Shanghai in the slightly smoggy daylight is incredible. Hundreds of high rise skyscrapers shoot up around highways that criss-cross through the whole city. Its called China’s financial capital fpr a good reason. When walking along the streets it really feels like being in the Asian version of New York.
The city and the people who live, work and play here are all westernized to some extent with most of them being able to speak some degree of English (making taxi rides, scavenging for food and hunting for clothes much easier for me).
The diplomacy delegation (most of it slightly crusty from the festivities the night before) attended a talk at the Shanghai International Studies Institute think tank. The speaker gave an in depth talk about China’s relationships, successes, problems and future goals which was interesting enough to keep my sleep deprived eyelids open for the hour and half long presentation.
The bus ride to Shanghai’s old city market area was another story. Pretty sure my mini bus nap involved a significant amount of drool and possibly some snoring.
The architecture of the old city market was beautiful. It felt like being in a really up market Chinese restaurant.
But it really was gorgeous. The shops and stalls within weren’t too shabby either. I managed to hustle myself some (most probably knock off) Ray Bans for 100 yuan when the guy wanted 380. Pretty amazing, I know #modestyisthebestpolicy #loljk
There was even a sweet central area with a lake/pond (I don’k know the difference) full of koi fish, water features and even a little duck.
We hit Papa Johns for lunch and enjoyed some nyummy pizza. Soooo culturally adventurous. Ja feel.
After an hour and a bit of much needed relaxation and nap time back at the hotel (The Regal East Asian hotel which is built into the Shanghai Stadium- so cool!), the whole Envision Global Forum delegation headed back into the city to watch what our faculty advisor Peter Tharp described as the highlight of the trip; the ERA acrobatics show held at Shanghai Circus City.
I don’t usually get blown away by performances but I can honestly say my mouth was gaping throughout the entire show.
Its not hard to see why the show is one of Shanghai’s most popular evening entertainment destinations. A man was juggling and balancing huge porcelain jugs on his head, a group of acrobats who had to have been somewhat insane performed on a giant ferris-wheel-looking contraption and ran, flipped and jumped on top of the thing with out any harnesses or safety net, a couple did an incredible aerial ribbon performance (their core strength was maaaad) and then to top it off, eight guys rode motorbikes inside a metal globe at the same time.
And they survived. What even are you China?
I think all of us left the show feeling slightly inadequate at life.
Last day tomorrow. Hard to describe the bittersweet feelings at this stage.