When we arrived at the hotel for dinner, a clamor for the small elevator ensued. We had eight bodies crammed into this inadequate space, but something wasn’t right. Someone piped up Sue was missing. The rest of us continued on the restaurant (7th floor stop), and Jackie returned to street level to find her. At the last minute, Sue had decided to change her shoes on the bus and hadn’t noticed we’d all left.
- Scrambled eggs
- Tomato and egg drop soup
- Noodles (delicious, cannot guess flavour)
- Potatoes with chicken in dark sauce
- Sweet and sour chicken balls with red and green peppers
- Eggplant in some kind of sauce
- Breaded fish
- Thin, pizza-flavoured crescent biscuits
- Baby Bok-choy
- Cut up orange for dessert
(Can you believe I hadn’t taken a picture. Yes, I’m surprised as well.)
Dinner finished by 5:45 p.m. but the bus wasn’t due until 7:00 to take the group to The Plaza at Shanghai Center Theater (10 minutes away) for the 7:30 Acrobatics Show. Sue and I took our time walking up and down Nanjing Road West, as well as some side streets to kill time (the opposite direction of our afternoon shopping).
We came across a shop named I Found guessing this might be a second-hand store, but didn’t enter to investigate. I don’t know if they have used clothing stores in China. Why wouldn’t they?
I can’t recall if this was some kind of educational building / center we passed. Railings surrounded it about every six feet alternated with six or eight feet of brick wall. In the railing, which looked like a gate, tiny 3-inch flower pots had been packed in tight, row on row, between the railing up, down and across. What a stunning presentation. I’ve never seen flowers grow perpendicularly.
Bone weary and foot-swollen, too long on our feet for one day, we stumbled back to the hotel to meet the rest of our group. Already it was dark. I mentioned to Jackie, our guide, I hadn’t noticed gas stink or big city smell from the many cars on the busy road–no smell of pollution at all. “See,” he said, “you can’t believe everything you hear.” The statement sounded defensive. Hmm.
The Plaza at Shanghai Center Theater is an impressive building. Masses of buses and hordes of people surged forward well and without incident. The numbers were mind-boggling. We were one of umpteen tour groups in attendance. I asked Jackie how often the theatre had a show. Every night tourists crammed the 990-seat theater to the rafters. How many tours, I wondered, visit on an constant basis?
Images Plaza at Shanghai Theater:
We had first balcony, first row, center seats. Fabulous. Someone asked Jackie about the cost of the tickets. Depending on the seating, between $56.00 to $116.00 Canadian per person, he said.
The 90-minute show consisted of an astounding dozen acts. Other than Cirque de Soleil, you’ll never see such fluid, seemingly effortless movement, amazing costumes and attractive performers. Among them:
- A young lady in a giant hoola performing graceful moves inside them:
- Jumping through hoops (See YouTube below)
- A wordless comedy sketch
- A grown male and a young boy, supposed, toys did awesome contortions, again fluid and dazzling. Control of movement and upper body strength were the major players. (See YouTube below)
- Female (sea nymphs) performed underwater dances. Talk about smooth as liquid pouring into your glass
- A mature woman wearing a top with tight lace sleeves closed the show flicking card hands all over the stage and into the audience. Her set closed when she tossed multitudes of oversized playing cards onto the stage. On and on. Where had they been hidden? How did she do that?
The Bund in the distance, as seen on the way back to the hotel:
I’ve written we saw no pollution. Check out this blog. This lady has been living in Beijing for some time. Her story is a little different from mine. Maybe we simply lucked out and missed those bad days.
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Next on November 21: Shanghai, Day 12, Part 1 – Flight to Wuchan
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