How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


Shanghai, Part 5 – Nanjing Road

Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin

Tummies full, when we left the restaurant around 12:45., the weather had become humid.

http://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/shanghai/west-nanjing-road.htm (what’s on offer)

The shopping area is pedestrian-friendly with an occasional trolley/mini tour bus. Prominent other than McDonalds and Haagen-Daaz, were expensive elite, famous brand-name stores. I wondered how the young couples afforded their purchases. Rich daddies, I suppose.

The English Group 8 turned down (yet another) museum tour which added more (boring) shopping time. This time Sue and I struck out together. Four hours to kill. My poor aching feet.

We decided to explore beyond the main street. On a shabby side street a couple of blocks from Nanjing Road, I bought a bottle of Dynasty wine in a grocery/variety store ($10.00 CAD / $8.00 USD). I had to borrow money from Sue again as I had scraped all the cash from my wallet for the silk-filled comforter and pillow before lunch. A corkscrew would be helpful, but the store had not nor any facsimile. I decided to worry about that later.

If we needed the Happy House while shopping, Jackie had advised, any large hotel would accommodate us. Timing is everything, isn’t it? We chose the Sofitel Hotel where we had to walk past a security guard. Nervous, but avoiding eye-contact, these fine western ladies strutted in as if we belonged and ended up on the garage level.How did we get lost? Ph-ew the gas fumes.

Sue headed to a glass elevator. A lanky Caucasian man, fisting his briefcase handle, joined us inside. He noticed our confusion and described the location of the closest ladies’ washroom. He had come from Michigan on business eight years before and considered himself a local now, his return to the U.S. doubtful.

Shopping Nanjing Road  (pictures galore)

Out on the street again, Sue spied a Haagen-Daaz restaurant. We were ready for a good sit out of the heat and a cold ice-cream. We had two doors from which to choose: one with a lineup and the other with none. A waitress stopped me at the door. Her voice raised, she said, “Wrong way!” The lineup at the opposite end of the restaurant was where we must enter. Oh?  Why had the other door been open? Back to the sidewalk and the other door we trotted to join hordes of others. It didn’t take long, though, before we were seated.

We waited—and waited some more. Three young girls who’d arrived after we had were already given menus. Not us, the only older Caucasians. We waited. With the earlier rush over, I chalked this up to bad service. Was this abuse because we dared walk through the wrong door? A girl finally came bearing glasses of water with lemon wedges and menus. We didn’t touch the water.

Good thing we weren’t in a hurry. A waitress toddled over and took our order. Finally. One scoop of ice cream (chocolate with pralines) cost 33 Yuan each ($5.50 USD). We waited and waited for our order to arrive, but I didn’t mind. It was a relief to take a load off and sit in the air-conditioned restaurant.

Our bill took forever to come, too. I wondered why not go up to the cash with our dish to show what we’d ordered and pay. At home, we’d have done this no problem, but Sue, usually outspoken about most things, wasn’t comfortable doing so. In the end, we did anyway, but the cashier appeared frazzled. His rhythm had been broken and he made us wait. Again. I now owed Sue 83 Yuan, (not quite $14.00 US). That’s what I get for leaving money in the hotel safe.

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

Two things I noticed while window-shopping. We had been discouraged from interacting with beggars, who were uncommon. Where were they hidden? I noticed only two: one a disfigured man shortly after the bus dropped us off; the second, a miserable old man who shook a rusty tin can in our faces wanting a donation while we sat in a park. He rattled the meager contents, but we ignored him. He scowled and moved on, sneering over his shoulder. I hoped he hadn’t put a curse on us.

Except for a handful of citizens over the age of 40 or 50, most everyone on the street appeared to be under 25 or 30.
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Next on June 30th – Shanghai, Part 6: Dinner and a Show

© 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. Hope to return soon. 
Thank you for reading and for your kind and continued support.

			


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Day 18, Part 2 – More Yangshuo

After our cruise on the River Li, we traveled once again by bus to Yangshuo. We’d paid for an optional tour to visit a rice terrace but it had been cancelled. However, Lily was kind enough to stop along the road for picture taking. She chose places where less traffic passed on the highway, not where everyone found the area interesting for photographing.

Lunch

  • Breaded lemon chicken (overcooked, hard and dried out)
  • Fried rice with egg – bowl shape (dried out)
  • Ground pork and sticky rice balls (delicious)
  • Corn soup
  • Fried green beans with ground pork (too salty)
  • Mushrooms, eggplant and 2 – 3 carrot slices
  • Slivered peppers, onions and small strips of chicken
  • Broccoli (yay)
  • Sweet and sour pork with red peppers (salty sauce, tough as leather)
  • Spring rolls

This is the first time I hadn’t had much good to say about the food. Are you shocked? The rest of the group praised lunch. If I compared these offerings to yesterday’s dinner I preferred dinner; everyone else said dinner was terrible. Really? Still, I hadn’t been hungry once in China because I couldn’t eat my fill. I usually try a little bit of everything on the menu and am easily full but eat too much anyway.

My father had a saying, “No matter what, praise everything, however not to your liking.” I’ve never liked this type of thinking, but socially we all do react in a similar fashion most of the time. White lies and stretching the truth are a constant in our lives. Pity, social situations demand them.

Shopping at West Street

Sue sped off alone. She likes shopping on her own and not hold anyone up or wait for them. Bonnie and I paired up. Neither of us had grand plans of buying anything. I’m not much of a shopper.

http://www.travelchinaguide.com/picture/guangxi/yangshuo/west-street.htm

She did buy some costume jewelry: a couple Cloisonne look-alike bracelets, and I broke down and bought a necklace for my daughter. Neither was expensive. I found similar bracelets run around $25.00 each online, but she didn’t pay anywhere near that, nor did I.

Images of Real Cloisonne Jewelry

Meanwhile her husband wanted to explore and climb Bilian Peak (also called Green Lotus Mountain), but access was closed due to reconstruction. He did take some wonderful photos as he wandered along the River Li. “Still much better than shopping,” he said.

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Afterwards, the afternoon was free. I stayed at the hotel to rest and read. Sue and some of the ladies opted for massages. I recall they were around $20.00 USD for an hour’s workout.

Supper Monday (at another hotel, not the one we’re staying at)

  • Tomato and egg soup
  • Breaded lemon chick with corn, (chewy, hard and over-cooked)
  • Fat French Fries
  • Steam white rice
  • Sweet and sour pork
  • Eggplant (in tasty sauce)
  • Ham with sprouts, cucumber sliced small and green onions
  • Beef and onions
  • Finely sliced vegetables (a mystery but tasty)
  • Orange slices with skins on for dessert
  • tea

One of the men from our English Group 8 invited Lily, our tour guide, to eat with us, but she declined. It is company policy guides not eat with the clients. Why? Because it’s policy. The guide with the French Group, sat with his people all the time we told her. She made no comment. I wonder if he’d come with them all the way from Montreal.

Lily had a room at the same hotel we stayed at a floor above us, same as had Lisa. Our previous guides, Robert, Jackie and Steve lived in their respective cities and went home at the end of each day.

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Additional Rice Field Images

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Next on March 6: Day 19, Part 1 – Yangshuo to Guilin

For more related posts, click on China tab at the top of the page

© 2015 All Rights Reserved Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles


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Shanghai, Day 11, Part 5 – Nanjing Road Shopping and Stories

Tummies full, we left the restaurant around 12:45 and the weather had become humid.

http://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/shanghai/west-nanjing-road.htm (what’s on offer)

The shopping is pedestrian-friendly  with an occasional trolley / mini tour bus. Prominent other than McDonalds and Haagen-Daaz, were expensive big label stores. I wondered how the young couples afforded their clutched brand-named shopping bags.

The English Group 8 turned down (yet another) museum tour which added more (boring) shopping time. This time Sue and I struck out together. Four hours to kill. My poor aching feet.

On a shabby side street a couple of blocks from Nanjing Road, I bought a bottle of Dynasty wine in a grocery / variety store ($10.00 CAD / $8.00 USD). Not one corkscrew was in stock. I borrowed from Sue as I had siphoned all the cash out of my wallet for the silk-filled comforter and pillow before lunch.

If we needed the Happy House, Jackie advised any large hotel would accommodate us. Our choice was the Sofitel Hotel where, upon entering, we found ourselves facing a security guard. Nervous, but avoiding eye-contact, these fine western ladies strutted in as if we belonged and ended up (confused) on the garage level. Ph-ew the gas fumes.

Sue spotted a glass elevator. A tall Caucasian man, briefcase clutched, got on behind us. He had come from Michigan on business eight years before and considered himself a local now, his return to the U.S. doubtful. He pointed us to the closes ladies’ washroom.

Shopping Nanjing Road  (pictures galore)

Out on the street again, Sue spied a Haagen-Daaz restaurant. The timing couldn’t have been better for a good sit with ice-cream. We entered with Sue in the lead. A waitress stopped me at the door and said wrong way. The lineup at the opposite end of the restaurant was where we must enter. Oh? Back out to the sidewalk and the other door we trotted to join hordes of others. It didn’t take long, though, before we were seated.

We waited—and waited some more. Three young girls who’d arrived after us had already been given menus. We waited. With the earlier rush over, I chalked this up to bad service. We wondered about foreigner abuse, as well. A girl finally came bearing water glasses containing lemon wedges and menus. We didn’t touch the water.

At length, a waitress toddled over and took our order. One scoop of ice cream (chocolate with pralines) cost 33 Yuan each ($5.50 USD). We waited and waited for our order to arrive, but I didn’t mind. It was a relief to take a load off and sit.

Our bill took forever to come. I wondered why not go up to the cash with our dish to show what we’d ordered and pay. At home we’d have done this no problem, but Sue, usually brave about most things, wasn’t comfortable doing so. In the end, we did so anyway, but the cashier appeared frazzled. His rhythm had been broken and he made us wait. Again. I now owed Sue 83 Yuan, (not quite $14.00 US).

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

Two things I noticed while we window-shopped. Beggars were uncommon. We had been discouraged from interacting with them. I noticed only two: one a disfigured man shortly after the bus dropped us off; the second, a miserable old man who shook a rusty tin can in our faces wanting a donation while we sat in a park. He rattled the meagre contents however we ignored him. He scowled and moved on, but sneered over his shoulder. I hoped he hadn’t put a curse on us.

Except for few citizens over the age of 40 or 50, most everyone on the street appeared to be under 25 or 30.
~ * ~

Next on November 14th, Shanghai, Day 11, Part 6 – Dinner and a Show

For more related posts, click on China tab at the top of the page

© 2014 All Right Reserved TAK


83 Comments

My Hidden Scrooge

December is my least favorite time of year. To-date, I have crammed my freezer with food within a quarter inch of air circulation. The real crazy shopping hasn’t started yet. I’m limbering up for the big ordeal in grocery stores where people don’t usually run you down–almost never.

I don’t bake much these days to avoid yet another cookie slipping past my lips to take up comfortable residence on my hips. Now I bake enough for company and my grandkids and send left-overs home with anyone who will have them. No matter how well I’ve avoided sweets, my hips appear wider and softer, but also stiffer and less cooperative than in the recent past.

Back to my main topic. December isn’t a month with thirty-one days, it’s one long convoluted commercial, drowning out reason. Spend. Spend. Spend. Bloated Christmas lists are written and re-written. All the latest toys are at the top. These are not ‘needs’ but ‘must haves’. Mom and Dad buy every item on the list. Extended family members don’t have access to this stipulated compulsion, and must fend for themselves: more non-essential items; hard-earned dollars wasted. Grandparents are left to give gift certificates. ‘Tis the season for absurd spending.

Cars tailgate each other everywhere, roads and mall parking lots are crammed. Drivers, irate and impatient, circle round like vultures creating a new spot out of necessity. Inside stores, it’s a crash-cart bonanza; no apologies needed. Muttering customers resist eye contact; their mission is of utmost importance; nothing else matters

morguefile free photos

morguefile free photos

Long cash lines creep forward an inch and then another, whether there is room enough or not. Cashiers steal furtive glances at the time and wear pasted smiles. All this anxiety for one marketable day with plans already for another battle Royale come Boxing Day.

I read this morning Black Friday transactions outnumbered brick and mortar stores. Maybe the same will occur for this December’s gluttonous spree.

What’s happened to the true meaning of Christmas? I recall December 25th was about a special birth not a riot of envy to amass a mountain of presents underneath the tree.

In closing, I’d like to tell you a true story I heard some time ago about a different kind of Christmas. Young and old, you will shake your heads and sputter but, but…

A widower had six children of various ages up to fifteen; three girls and three boys. There was no extra money for gifts but the father makes a deal. They will have to do without something else, but they can have one gift. Smiles and elbowing ensue. The desired gift for all six: ice skates. Names go into a hat. Who will win? The pink team or the blue team?

A girl’s name wins the lucky draw. One pair of skates, mid-sized, is promised, which the girl must share as they don’t belong only to her. Next year, it will be the boys’ turn to choose, if the money can be found. They too will share one gift among them.

My heart melts as I watch the wonder in small children’s eyes: the glow of colored lights, the excitement, the anticipation, the innocence. I’m old fashioned enough to wish they would stay that way.

Blissful shopping to all and early Merry Christmas. May your credit cards survive the clink of Cha-ching, cha-ching.