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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Another trip into China. This time on China Eastern

Reading blogs about China Eastern created stress before we had a chance to experience whether we should be experiencing any.
The common themes in many blogs were:

It is a good flight - about seven hundred dollars less for each of us than any other airline and we are doing well. It is not Singapore, Qantas or Thai Airlines but it is much much better than United or any other of the American airlines.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Now this is me, already on our way home. It is so weird how time feels when we travel. I think that when we are busy and doing our daily stuff, time flies, but when we travel and every day is different, time stretches. This is a great thing. So now it feels as if we’ve been away for ages. We’ve had a holiday in San Francisco, Australia, and Shanghai, all in the space of only two weeks. Terrell was saying that he feels changed in some way after China. I think I feel like that too, but I can’t really say how.

Shanghai was a real buzz. We had a great hotel, mainly great because of the location. The street we were on was a busy version of Rundle Mall, with all the upscale shops, coffee shops, ice cream parlours etc. When we walked to the next block and crossed a road, we walked into an old section which was more like China as we remembered Guangzhou.

The building in the place are modern, lots of glass and great heights. They all seem to be vying for the highest spot. Many of them have really interesting shapes, especially at the top. We did lots and lots of shopping. We’ve decided that we should only shop in foreign lands. That way all our crap has a special memory attached to it. Terrell really did well with some nice jackets (lots), trousers and ties. I must confess to the purchase of a scarf or two (or three, maybe)

Here’s a good scarf story We were walking down the main drag, in a busy part of town when we saw a street vendor with bargain scarves all spread out on the pavement. We bought a couple (less than $2 each I think) and then walked on. We thought, maybe we should buy a few more, they are so cheap, and turned back. It was ll gone, within 60 seconds, the whole thing had disappeared, just a few plastic bags in the breeze. It was astounding and very funny...undoubtedly some illegal thing.

A highlight of our three days was meeting Andrew and Amy Loechel, who have lived here for nearly 2 years, and are loving it. We had a really nice meal at an Aussie restaurant called Kakadu (what else do you do in Shanghai??) and learned some great things about this city, which has piqued our interest in perhaps looking for a job here. Who know what happens next.

Wanting to eat but leery of pointing at strange floatings in water and fuzzy pictures with unfathomable characters beneath we pursued a place we read about in our guide book - something something - the allegations were that it was all vegetarian. Sure enough after getting past a few beggars, including one child that clutched Narda’s legs, almost toppling her - we found the something something (not it’s real name - but for lack of remembering it will be called something something) establishment. The menu sounded very meaty - there were some laughing Buddha items and stomachs, tongues, beef sides, pork stuff as well as several fishy sounding items. Narda ordered beef slices as the waiter pointed to the word vegetarian at the top of the menu - I ordered the fishy something. Narda’s beef thingy - she said - tasted identical to beef - it was so similar that it had the same texture - perhaps a thin slice of marinated tofu. I had the tofu crab - it was an excellent peanut spice sauce over tofu. I would recommend the something something restaurant and will put a name to it if I can.

Today it rained, (we had perfect, though cold, weather up until now) so we took a random trip out of town, circling a subway stop on our map, and choosing a metro line that was all above ground. We actually had no idea where we were heading. We passed through lots of high rise; that is 20 story apartment buildings, then a port and an industrial area. Our random stop was OK though, Terrell found a menswear shop and within 5 minutes, had bought another jacket (a nice grey one) and some trousers. He’s becoming quite the fashion tree, with his new leather handbag (manbag!) and the fancy outfits.

Then we ate at KFC, after drawing a fish to find out which burger Terrell could was pretty good, with a nice little veggie salad.
The most trippy thing of today was our train ride to the airport on a bullet train, which reached the speed of 430 kph. Unreal! It would lean right over on the curves, like a motor bike. So we did the trip which took and hour by taxi, in about 7 minutes. Definitely a must do in Shanghai!

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Today working on picture poem links starting around "better" (August 03, 2012). Picture poems are the digital format of work I did as a street artist in New Orleans in the 1970s, as well as New York City, Honolulu, San Francisco and Adelaide South Australia. Follow @neuage