Thursday, May 03, 2007

Oriental Pearl

Thanks to the fact it was so busy yesterday we decided to get up early and catch the Oriental Pearl as it opened and avoid the queue. We arrived at 8 and we able to just walk in and head up to the viewing platform. We had tickets to the second highest level, I decided the extra 50 Yuan for a few more meters didn't matter so much at there was a little cloud / smog in the air, plus the guide book said it really wasn't worht the extra money.

The view was really good despite the poor visibility. You could clearly see the Bund in a lot better detail than from the Jan Mao.
After a good look about we made our way back down. At the bottom of the tower the queue was already beginning to grow.

Next stop was people square, when the communist took power they took what was a racetrack and turned it into an area for the people. A sort of soviet style park with the museum in the middle. The museum has "unique architectural form of a round top with a square base, symbolizing the ancient Chinese philosophy that the square earth is under the round sky" - Shanghai Museum. It is actually pretty impressive and had some nice exhibitions of Chinese art in, I enjoyed the paintings, th caligraphy and the statues but the currency and seal
exhibits were a little dry. They also had an exhibition of American art, from the 20s, and 30s so a lot of pop art, realist paintings from the Guggenheim. These stylized art if mostly not to my tastes although the odd the piece stands out some I just thought were jokes, I deformed (poorly drawn) circle in a square canvas, is that really high art?

After the museum we headed down Nanjing market it was very very crowded though. We gave up before long in the face of massive crowds, and went for lunch. We went to a rather tasty diner I had a spicy beef dish it was lovely.

In the afternoon Lulu arranged for some of her friends to come to my apartment, and prepare a Chinese meal. I even helped with the preparations! We prepared dumplings, I think I got quiet good at making them in the end. We had a hot pot on the table into which went all manor of food, prawn balls, port, vegetables dumplings and vermicelli . The food was good but it was hard for me, they were all chattering away in Chinese I had no idea what was being said or what was happening, they seemed a nice enough bunch was just a clique not including me. I felt a bit bored after they left though. Lulu said they needed to get home as they lived far away, though I doubt it somewhat, they didn't want to go for a drink so as of 9pm I was alone. Chinese people seem very different, if i got invited to a party I would expect a few drinks and some fun not just food and home. Tempted as I was to go out I'm up very early to go on a village tour to Xitang, I saw some pictures and it looked very pretty.
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