Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday, 7/6/10 11:59 p.m. Sheraton Hotel . . .

Got up rather leisurely this a.m., had breakfast which we had purchased at Bread Talk yesterday, then Suzannah and I went in search of the Maglev train while Susie went in search of train tickets.  The Maglev was fun, traveling in VIP class and going 431 km/hr (268 miles/hr).  We checked out the Shanghai airport (which is where the Maglev train goes) and then after our return trip, the small information museum.  

Back to the hotel to meet Susie, lunch at Costa Coffee and then a few hours at the Expo.  In contrast to yesterday's cooler but steamy rainy day, today was sunny and hot, moderated some (very little) by wind.  We found out that China is in the midst of a heat wave, Beijing having broken a 50 year record high temp yesterday.

Took the ferry across the river which wasn't nearly the cluster I feared, walked thru the commercial corporate zone and then to the metro so we could get back to get ready for dinner at 1221, The Dining Room.  Very, very good.  So good in fact that Suzannah and I will head back tomorrow with the constraint that we're not allowed to order anything we ordered today.  

After 1221, we took a cab to Cloud Nine, the bar on the 87th floor above the Grand Hyatt whose lobby is on the 54th floor.

Tomorrow Susie leaves at noon so we'll go out early to do some sightseeing with her.

It is amazing how much you (I) lose your filter when no one around you but your companions understands what you're saying.  A bit trickier in Shanghai where it's harder to know but in Beijing, Pingyao and Jinan, very few people spoke English so were could commentate virtually unedited.  And the various difficulties gave us much to editorialize about.

Also interesting is the fascination with us.  We are often (less in Shanghai) the subject of open stares and the subject of photos and videos.  The teenagers will ask if they can have their pictures taken with us.  They're rather shy when they ask and very excited when we say yes.  Jinan, which sees the fewest foreigners, was the place where we saw this constantly but it happened everywhere. 

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