I’m not going to bore you with all the minute details of what I did in Shanghai. Most of it was meeting people in from the Shanghai branch, meeting family members that I didn’t know existed, and eating. Lots and lots of eating. Eating the food my aiyi prepared, eating at restaurants with relatives, eating with my parents at little restaurants down the street from the apartment.
If you’re ever in the Changning District, make sure to head over the Dingxi Lu. The section around Yan’an Xi Lu is basically a restaurant row, very busy most of the time, and has affordable, clean food. It also sports a series of bars, ranging from nice Belgian beer bar Kaiba to pretty lively dive bar with disgusting bathrooms (hint: you squat) C’s. For food, I recommend this congee place, on the left side of the street, or HaoYouHui (translates to “Good Friend”), which is above a Taiwanese bakery/cafe chain 85°C, which is also an amazing place to pick up some Asian buns and milk tea.
What else did I do with my time at Shanghai? I’m a big fan of art galleries and museums, and Shanghai has some pretty modern art spaces for contemporary Chinese artists. I got a recommendation from Alex, our branch manager in China, to check out Shanghai Sculpture Space. So I did. And I must say, this place is spectacular, if not a little weird.
A note though, don’t go when it’s raining. I did; it was a bad idea.
Shanghai Sculpture Space used to be a factory; it’s been converted into a contemporary art space in the same vein as Beijing’s 798 Factory. A lot of the pieces are outdoors in a courtyard type area, while the converted buildings house galleries that are free to the public.
I do have more pictures. They will be uploaded onto the company’s Facebook page. I might start a Flicker for the company, but does anyone know if that’s necessary?
I spent another day roaming around the Shanghai Museum, located at People’s Square in the more traffic laden areas of Shanghai. The museum houses the best of China’s historical relics. The galleries are easy to navigate; the exhibits nicely arranged. The only major hassle is getting into the museum: admission is free so expect long lines for individuals who want to get in. I saw a line reserved for tour groups that was faster than my snail’s pace of a line, though I also saw non-tour groups go through that line.
Other than that, I went shopping. Shanghai is the style capital of Mainland China. Unfortunately, I didn’t find much to suit my tastes, other than a few items from Uniqlo, Japan’s answer to The Gap. This is not to say that shopping is horrible at all; I just have an unusual taste in regards to fashion.
So after those lovely few days in Shanghai, I hopped onto a plane to Taipei, Taiwan.