Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Shanghai, Dec'06

Just came back from China yesterday. Been in Wuxi for the whole of last week, then took at train to Shanghai together with JJ & L, to meet up with CJ. J is in Shanghai till mid of Jan for work, and stays in a service apartment in Shanghai. A good opportunity to meet up with CJ and to tour around Shanghai I should say.

First time taking train in China, I was a bit uneasy with the crowds. JJ assured me that the crowds were nothing as compared to the time she goes back to hometown during CNY. I guess China have just too many people. Train journey was delayed, reaching Shanghai almost 1 hour 45 minutes later. We met up with CJ at the North Exit. My God, was there cold in Shanghai. Who says it’s warmer in Shanghai?

CJ brought us to the apartment to unload my luggage bag, and we head to Xin Tian Di. It was drizzling and windy but we were excited to start exploring night life in Shanghai. It was the “heart” of Shanghai at night. Well, don’t think any of us were party animal, in fact CJ & I are coffee lover, thus we settled down in the Coffee Bean. Gosh, were the drinks there pricey. The brew of the day costs as much as RMB 25. Sure, we are earning SGD, thus RMB 25 is just SGD 5, but imagine if you are earning RMB 2K and you are to spend on a cup of Coffee Bean coffee at RMB 25. Gosh!

We had a nice chat over hot chocolates, cheese cake and sandwiches. Something I enjoyed doing, but no longer doing for so long. We went to the Bund for night view, to discover most skyscrapers’ lights were turned off past midnight. Determined to go again the next night, that was it for Night 1.

The next day, we made our way to Jing-an shi temple (trust me, I tried very hard to remember the Chinese name of the temple, but still need CJ's help to tell me). All I remember was CJ was followed by an Aunt who offered to tell his fortune. Anyway, being the nice CJ, CJ was too kind to push her away, letting her followed down the streets, with JJ, L and I giggling when he said “ok la, it’s quite far already”.

We made our way to a place named “Chen Huang Miao”. Forgive me if the name is not right. I have difficulty remembering this one as well. Phew, there were so many people there but I guess we enjoyed ourselves being next to the Chinese culture. And for me, of course, I enjoyed the cold weather very much.

Late afternoon, we made our way to Nanjing East Rd. I remember this road because I saw the English name. By the time we reached the road, we have already walked for more than 5 hours straight. It was crowded, just like every part in China. Having Mc’Donalds’ sundae cone in the weather less than 10 degC was like in paradise. Shiok!! Wish to do it again.

Supposedly last stop for the day, the Bund. Wow, the night scenery was breathtaking. Surely it looks almost like scenery in Singapore, when you look across Merlion. But the cold weather and the feeling were different. All sort of photo taking sessions and practically jumping up and down from cold weather, we made our way to Xin Tian Di again. Taxi driver told us that there is nothing much to do in Shanghai at night except at Xin Tian Di. True?

Last but not least, before we left Shanghai, we went to the Garden. (again, don’t remember what the name was). Anyway, we rented a boat for a ride in the Garden. Was that a good experience. We took turn to take over the wheel and it was fun.

CJ sent me to airport via train, transfer to the Maglev train. I call it a "super bullet train". See, this is the Power of Physics. :-) Goodnes, i have seen how fast it was when I travelled in the car from Pudong airport to Wuxi. One blink, and the train is gone. Well, that was it. So excited about the experience, my eyes was almost locked to the speed indicator, 100km/h, 220km/hr, 300km/hr up to 430km/hr in 4 mins or so, then down again, reaching Pudong airport in about 7mins 15secs. Amazing! Again, thanks to CJ... :-)

Overall, I enjoyed myself very much this trip to Shanghai. The companies were so great that we shared so much laughter in 2 days. Even Joe laughed out loud.

But then, I guess there are much more work to be done in China, especially in teaching them not to spit practically everywhere and queue when there is a line. Got irritated a few times, when the Chinese just pretend to cut into the line. But then, my fuse is always short…. It was just shorter these few weeks.

Thank you CJ for his hospitability, without him, I couldn’t have been to Shanghai. And without him, JJ and L wouldn’t have been to Shanghai too. Adios….

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