Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Back in the PRC, chilling in Shanghai, with t-minus three days to go. This has been an unforgettable trip, and I hope you've enjoyed reading about it as much as I've enjoyed experiencing it. This may be my last post just because internet is expensive around here.

Shanghai is the illegimate love child of Beijing and Hong Kong. Crazily modern and civilized mixed with old school Chinese attitude and culture. It's pretty cool, and feels like a nice place to end things. The views of the crazy skyscrapers are as amazing as the photos you've seen, and we see nothing but luxury good stores for blocks at a time sometimes. Between those blocks, we get attacked by people trying to sell us fake versions of the same products. They're pretty aggressive about it here, no doubt spurred by the fact that they tore down Shanghai's biggest market for fakes and knock-offs (note: Frommer's is awesome, but it's 1.5 years since they published this edition, and you'd be surprised how many Chinese restaurants and shopping areas have been torn down in every city in the meantime), so now have to drum up business on the street. If you want a fake Louis Vuitton anything, please email me by Friday.

We saw the Shanghai acrobats last night, which was an amazing show and totally worth seeing. I actually covered my eyes and gasped as if I'd never seen Cirque du Soleil or anything and really thought these people might plummet to their deaths. I did enjoy the fact that despite the 'no recording devices' announcements and signs, flashes were going off non-stop throughout the entire performance. Today, we went to the Shanghai Museum, which is definitely my favorite museum in China that I've seen. It's got a ton of bronzes, jade, calligraphy, sculpture, etc., and though some of it is just Shanxi cast-offs, it's very well curated and in a beautiful building.

On other stuff, I have now been to the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf twice (!) which is truly sublime because (1) it's hotter than hell here, like hotter than anywhere else I've been on this non-stop scorcher of a trip, (2) I couldn't even get a vanilla ice blended in philly and (3) I had been craving one since my second day of travel. We also have eaten fantastic Shanghai-style food, including this bowl of noodles in a spicy broth with gobs of peanut sauce that is worth the price of a flight here, seriously. We are planning out our last few meals in China, and will probably do it up in style on Friday night to say farewell. We've had drinks on top of 3 on the Bund, we've walked through people's square, and we've had at least two McDonald's ice cream cones. We have another museum or two to see, another tower or two to climb, some more noodles to eat, and some tailored pants to pick up, and other than that, it's pretty much a wrap for Juliedelphia Does Asia 2007.

One more thing-- yesterday, Nisha turned to me and said, "Do you know what I like about you?" I shook my head, excited to hear something truly insightful and probably complimentary, and was not sure how to take it when she said, "You really prefer noodles to rice."


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