Thursday, June 30, 2011

鄉下/ Outside the city

On the way to a leather factory/ leather outlet, we passed by the countryside.. not exactly rural but about 1.5 hours away from Shanghai. It was an old village where people played Chinese chess under the awnings.. straight out of a scene of early 1900s China. Here is a bike that represents that era of China for me.

All the buildings in that village were like this. Despite how old these buildings might look, there were microwaves and even computers inside. I think this temple had a marquee in English. Granted they are expecting tourists, but it was nonetheless an interesting juxtaposition of time.

There was a small creek running through the village! It was so idyllic and peaceful.

Lainey and I watched a puppet show for 10 yuan. I have the ticket stub. It was sad that there was no one watching it when we went. Tourist towns make me kind of sad.. there are visitors but it seems lonely. Of course I am thinking ethnocentrically/ based only on what I went that one day, but people find a living in all sorts of ways and puppet shows is one niche for that household.

浦東 at night

Last week Sheena and I went on a ferry ride between the Bund and 浦東- and this is what surrounded us! To the East you have a big city and lots of lights (and also the Pearl of the Orient):

On the ferry there were a lot of foreigners (Greek?) who were frantically taking pictures just like me. The ferries were GLITZY. This is the top deck and it felt like I should socialize with tourists a la the Great Gatsby or something.. jk. There were also Chinese tourists.

Shanghai doesn't mess around! I of course halted according to the sign.

July 1, 2011 is the 90th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party. There were ads running on the side of the citi group skyscraper!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cats in 龍華寺

Meet 貓, a presumably Buddhist cat in a temple I went to on Monday. I felt very at peace when I was at the temple, so I am hoping this cat lives an equally peaceful life everyday.

The temple had several smaller temples within it. This was one of them. There was one room with hundreds of golden Buddha figures, each about 1.5 feet tall. The impressive thing was that each Buddha had different expressions and poses. Hundreds of unique Buddhas! There were many practitioners burning incense at the temple at the time. Buddhist temple at the outskirt of Shanghai, check! 阿密佗佛!

Tourists in 外灘

外灘 is also known as the Bund. It's been described as the Champ-Élysées of China, and I finally saw the similarities (even though I have never been to France, I'm going to trust Lonely Planet and other travel guides' analogy.) The side of the Bund had a lot of banks and financial centers in buildings that looked European, but with China's yellow-starred flag flying atop (crop out the tourists' heads please.)

My roommate Sheena became a foreign celebrity to presumably a Chinese tourist also at the Bund. See the Oriental Pearl and Shanghai skyline in the hazy atmosphere! Also, there were many tourists on the viewing platform, both foreigners and Chinese from outside Shanghai. We had to be quick about getting a photo spot by the fence.

Here is more of what the Parisian street looks like. There was a famous hotel called the Fairmont Peace Hotel that was really fancy. I almost expected gargoyles on top of these buildings.

A blurry picture of the Bund at night, around 7:30pm. It was kind of like Vegas at night, the way the lights were golden/yellow, but fancier for lack of better words. This is a different kind of old Shanghai from where ECNU is, and it was interesting seeing the remains of what Shanghai was like about a century ago.

Dumplings in 上海

Last week we ate this soup dumplings restaurant that looks like a banquet inside a Chinese family's house about 80 years ago. Here is the entrance to the restaurant. While I didn't get a picture of the dumplings themselves, we ate about 80+ soup dumplings among 10+ of us.. and we finished quickly. I could have had more 小龍包,but I take what I can get! It came out to be 10 yuan per person, so it was cheap. Notice the number 8? It's associated with prosperity in China.

美國人在上海!(Americans in Shanghai!) Here's a group photo in front of two dumpling mascots after the lunch. A famous dumplings restaurants of course needs its own mascots.