We hit rush hour traffic and I pass out.OL wakes me as I arrive at the hotel at 8:30. We check into our room which is clean but reeks of stale cigarette smoke. Ew. Biggest pet peeve on the mainland is their cigarette addiction.
Pass out for 4 hours. Around 12:30pm we wake up in need of food. Plan to hit food court in Raffles mall. Ask front desk for lunch place and they suggest a 20-30$ per person place nearby, Yuan yuan.
We go with plan b and head to the subway. Signs are in English and Chinese which helps. We decide to buy the add value card. But it doesn’t have a specific name and you cant buy it at the ticket machine.
So I’m forced to pull out my old Chinese and try to communicate. This is interesting. I can speak but my understanding of the reply is problematic. After a few fits and starts, we finally manage to buy the card. Then you have to put your stuff through a metal detector to get on subway. Wow.
We get on subway marveling at how similar they are to HK. Wonder who copied who.
Arrive at People’s square stop. Exit 15 is for Raffles City which is the name for Raffles Mall in Chinese. We explore the mall. Food court looks good. We go to Ajisen Ramen. Not as good as HK. They also give you bill before food arrives.
Wander through mall. Then head outside. Go to renmin park which is gorgeous. Lotus flower pond and shade. Picturesque pathways.Have latte at famous Barbarossa. Arabian nights designed lounge. Stumble on falls.
Wander to look for Tomorrow’s Square. Missed it on first go. Finally find it. Thanks to guidebook saying it looks like Saruman’s tower. Go to 38th fl/ JW Marriott lobby for great views of Shanghai. Snap some pictures.
Wander around more and find People’s Square. Sit beside fountain. Watch grandma clapping hands and stomping feet walking in sorta circle. Over and over again. She definitely marched to the beat of her own drummer. But she got her blood pumping. End up in underground malls that were once bomb shelters. DMall and Hong Kong Shopping center. Walk back to food court but too overwhelmed by shear crowds of people to eat. Leave and take taxi to hotel.
Venture out at 8:30 to eat. Very few restaurants near hotel. One too smoky. Cross street and double back. All restaurants now on other side of 4 lane impossible to cross road. We get across finally. All weird stuff like bullfrogs. Ew. Finally find place and get dumplings and veggies for OL.
They don’t speak any English so again out comes my Chinese. Rusty as hell. But I try. Waitress correct me a few times. Lol. Then rice arrives with yellow speckles in it. I have to ask what it is and confirm not eggs for OL. Manage to do this.
Dinner cost 41 yuan. $6 for two people. At one point stopped at convenience store for cheetos and bun. So afraid not find restaurants.
We come back to wired Internet at hotel, which means using lobby terminals that take forever. Think 1996 dial up experience. 20 minutes to reply to two emails and delete 15. Ugh. Are you kidding me?
I decide I cannot do internet like this. It’s de-evolution. Mind you there are a ton of f-bombs flying from my mouth. To make matters worse,the computer terminal is stand up so you pace while you wait.Or I do anyways.
On way to room, we spy a small open courtyard, people on laptops. Decide they may have wireless and check it out.turns out they do. And it’s fast. Just in that courtyard. So I reply to emails and feel relatively sane again.
return to room which still reeks of smoke. Though no one is smoking in here. Grrr.
Blog and prepare for bed.