I just got back from my first foray alone on a night out in Shanghai. I have been a little bit of a coward o far not really wanting to go out alone. In the end it was quiet enjoyable, however I guess I did not find the right places as there wasn't really much happening (perhaps I went out too early?).
Anyway more about going out later, I have had a strange day today. Lulu and I visited two temples, ChengHuang Temple(Town god's Temple) and Longhua Temple Fair. At the Cheng Hang we saw the bridge of nine turns and many market stalls where I bought a few gifts for the people back home, and got myself a really nice stylised "Cookie" sign. The temple structure was very pretty and well worth looking around. I threw a coin onto a tree in the centre for good luck with my career I hope it will come true ;)
At the second temple we went in to see the Buddah's, you could not take pictures but they were very ornate and different well worth seeing. There were huge crowds at both of the temples though, got jostled and pushed around the place.
For lunch went went to a Shechuan (not sure on the spelling) diner near Lulu'ls old college. The food was very spicy and quiet nice, except in an effort o spice up the meal she ordered frogs. They came served in spices on hot pebbles. I have to say I found them tough and not very tasty, though Lulu's opinion was they were not well cooked.
Lulu wasn't feeling the best today so she went home early, and why i ended up going out by myself into the city. I was quiet worried about it, Lulu has been my guide, she has made up for my lack of Chinese. So I was worried I wouldnt be able to function without her. Fortunatly using my guide and some poinitng at things I managed to get into the city, walked around the shops on the South Chongqing road, then went for a few beers in some of the bars on Yandang road. I didnt managed to meet anyone though wih was a shame people seemed mostly in groups and it wasn't really very busy.
Its kind of strange today is the first day I am getting a little bit of a handle on Shanghai and yet my trip is nearly over. Its a very different place, the customs are strange, Anglo-Saxons are a minority. Life feels like someone turned up the volume and the colour's especially at night you are bombarded with neons, horns, shouting and noise. The smells are very pungent, with the cooking, the rotting waste, the smells of the many construction sites. I cant even describe the crowding its unreal! Yet for all that Shanghai has a charm, a real spirit, I feel very alive, possibly because I feel lucky ever time I make it from one side of the road to another. I think its the most varied place I have ever been too there are whole different sides to the place, different sights and sounds and feelings to experience. I have been here a week and not even scratched the surface of Shanghai, one city in a country as big as the EU with a population equal to one quarter of the world, with a culture established when western Europe lived in caves so there is a lot to see, do taste and experience.
I got home about 23:15 tonight, just been sitting here blogging, and a storm started up, first the wind picked up, whistling though my (closed) windows, then rain now lightening. Being on the 25th floor I am getting quiet a show :)