Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Shanghai Day 2

After my conference on Day 2 of my Shanghai Adventure, I was free to explore once again. Again, I saw some interesting things. 

Interesting thing #1 = this random castle in the distance. China seems to have many pseudo-European buildings that pop up when you least expect it. (Oh and in case you were wondering, the woman on the right wearing all blue did make it safely across the street).
Interesting thing #2 was this insane wagon of chairs. I seriously want to see someone haul that around.
 Interesting thing #3 was witnessed in a dark underground area of the subway system where people were selling their wares on the ground. This particular display intrigued me... there was no one guarding this merchandise and as I looked closer I realized it was a towel laid out with piles of pantyhose that looked suspiciously second-hand...
I also saw another man on the street selling dead turtles on a stick but he wouldn't let me take a picture. Interesting thing #4 = all these balls on the sidewalks. They were everywhere! I think they're for safety reasons so that people have to walk slowly around corners and intersections. Any other theories why there would be giant balls on the ground? Anyone?
Oh and of course I had to take the opportunity to stand on one!
And finally, Interesting thing #5 = CAPITAL LARD. This one's self-explanatory.
After spotting all those interesting things, I took a little night-time stroll by myself along Nanjing Road. My friend told me that if I just kept on walking down the road, I would get to The Bund which is basically Shanghai's famous harbour view. I walked down that road for at least 45 minutes but it was peaceful and I enjoyed it. But I also had a few adventures along the way...

 On the streets and sidewalks, there were all these vendors selling fake DVDs, oldies music, and other little trinkets. I was trying to buy a scarf from this one woman who had set up a small table on the sidewalk. Suddenly I heard shouting and turned around to see a whole van full of police officers yelling at the woman angrily. The woman immediately picked up the table, closed it in half (it was like a conveniently portable suitcase table) and ran away from the police. A minute later, she was back in business, only 10 metres away from her original spot, selling her scarves again. 
I actually bought some scarves from a similar woman down the street and I was trying to bargain with her. Since she didn't know English and I didn't know Mandarin, we bargained using the CALCULATOR FUNCTION on her cell phone! haha. She would punch in a price, then I would take the phone and punch in the price I wanted, and we went back and forth until we settled on a deal. It was a pretty effective way to bargain!

Here are some other photos that I took during my little walk...
Here's a building that looks like a pineapple.
I loved this area below because it reminded me a little of Gastown in Vancouver.
This area is near People's Square, an place full of both tourists and locals. Each side of the street has huge stores - basically it's a large shopping district. 
While I was walking through the crowds here, I actually encountered a bit of an "incident". Many people here were trying to give me flyers, which is common in Hong Kong too. But suddenly, a young man around my age came up really close to me and started speaking loudly and persuasively in Mandarin. Then he grabbed me by both shoulders and started shaking me back and forth. Then he grabbed one of my arms and started trying to lead me to the side. I was thinking... "uh.... what are you DOING?!?!" and I quickly pushed his arm and walked away quickly into the crowd. I wish I had been with someone who knew Mandarin though so I could know what he was rambling on about. haha. 

But anyway, moral of the story... be aware of creepers who are invasive of personal space.

moving on...

After passing People's Square, I finally reached THE BUND, and can I just say that it was GORGEOUS!!! I spent the next two hours just walking by myself along the harbour view and taking a million pictures because it looked so amazing!!! Each building was bathed in this warm yellow glow (all the lights shut off at 11pm by the way, so if you are in the area, go before then). 

Anyway, I'll stop rambling and just show you the pictures!
Overwhelmed by all the glowing buildings yet? Here's the other side of the view that looked out onto the water.
I especially like this picture where I caught a random man pondering alone (and being the stalker that I am, I discretely took a picture).
And of course I had to have a photo with me in it so I could have some sort of evidence to show that I was actually there haha. So I kept on asking random strangers to help me take one. I felt bad because these nice people would take a few pictures for me and then say, "check it and see if it's okay!" Then I would check it and ALL the shots they took were blurry but I would say, "Yeah, they're great!" then walk a few metres and try to find another stranger who looked like they knew how to use an SLR. HAHA!  After asking more than 5 people, I finally found someone who was able to get these two shots... 
...So I can say I've been there!!! hahaha. I think just walking loner-style along The Bund was one of the highlights of my trip. So aside from the conference I attended, I'm so glad I got to go to China and see all these beautiful sights!

Man, you don't know how hard it was to get on a plane the next day, fly back to Hong Kong, and make it in time for WORK on MONDAY MORNING. But anyway, I'm already itching to go on another trip of some sort, now that I've survived my first experience travelling alone!

3 comments:

  1. love the pictures and your stories!
    wish i was there. next time...next time... :) i especially liked the building with the clock.
    where will you go next time??? More adventure pictures in the future please.

    -randolph

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  2. these are awesome pictures! The Bund looks really gorgeous. hotel thing confluence, capital lard, LOL i love their building names. im so proud of you for fending off that creeper!

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  3. I wuz there! unfortantely the next day I dropped my old camera at the Canadian embassy and have no pictures of shanghai but I remember that it was beautiful. Did you also see the pay-toilets? they are hilarious. So are the attendants.

    I am quite aquainted with the loner style stroll along waterfronts in strange cities - did you find it liberating? I love it.

    Glad to know you're safe. Keep up the updates!!!

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