It just came up in my mind, why not go to Shanghai since I have only 3 more weeks left and now it's the time to go since tickets from HK to SH are way cheaper then from AMS to SH. The fact that Ashley is living there as well, my friend from AMFI, made it even easier to make the choice. So I booked from friday 31 may to sunday eve' 2 june. My flight went early in the morning so I had a full day in Shanghai. I landed at 10 at Pudong airport and at 11 I was in Ashley's hotel, next to the fabric market. Since nobody speaks English here, it's way more Chinese then Hong Kong, Ash texted me all the addresses in Chinese so I could gave them to the taxi driver (taxi is super cheap!). First stop was the Maracaibo office to pick up Ashley to grab some lunch. We went to Xitiandi, which is in french concession and still has the old architectural buildings. It is very western with nice restaurants and cafe's . We went to KABB, which is definitely a place you should go to!
|lunch at KABB in Xitiandi|
Ashley had to go back to work and I decided to walk to People's square to see something from Shanghai, but actually I wanted to go there because it is near to the fake market. I needed to do some shopping! Of course I walked the wrong way, but after an hour or so I finally made it to People's square. Here I met some Chinese people my age, who were also sightseeing (at least they said so). They asked me to go on the picture with them, which became quite normal for me since blondes are rare in China. 'Joe so pretty, joe gold hair, joe tall, white skin and big nose!' I was really offended by the big nose thing so I pointed at his eyes, 'well those are pretty you would say?' But apparently, big nose for them is a big compliment so I guess I'm happy with my 'big nose'. They invited me for a tea ceremony they were going to and so I went with them. Thought it would be nice to see that as well. NEVER EVER go with Chinese people if they invite you for such things. I went to the ceremony indeed, it was nice but took like 20 minutes and afterwards everybody had to pay. The lady showed me on the calculator RMB 600, which is 75 euro. Don't know if you have ever seen Chinese teacups? They are the size of egg cups! They closed the door and didn't let me out until I paid. This was my first Shanghai experience! So stupid because Ashley warned me for those people but they didn't seemed like the ones she talked about so I didn't thought of it at all. So there goes 75 euro, bye bye half of my poor salary. But anyway, after that mistake I still went to the fake market and bought a lot of things, just to make myself feel better, which actually worked!
|the Chinese tea bitches who screwed me|
|see how (NOT) big the cups are??|
In the evening Ash and I had dinner at Mercato, a beautiful restaurant in an old building located at the Bund. So we had a good view over the water and the skyline of Shanghai. Later we met Mirella and Susan in a club one floor below the restaurant. We stayed there for a bit and decided to move on because they wanted to show me all the great clubs of Shanghai. We went to a party in Bar Rouge, a club with a huge terrace again with a great view. We met some friends of Ashley and even had our own VIP table. It's way different then partying in the Netherlands were people are to greedy to get you a drink, here they just give you a table full with champagne bottles. Although I do miss good old O'donder where I used to go to in the weekend! After Bar Rouge we went on to MINT, most luxurious club ever. When you enter you have to pass a tank full of sharks, the music is loud, people all look like they just came from a photoshoot and also here, tables full of champagne bottles and no, not the cheap kind, I am talking about veuve clicquot. At 5 (or 6?) we got back to the hotel because the next day I wanted to do some sightseeing.
|dinner at Mercato|
|MINT - shark tank (no sharks..)|
Saturday was filled with shopping AGAIN. First I walked around in a really nice neighborhood where they have all kind of small boutiques but since it started raining, I went to the fake market again and I ran into Mirella and Susan who were trying to bargain in a clothing shop. We were chicks on a mission because we all wanted to buy our dream bags. It took us quite some time, the lady didn't agreed on our prices. But after 1,5 hour, yes it took that long indeed but we really really wanted to have them, we went home with the dream bags. We met Ashley in Taikang Lu, a really nice area with old style buildings but hard to find since it is one big mace. Here we had sushi at a Japanese restaurant and frozen yoghurt as desert. Later that night I fell asleep (think because I shopped so much), so the girls went out for partying.
Next morning I finally did what I actually came for: sightseeing. I went to People's square and took the hop on, hop off bus for only 30 yuan which is like 5 euro. At people's square they have a wedding market. Parents made adds about their kids: blond, 1.78, bachelor degree etc and are trying to find a suitable partner for their kids. Such a crazy thing!! First stop I made was the Bund, where you have a beautiful view over the skyline of Pudong. It was so crowded with tourists, mainly Chinese tourist which clearly never seen a blonde girl before. People were taking pictures of me with their cellphones and I even had a photo shoot with 3 Chinese women, which took seriously for more than half an hour. Next stop I made was at the Yuyuen garden and the city god temple. Here you can see the how Shanghai looked like back in the days. It still has the old housing style and an old tea house. I didn't went for a tea ceremony here though!! Since it was already 4 o'clock I got back to the hotel, had a walk through the fabric market and at 6 I went to the airport. Which was one big drama. I had to go to terminal 1, but the taxi driver dropped me off at terminal 2. I went to the check in but they told me I wasn't in the system so I couldn't get back to Hong Kong. The guy from China Eastern could barely speak English, just like the rest of all Shanghai, and wanted me to sell a new ticket. Imagine terminal 1 on one side of the highway and terminal 2 on the other side.. I had to run to terminal one. Checked in, called my mom because I was so upset (sorry for that mutti), while I waited for my plane I got a gate change from 16 to 204.. FML! When I arrived at 204 I heard I had an hour delay, which means I missed the MTR in Hong Kong, so I took the night bus which stops eeeeeverywhere. In short, I was supposed to be home at 12 but I got home at 2. Anyway, besides all this shit Shanghai was nice and I had a great weekend. I can see myself living/working there but in order to do that I will improve my mandarin first!
|wedding market at People's square|
|photoshoot at the Bund|