When we arrived at the hotel for dinner, a clamor ensued for the small elevator. Eight bodies crammed into this tiny, inadequate space. Something wasn’t right. “Sue’s missing,” I said. The rest of us continued up to the restaurant (7th floor stop), but Jackie returned to street level to find her. At the last minute, she had decided to change her shoes and hadn’t noticed we’d all left.
- Scrambled eggs
- Tomato and egg drop soup
- Noodles (delicious, cannot guess flavor)
- 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 forgot to take pictures? Yes, I’m surprised as well.)
Dinner finished by 5:45 p.m. Thebus 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.
Too long on our feet for one day, bone weary and foot swollen, Sue and I stumbled back to the hotel to wait with the rest of our group for the bus. 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 Theater is an impressive building. Masses of buses and hordes of people surged forward in an orderly fashion and without incident. The numbers were mind-boggling. We were one of umpteen tour groups in attendance. I asked Jackie how often the theater had a show. Every night tourists crammed the 990-seat theater to the rafters. How many tours, I wondered, visit on a constant basis? Talk about easy tourist income.
We had first-balcony, front-row-center seats. Fabulous. Someone asked Jackie the cost of the tickets. He said depending on the seating, between $56.00 to $116.00 Canadian per person.
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 hula hoop performed graceful moves inside:
- A wordless comedy sketch
- A grown male and a young boy—supposed toys—performed unbelievable contortions, again fluid and dazzling. Control of movement and upper body strength were outstanding.
- 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 foot-tall playing cards into the audience. Her set closed when she tossed what appeared to be hundreds of them onto the stage. On and on they came. 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 in the past that 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 July 7th: Flight to Wuhan
© 2017 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles
FYI: This is a re-blog of the best parts of my trip in 2014
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I am currently on an unplanned sabbatical. Please bear with me. I hope to return soon. Thank you for reading and for your kind and continued support.