Keep your belongings in front of you. What’s in front belongs to you; what’s behind, belongs to someone else.
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Whenever we left or entered the bus, our tour guides reminded us to check our personal belongings. At first I felt we were being treated like children, but soon realized how easy it is to become engrossed while surrounded by the distractions of China.
OLD SHANGHAI BAZAAR
What luck! Once again, we were given time on our own to explore. After the splendor of the financial district (The Bund), some of our group discovered another world a short distance away. These are the real people we had little occasion to see. I thank RJ for sharing these wonderful pictures.
More day to day scenes:
THE RITZIER BAZAAR
While some explored the vibrant open market, others followed Jackie to a more upscale sector where anything from floral teas to pearls, jade, cameras, clothes, emporiums and brand name, best-quality knock-offs were secreted. One adventurous couple in our group was interested in what was on offer. I had no interest in shopping but decided to tag along. Led through masses of humanity, avoiding elbows and bodies, we entered an alley, and a short path to a nondescript door. Jackie must have knocked to gain entry, but I don’t recall. Before he did though, he made sure we were comfortable in finding our way back to the group’s meeting place, and disappeared.
We entered, were sized up, and asked what was needed. This undertaking felt clandestine. The room was small and windowless. Shelves displayed elegant purses, luggage, watches etc. Like a wolf waiting to pounce, the attendant pushed merchandise on the couple. Nothing suited. How about this? Maybe you’d like that… The room grew smaller and smothering. Eyes on the door, my nerves hummed. Escape wasn’t easy. Finally free, we spoke among ourselves. “Might as well buy a real Rolex for the price they want.”
We hadn’t proceeded farther than a few paces when a young woman dashed up from behind, promising another place; a better deal. She wouldn’t take no for an answer. We kept moving. The whole business became uncomfortable, but at last she melted into the crowd.
As everywhere else, knock-offs are illegal in China. If you are caught, off to the police station you go. Your tour group continues as scheduled and you have to find your way back to them on your own dime. Of course, you don’t get to keep your loot either.
Dinner Sunday night
- Tomato soup with egg
- Rice with egg
- Lightly breaded white fish
- Mixed vegetables
- Eggplant in sauce
- Beef in sauce
- Sliced curry potatoes
- Scrambled eggs
- Sweet and sour chicken
- Watermelon slices
SHANGHAI QUICK FACTS:
- Home of the (open air) Bird’s Nest, capacity 80,000
- Popular sports: ping pong, table tennis, basketball and soccer
- World Financial Centre, 2nd tallest in the world
- Houses used to cost $1,000 / square foot; now up to $5,000 / square foot
- Kindergarten parents pay about $1,000 per month
- School free grades 1 to 9
- Live-in maid service pays $1,000 per month
- Twice-a-week service pays $10. per hour
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Next on October 31, Shanghai, Day 10, Part 4: Silk Factory and More
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