Our Christmas was good on this side of the world. We started off Christmas Day by going to church at the International Church on Hengshan Road. Normally the church has two services on Sundays, but for Christmas Day there was only one, so it was packed with people. We had to bring our passports with us because only foreigners are allowed to worship there (i.e., the government doesn't allow Chinese nationals to attend these services), but on Christmas no one asked to see them. I haven't said prayers inside a church for quite a while so, for me, the experience felt good.
Mike and I spent the rest of the day with Mike, Belle and their dog Bingo. Mike and Belle live in the "suburbs" of Shanghai which we were excited to see. When we got there, they took us to a Wet Market, the Chinese version of a Farmers Market. However, as you can tell from the photos below, this market is very different from the trendy, hippie-filled South Pasadena Farmers Market (we love hippies, please take no offense). This real "working" market is open daily and growers bring in fresh fruits, veggies, sauces, spices, and meats twice a day. After showing us around and purchasing some food for Christmas Dinner, we went back to their brand new, beautiful condo where Mike and Belle proceeded to cook us the most amazing dinner. Mike and I want to give a special thanks to our hosts for making our first Christmas in Shanghai absolutely beautiful and amazing.
Last week I talked about our trip to Pudong. Instead of paying the 45RMB to walk the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel, we decided to take the subway. We thought it would be a good idea because Pudong is only one Metro station from the Bund. It was, to say the least, not exactly the comfortable ride we expected. I want to include the video this week in case anyone is coming to Shanghai and thinking about making the same mistake. I hope this will give everyone an idea of what it's like riding a busy subway in Shanghai.
Things To Do in Shanghai:
6. Visit the Shanghai South Bund Fabric Market
Located at 399 Lujiabang Lu, (or 陆家浜路399号 if you’re taking a taxi). Three floors of shops selling just about anything you could desire, all custom made. Suits, shirts, jackets, jeans, leather coats, scarves, robes, etc., are all sold here, but most shops specialize in one or two types of items. However, bargaining skills are a must or you WILL be duped! Three piece suits (Pants, Jacket, Shirt) go for between 300-600rmb and Coats seem to go for about 400-600rmb. So much fun and such an amazing experience: A must see in Shanghai!
Maybe It's Just Me
I have an idea for "Things To Do in Shanghai": Don't take the subway during rush hour. If any of you has ever lived life on the edge, then you know what it feels like to ride the subway in certain parts of Shanghai. These trips can be a chaotic free-for-all where someone will throw elbows to get on and secure one square foot of space, and stand on one leg if necessary. And when people are trying to get off the train? I would say it's like watching Bruce Lee fight Chuck Norris. The crowd can be overwhelming, and getting through it is a testament to "survival of the fittest". Even after you've confirmed that you still have your wallet, you still need to make sure that all of your limbs make it into the train before the door closes on you. Some Chinese people simply don't care, and want to get on the train anyways, which is scary because these nomads have nothing to lose. Maybe it's just me, but why risk your life and limbs for an extra 3 minutes of your time? It's unbelievable.