Friday, December 11, 2009

Shang Hai so nice to meet you

Though we flew out of Hong Kong to Beijing, our return was to Shanghai, within the country of China.  While it was about 78 degrees the day we left Hong Kong, and a cold blustery average of 35 while we were in Beijing, it was a wet and overcast 50 or so degrees in Shanghai, we would have only one short day in Shanghai so we decided to make the best of it.

Once again some colleagues and I decided to venture out into Shanghai to see what it had to offer.  We walked for hours in the rain our first mission was to find a post office and perhaps visit a museum.  Well we found the museum and also found it closed so on to our next mission the post office.  Just then we received a FB message courtesy of my blackberry informing us that we had more time in Shanghai; due to an ocean storm our captain had delayed our departure until the next day.  Now we had a few more hours to burn in Shanghai.  So without being deterred we decided to seek out a post office, but first a side trip to McDonald’s.  We entered Mickey D’s and sat and waited a while as we were still a little early for lunch.  As we sat there waiting we noticed that this McDonald's had delivery.  YES DELIVERY!  The delivery men would pack up their McDonald’s delivery boxes and get on their mo-ped scooters and head out to deliver lunches to those that had ordered them, we thought it was a riot, so of course we took pictures.

Once that was out of the way on we were with our mission – to the Post office.  While walking we came across a Dunkin Donuts.  I was truly excited.  This was a little bit of home so far away from home.  On the other side of the world to be exact.

Im supposed to be pointing at "Providence", my home town right above where I am pointing "Sacramento"

Though we had just had a cup of coffee at Starbucks less than 2 hours before, PL and I were about to go in when the Becker’s joined us; the four of us strolled into D&D and ordered our coffee and donuts.  Now I am not a huge fan of donuts and typically will not eat them, though here I had to have a French Cruller (sp), it was very disappointing.  While trying to decide on which donuts we would ultimately have LB came across a sea weed and bacon option to which we all took a pass.  We sat there and enjoyed our coffee and donuts for what it was and then continued back on our search for the post office.   As we continued our walk we were detoured around (Shanghai is the host of the 2010 World Expo and doing a major over haul of parts of their city) and finally stumbled upon the post office, however I did not get stamps because they had run out.  We decided to continue searching and then walk towards the Pearl, one of the major skyline buildings that Shanghai was known for.   After a brief stop in what can only be described as an indoor flea market, we made a pit stop in the Renaissance Hotel to use their facilities and to ask directions.  While there the valet/concierge asked me if I wanted to mail the postcards (I had taken them out for a visual in the event the person we encountered for directions did not speak English), I informed him that they were not ready to be mailed out as they did not have stamps.  He then offered to put stamps on them and that he would make sure they were mailed out (note to those reading this, if you did not receive your postcard from my trip to China the valet/concierge at the Renaissance Hotel in China is the one to blame).  I gladly handed him the postcard and money to pay for the stamps and quickly we were once again on our way.  We arrived to the pearl and made the decision not to pay the money to go up for the non-existent view since it was overcast and rainy.

We took a few pictures at the base when 2 of our international students (the Columbian guys) happened upon us and informed us of how to get a great free view of the city and the Bottle Opener (another of the world famous sky line buildings in Shanghai, this one is one of the tallest buildings in the world).  PL and I were all over it, we decided we were going to go for it, leaving the Becker’s behind we were now on our way.  As we were detoured through a park and around a crossing we came within feet of the base of the building without finding a way to get to it and finally we succumb to the cold and rainy day.

this is as close as we got to one of the tallest buildings in the world, due to detours and traffic and mostly weather

We gave up and decided to call it a loss.  We then took a subway back to the pier area and thought we would be close enough to walk to our ship.  We arrived to our subway stop and started what we thought would be a short walk.  We walked for about 45 minutes and stopped at a convenience store to spend the last of our money on chips and beer.  We finally arrived to our ship and were pleased with the events of our day, I mean after all we had chips and beer.

this was the view Shang Hai harbor from my cabin window

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