Don’t worry – there is no “Day 3” post. Yesterday was not eventful for me. Just work, a nondescript meal at a restaurant near the hotel and then bed.
I woke early and made my way across the Huangpu river to The Bund, the old financial area of Shanghai. Barges ploughed their way past the skyscrapers of Pudong as kites floated silently in the air. The morning was misty and dull, but not too cold.
I then walked up to Nanjing Road, one of Shanghai’s biggest shopping areas. From what I hear it’s usually crowded with people, but this morning only a few brave souls walked the street. Having watched some elderly people practice T’ai Chi, I flagged a taxi back to the hotel.
Our meal this evening was hot-pot. Each diner is given a pot of water and vegetables, then presented with small portions of meat, mushrooms, noodles, prawns and fish cakes to cook and eat. It was delicious and a lot of fun. We then walked to a local market with small alleyways and lots of interesting, good quality items on sale. Shanghai is an expensive city, although I suspect some local knowledge would come in handy in this city.
Some other things I took in: taxi passenger doors only open on the right-hand side, so it’s always a case of first-in, last out when getting in the back. The driving isn’t great – we’ve had more than one close shave over the last few days. None of the drivers know English, so a card with the destination address in Chinese is an ideal accessory when travelling.
I’m learning a small amount of Mandarin Chinese. Yes and No sound a bit rude to Anglophones, so I should have no problem remembering them. Other than that, it’s a very difficult language to learn. The way you say something is at least as important as what you say.
And, no, I’m not improving with my chopstick prowess. It gets worse when anyone is looking at me, and worse still if they start commenting about how bad I am.