Saturday, May 28, 2011

Shanghai 2 TRAVEL DIARY

I met a bored shitless 17 year old german from Oberhausen, exchange student sitting on the lawn in people's square park, nervously smoking. I told him to stop smoking and in return he told me a lot of useful things, like
- it is a myth that all chinese can cook (his guest family's chicken feet need a good sauce)
- chinese believe everything that foreigners say (i can see great practical-joke opportunities)
- some are fond of hitler (not knowing anything, of course)
- chinese need a visa to LEAVE their country
- girls are not very catholic (though he only had second hand info)
- shanghai-nese is a different language, and it sounds better than mandarin
- they study all day and night - and think germans work hard (haha)
- "tai hao le" (wunderbar, "too good")

5pm and nurishment requirements call for a second noodle-mushroom spicy soup. You get a plastic bowl, go to an open fridge and pick your favourite soup ingredients, pay (14.50rmb/1.80eur/3.40nzd), and it is handed to the cook, who boils it. I ask the girls at my table if they could give me a nod when my number is called. "no problem". - My number is called she says, i eat. She asks me if the soup "is delicious" ... Yes, very. The other girls says i have sparkly eyes. I say "tai hao le" and they both almost jump up and say "no, no, no".
After a while they leave and one of them nervously runs into a metal supporting pole, oh oh dear.I thought only men do that.
Across the kitchen is a beautiful girl with TEAM PINK written on her green jumper.

6pm off to the "french concession", my host called, first we went out to a new malaysian restaurant then to DR WINE for a 150rmb bottle of watery frech white, then to the "woodenboc" for a concert of Lindi on the pipa and her french boyfriend jeremy playing an amazing gypsy guitar.

EasterSunday
Eggs for breakfast, very nice baguette, marmelade, coffee ... What a good 21st century retro style all round. I took the dog "Einstein" (a "Spitz") for a walk, that slowed me down, thankfully. Stop everywhere and leave scent markers. One time Einstein decided that he needed longer to investigate a smell and when i gently pulled the leash, he had freed himself from the collar. If he was able to do that all the time, he was really just using me as a "seeing dog" to navigate the traffic and carry him on escalators.
A really nosy scientist, a great character.

Then off to see The Bund, took a long-bar-photo in the walldorf-astoria, then scored a free wine by talking to the manager at element fresh (about sun visibility on their roof terrace). The marketing ploy about marrketing. The devil's work, you know.
Later we went out to dr wine, 3 us americans from taiwan and me, quaffing two bottles of red. Political talk but only two views of the post 911 world, mine and the doctrine. Good "the brownies die" american plutonium humor. The world is bad, we are badder. Excellent evening, no really. There is no more real talk than the one about power and the misconceptions about it.

Monday 25th
Today is a day for aimlessly wandering about and try to understand chinese life. I find myself getting away from westerners talking loudly about their stereotypical topics in the typical "bragging" style. I have acuasms (acoustic hallucinations) chinese words in the midst of the chatter are in german.
My host tells me that the shamghainese have a loving word for experienced males: Loule which means the very same in my german hometown Au Banan.
A while of sitting in the pedestrian zone reveals the various shady characters, and a elaborate scam targeting very young rich girls, they are surrounded by a group of teenagers in smart attire, and talked into following them to some side alley, to fleece them. I give almost every beggar a yuan, and observe the crowds. Most are happy and carefree, but 100 per cent of the westerners look grumpy and most are sort of bizarrely maskeraded compared to the many prettily dressed chinese.
A destitute recycling collector fishes for plastic drink bottles (1 Mao=a tenth of a yuan reward) he is nearly blind, he only hear me placing a coin on the rubbish bin..

Of course a photo of the "sunset in the muck" is a must, so impersonating a hotel guest and zooming up to the 47 th floor of the Radisson, is done, and works fabulously. And yes, the sun did set - on a "clear, cloudless" day inside the air-pollution layer. About two fingers wide above the true horizon.

Dinner is ALL YOU CAN EAT AND DRINK.
I looove Sashimi, my eyes water from wasabi, oolong tea, sake, sashimi, tea, sake, sashimi....
Tepanyaki; the sake flows endlessly and a goddess of a cook, a tall benevolent shiva with 8 arms, prepares the 20 or so dishes that we ordered. Cod, beef, prawns, mushrooms, langusta aubergine, finalized with Banana flambee, all for 180 rmb, After this feast we see a 3-piece Gypsy band called Wayne's Basement, with E J Parker on double-bass (contrabass), jay jeremy lasry and etienne
Jeanne the two acoustic guitars. Very virtuoso trio, fun and original repertoire.
Tomorrow airport. Shame, really.

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