Friday, March 07, 2008

China - Day 3

After being out the last couple of days, this was going to be a day of eating and shopping. The only sight seeing we were going to do involved food and cheap fake stuff. My favorite.

The day started with one of my favorite foods. Little steam buns! Uber delicious!

We walked around the commercial part of Shanghai. It really is not much different than walking around any large city. Even all the chain stores are the same. Nothing interesting here to report.

Our destination was the fake market. Everything fake you could possibly want. Bags, clothes, ipods, games. You think of something, they probably have a fake version there. They did have a lot of nice stuff if you know what you're looking for. Some of it was just ridiculously fake, but others weren't too bad. As with everywhere in China, you had to negotate your price for everything. This was kinda fun at first, but it got really old really fast. It's just so tiring to have to argue for every dollar. Then you go to the next store and find out they would've come down even lower on things. Sheese.

I'm not very good at price negiotations as I've found out. I just don't have the patiences. I know I shouldn't feel this way because they're always making money no matter how low they go, but I feel bad asking for something at a ridiculously low price. So, I probably got ripped off on everything I got. In fact, I'm positive I did.

After we finished our fake shopping, we went to this street that was full of street food vendors. It was like a dream come true. Everything on a stick!

Besides having everything on a stick, they had these buns that are like the ones above, but much larger and they fried them. The line for them were ridiculously long. I can understand why after I had one. It was a party in your mouth.
A lot of deliciousness was had at this street. Time to move on.

Next, we went to the People's square. Supposively where Chairman Mao had one of his major rallys or something. I didn't pay attention to the sign. The park is in the middle of a western-ish shopping area. I'm sure Mao is loving that.

This next part is pretty interesting. There was an area of the park that had a lot of people gathered around. Naturally, we went to see what's going on. What was going on was love the way it should be. Pimped out. So there are all these people lined up with posters in front of them. These posters were personal ads, and the people were matchmakers. It's like live!
The ads had the person's info like their sign, interests, even how much they made a year. Now, none of these people in the ads were actually there. It was always family or some type of 'representative' pimping out these people through the ads and photos. This was quite amusing. It's a shame I can't really read Chinese. I bet some of the ads were fantastic.

Eventually, we moved on to another part of the park. There were some amusment park rides with funny misspelled names. I think the rides were geared more for children as none of them really look that exciting. We kept walking and found this area that had a bunch of little tables and seats.

We found that this was a fun little finger painting-like thing that the kids do. Naturally, I had to get in on some of that. I choose a monkey to paint (they gave you the outside lines, you just have to fill it in with color). A couple of kids came by to see what we were doing and wanted to help. Ko's sister was nice enough and let the kids help her. For some reason, the children thought I was nice too and was about to start painting on my monkey.

I was all like. Noooooooo.. I can do it myself. Thanks! Go back to helping Ko's sister. Where're your parents anyway? Yes, I'm fantastic with children. Thanks to the lack of help from the children, my monkey turned out pretty awesome if I do say so myself.

After we finished this, we walked around the park some more and got to the center of the park where the MOCA was. It's like MOMA in NYC, but in China. I'll talk about this more later, but I am very amazed/pleased at the number of art places they had around. For some reason, my idea of communism would crush things like art.

MOCA was fine. Art stuff. There was a photography exhibit that was pretty interesting. In one room, they were showing some visual art in a dark room with some seats. I wanted to sit after walking all this time and dragging around all the stuff we bought earlier that day. I was in for a treat. The film/exhibit was made by this Japanese dude. It was some messed up stuff. It was a bunch of disturbing stills set to some oddly errie music. It was pretty disturbing/awesome. I'm so glad I saw that.

We followed this walk in the park with a massage. No, don't be dirty. This is the regular massage. There's no happy ending or anything. Besides, all 3 of us were in the same room. That would've been kinda gross.

The masseuse sure didn't take it easy on me. It seem like she was working out some childhood aggression on my shoulders and neck. This was normal and all as I'm generally very tense so all massages or attempts for me to relax really hurts. I actually prefer the girlfriend massages where they're not really doing anything and just rub you around. Those are all good. In this case, I felt like I got my ass kiced after it was over.

From there, we went to meet some friends for dinner. It was hot pot! All hot pot all the time I say. The food was pretty good. It was fun with all the people there and all. There were a lot of people there. Funny thing is, they all spoke English. I believe most of them are Ex-Pats from an English speaking country, so that made the conversation very easy.

After dinner, we went to a bar for a night cap. It was a good time and some good conversations. For some reason, and this will be much more obvious later, whenever I ordered a drink, it always turns out very girly.

That concluded a long day of fun. Tomorrow, we head off to Beijing!


KO said...

I am pretty sure those people that were at People's Square were not matchmakers but actually parents. A sea of desperate parents wanting to hold their future grand kids. What's interesting about the personal ad is that salary information is always posted but never pictures.

Jamie said...

Nice recap. I love a good deep massage that leaves you sore for days. I never USED to, but I have learned to relax in the face of pain. Good pain... My cousin, who is a massage therapist, uses her elbow to get into those knots.