bazaar. It was a little more relaxing than the Knock-Offs market, but still the relentless hawking of tacky souvenirs gets annoying. We did manage to find a really nice tassel there to add to my collection.

We also walked across the zig-zag bridge, past the tea pavilion and this statue. We stopped to admire the koi. I thought it looked awfully crowded in there, but why should the fish live any differently than the
people? Tomorrow I'll post some interesting photos of signs we saw in China. Their translations are often quite amusing.


Pat said...

I've enjoyed all your photos and commentary about China very much!
Thanks for sharing it all on your beautiful blog.

Beverly said...

Too funny about the Rolex! It looks great to me.

Unbelievable koi, and I agree that it looks too close for comfort there. I definitely need my personal space.