September 8, 2009
PLANES! TRAINS! and AUTOMOBILES!
Well let’s just start from the very beginning shall we. To get my trip started off on the right foot I started by first missing my first flight from Minneapolis to Chicago, ok no big deal got put on standby and would arrive in Chicago about an hour and twenty minutes before my next flight, perfect! I sat on the tarmac for over an hour. Got into Chicago finally and got off the plane and sprinted to my flight, Made It with at least 2 minutes to spare! The flight went from Chicago north through Wisconsin, over Lake Winnipeg, through northern Canada, Alaska, over Russia and then come south past Beijing and to Shanghai.
Get in no problems, amazingly enough I have my suitcase as well. We get to the street curb and 10 of us pile into 2 mint green colored van taxi’s and along the way of something like a 45 minute ride I noticed a variety of things about driving. First thing, lanes and staying in your particular one is a very relative thing, lanes are unimportant and unnecessary. A close call accident wise is 4 inches or less, that is when you need to start to worry. I thought that it was fantastic! Oh and the favorite color of Shanghai is Mint green.
The hotel is quite nice, the water however is undrinkable so you have to boil it or have bottled water. The bed is like laying on a box spring but amazingly enough it is that bad, but I don’t recommend lying on your side. The street life at night is crazy, thousands of people roaming the streets, shopping perusing, and people trying to sell you stuff. They are fantastic at copying anything and they do. Dinner the first night was awesome and wild, I had pig ear, a fish and little crabs that I had seen swimming only minutes earlier, shrimp with all the tentacles and shell still on, duck, heart, fermented cabbage, a beef and “green bean” dish that was actually a hot pepper!, dumplings among a variety of other fantastic things, and that was just the FIRST NIGHT! Oh and with every meal as of yet we have had watermelon, which I think is kinda crazy, however it is extremely delicious.
Oh, and to complete with the trains I found out that on the Friday the 11th we will top the 13 hour plane ride with a 16 hour train ride
September 9, 2009, Wednesday
Today we went to the Shanghai Museum which was absolutely fantastic! The ceramic exhibit, which is permanent one, was amazing the pieces were all ones that I have seen in history books and magazines, and textbooks. See the attached video/s. We also went to this gallery district which was great, they had all kinds of contemporary art. My favorite of the galleries was one of a painter who was using making these fantastic paintings into sculptures by making them 3D with paint up to 2 cm thick. The district was awesome gallery after gallery.
I had Peking duck for the first time which was delicious, duck soup, garlic broccoli, chicken red pepper dish, tofu preserved egg, which is black and gross looking but good, deep fried pineapple, covered in sugar served so scorching hot that you had to dip it in cold water prior to eating, also bok choy and fish dumplings.
September 10, 2009, Thursday
Today we went to the Contemporary Art Fair/Exhibit. It was great there was an entire exhibit of Salvador Dali that was pretty crazy amongst a variety of all kinds of other sculpture, both bronze and ceramic, paintings and ceramics of all sorts. It was super fantastic, everything was extremely good, and the place was huge. The other thing that we did was go to a knock-off market, which was pretty wild with everything from any type of clothes, electronics, luggage, jewelry and everything in between. Ipod touch $40, North Face backpack $30, it was wild.
The food of the day was a Japanese fast food restaurant which was pretty fun and the food was very good as well.