Reflections on Shanghai

Well… my most vivid memories of Shanghai are those of noodles… polystyrene bowls of five minute noodles being consumed 24 hours a day in every conceivable location … the clearest image being dozens of people squatting along the walls of the metro tunnels, bowl and chopsticks in hand

Shanghai:

A city that’s being built as fast as they can tear it down… Pudong – the new suburb (with the huge bulbous TV tower, used in all promotional material) did not exist 15 years ago – the entire area was a boggy tidal swamp, not even suitable for agriculture…

The Bund… a broad attractive avenue of historic buildings (now housing mainly banks and other financial institutions) runs along the northern side of the Huangpu River opposite in every way to Pudong

I caught the lift to the top of the Peace Hotel (an historic art deco building) and sat in the rooftop garden at night just watching the cities arteries pulse with movement and light

Then walked up Nanjing Road – the most astonishing display of NEON I have ever seen – (It’s been a while since I walked around with my mouth open in astonishment) towards the Peoples Square and my metro station

I am now quite comfortable with the public transport system and haven’t used a cab for days … its 3 Yuan to get into town (12 Yuan = 2 dollars) – the trains are fast, clean and crowded – I find my self watching in amusement as 50 people desperately try to get through 1 door into the carriage as another 50 people try to get through the same door to get off… there seems to be little concept of ‘waiting’ and for those who have ever even hinted that my personal characteristics included being a very ‘I, sort of person’ – I can only suggest you visit Shanghai!!!!

Shanghai, China

Nee Hao, Wo boo hway shuo han yu … this is phonetic so noone else will be able to read it.

I’m in Shanghai… spent yesterday at the Peoples Park celebrating the national day holidays with 6 million other shanganese, friendly people (generally) – tend to love to have their photos taken – even thrust the young emperor (single male child) in front of the camera and command he smile.

Lunch at ‘5’ on the Bund – crispy river prawns (eaten whole) followed by seared something on a bed of fresh beans, corn and capsicum with a bottle of aussie white (VVV Expensive) – just joking total each $120 Yuan = $20AU ish

Then the town temple… i got into the spirit of things, burning incense and bowing a lot… fantastic Buddha’s, amazing architecture, millions of friendly Chinese tourists and a very pert pagoda.

Then the back street tiny shop front markets … would you like a Mao – cap, t-shirt, poster, book, bag, watch, lighter, badge, button, suit or set of playing cards?

Tommorrow I’m off to the Moganshan Lu artist colony – studios, galleries (Bizart, Shangart and the new Red Door Gallery) about 100 studios in a converted cement enclave… found several well known chinese contemporary artists ‘at home’ and was able to organise ongoing discussions via email

Then the Town Buddhist Temple and it’s museum of Buddhism with hundreds of different incarnations in a variety of medium.

Just for something really Kitsch I’m going to catch the underground trolley car through the gaudy bund sight seeing tunnel (a stupefying 678m long voyage of flashing lights under the Huanhpu River) to the China Sex Culture Museum.

My mate Wendy flys back to Ghongzhou this afternoon – then I’m on my own?!

Have to run the gauntlet of the thought police again later … logging on to google and bigpond is a bit hit and miss here…

Take care

Love XXX Kate (Mum)