Friday, April 16, 2010

Last thoughts from Shanghai

An interesting city. Like Berlin it mixes old buildings with stunning
massive new architecture. Buildings along the Bund river evoke thr early
1900s European influence while across the river new Pudong has buildings
that look like alien spacecraft rising that have landed.
Behind the modern Hyatt only 2 minutes walk takes you to a lower
middle-class neighborhood with sidewalk stalls of exotic and typical
fruits, vegetables, nuts and meats. Fish wiggle in buckets waiting for
doomsday... To be grabbed by their owner, gutted with a screwdriver and
sold for someones dinner. Children play badminton in their school
uniforms in the warm full light of dusk as cats curl around faded underwear
boxes in the windows of general shops. Down the street another 5 minutes
feels a bit more seedy. Suddenly more westerners and 3 star hotels.
Strange until I notice the shops of prostitutes among the convenience
stores and mechanic shops. A little sad, a little strange, but very
interesting. A quick left takes me out of that zone and back to clean
modern streets, as if I teleported to another China.

Now I leave Shanghai in the hotel car with my driver and modern freeways to
be whisked to another hotel car and five star hotel, the Grand Hyatt Seoul.
Yet another adventure on this 3 month tour... Longing to be home but
appreciative of my experiences!

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