01.10.2011 - 06.10.2011 20 °C
Starting back early at school after a five day break in Shanghai and totaling about ten hours sleep for the whole time, I suddenly had a realization. At primary school we used to play a game called ‘sleeping lions’. This was a fun game where the winner was the person who stayed as still and as quiet as possible whilst lying on the floor. I now understand this was clearly a game for when the teacher was tired and hungover. I can’t believe it has taken me twenty three years to realize this, but what a good idea. This is what I felt like playing with my class today but sadly they have too many desks and piles of books…
Shanghai was amazing. I have visited a lot of cities and although they all have something a little bit different about them and distinctive sightseeing spots, a lot of them end up being the same and you feel like you could be anywhere in the world. Shanghai was not like this. It felt like a completely unique place. A lot of the buildings are strange and round and they look a bit like spaceships, making you feel like you could be in a city on the moon. The amount of shops and shopping malls is ridiculous, and you would need at least a month to see all of them. The city also seems to be a perfect mix of European and Eastern. As soon as you leave the Western restaurants in the small winding streets of the French concession, you walk through a park with a turtle inhabited lake and you reach a Chinese market that goes on forever selling ‘antiques’ and Mao related souvenirs, with dumpling carts on every corner (nom!) and birds in cages hanging from walls.
It was nice to have a bit more choice for food and I indulged a bit with ice-cream, spaghetti and bakery delights. However, it wasn’t all non-Chinese. I ordered a lovely duck soup, which turns out contains mostly duck intestines, duck liver, duck lung and duck blood. Being open minded, I tried the intestines which worryingly I think I have eaten quite a few times before thinking it has been mushroom… I also tried some liver but I couldn’t quite face cubes of duck blood for lunch so I mostly just picked out the noodles!
Word had spread with everyone from the internship from Beijing and so there ended up being a good crowd of about fifty of us and it was great to see everyone again. This is the source of my tiredness however as there was something to do every night, including £5 night club entry with a free bar (uh oh…) and KTV (karaoke in your own private room, very popular in China).
I came back on my own late last night as Kat missed the bus and apart from a worrying moment when I got off the bus and couldn’t find a taxi, it was a good journey. The bridge that connects Ningbo to Shanghai looks amazing at night although sadly when captured on camera looks much less impressive. I also watched Twenty Twelve in Chinese and can safely say I could work out everything that was happening and do not need to see it in English.
I am now a walking picture of lack of sleep and too much beer and am looking forward to 4.30 when I can go home and sleep like a lion. Zzz.