Monday, October 13, 2008

Shanghai: Day 10

The sign reads right to left "Shanghai Old Street" but we'll call it old town.

I'm told this is where the original center of ancient Shanghai was.

All these buildings, I was hoping a kung fu restaurant fight would break out with queued men flying out windows with names like Loud Tiger, Clefty Mace, or Iron Butt.

Was there a river here before? Or is this just a lame modern installation made to look old?

By the way, we're in Old Town having lunch around 3pm because we went out for some cameraless clubbing the previous night. We first went to Racks, the Daniel Wu club at Xin Tian Di. It's a nice setup there. Each billiard table (thus racks. A double entendre wouldn't really make sense here but maybe it's smart to lure foreigners in) has its own table where you can chill out and lounge at. I think the catch is you have to order a whole bottle of booze so we (along with 2 of lester's friends) ended up drinking a bottle's worth of rum and coke. Then we met some of his other friends and we to various clubs. Anyways, I digress. It was a late night so here we are at 3 pm lunch.

Some classic Shanghai dipping sauce.

Drunken Chicken


I'm not sure... cucumbers with fake shark fin?

Tong Bao (soup bun) requires special training to handle them. If you don't grab them just right (mind you they are quite hot) the skin will break. I saw this on a TV program on the plane on the way over.

Look at it wibble about! So the way to "eat" this sucker is you poke a tiny hole in the top, bend down and drink the soup through the hole. Or I guess you could pick up the plate and drink. Then you eat the skin. It's very good!

Xiao Long Bao!

Xiao Long Bao!

Everywhere, Xiao Long Bao!

Teresa stopped by for some donuts. Maisy's = Macy's?

A lot of stores in Shanghai have really nice interiors. Something you rarely see in America. I just imagine it costs to much to make your place look like a spaceship.

more old town.

There is a lake in the middle of old town.

As well as a garden (w/ paid admission) to which Lester said "you'll see a bunch of these on your (tour) trip later" so in CCM (cheap chinese man) fashion, we just peaked into the entrance way.

At this point, Teresa wasn't feeling well so she went home. Here we (now just Lester and I) are on the Bund. The Bund is a foreigner sector of Shanghai from the colonial days. Most likely the German quarter (we walked through the French concession yesterday on our way to that really far place) as Bund means "federation" in German.

The Bund skyline. The left tower is pretty ugly unless you tell yourself it kinda looks like a Syreen Penetrator. The building sort of to the right is called the "Bottle Opener" for its said resemblence. Originally the whole was a circle but because the architect was Japanese, they forced him to change the design citing the circle's resemblence to the rising sun of the Japanese flag. China did not want a Japanese "dagger" piercing their skyline. Which is such a silly thing to call buildings "daggers"

We met his friend and took a taxi to a Japanese hot pot place. Actually we first went back to that foot massage place and tried to get the combo massage and were brutally punished for having done so. Not only was it really painful, but the masseuse I got had really bony hands so it was not as pleasant as the previous lady. Anyways, back to Japanese hot pot. Celebrating the Japanese bottle opener, we proceeded to drink 5 RMB Asahi's. That's about 80 cents for a beer! And speaking of cheap, taxi rides in China are about the same in the USA and in London except while a 20 pound taxi ride costs only 20 USD, that same taxi ride costs only 20 RMB.

Beef Carpaccio. Apparently when Lester brought my brother Gabe here, he and Sue ate like 5 plates of this stuff.



Everywhere, meat!

Did I mention this was ALL YOU COULD EAT hot pot? All you could eat everything. This is their fatty premium meat. Afterwards, we went for... more massage. Well it wasn't what I was hoping for. I thought I was going to receive a head/brain massage. We went to this hair place and for like 20 RMB / $3 they shampoo your hair for you, massage your head (for 5 seconds only! =P) and then massage your neck, shoulders, and arms. $3!!! While gentler than our previous punishers, it was not what I was hoping for. I'll just have to go back to Japantown in SF for the 3 minute massage you get with a haircut.

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