Day 12: Shanghai

_ Shanghai_

Arrived early. Stig in foul mood due to roomies shifting around through night.

Guide meets us. Took us to hotel. Asked if we want to relax, we said yes. OK, we’d get one hour.

After leaving the hotel, we hit traffic instantly. It was overcast, and you couldn’t even see where the sun was. An eclipse was about to occur as well, and all of a sudden, it was darker, the darker still, and then night fell on the city for a few minutes. It was very strange, the first total eclipse of the sun that I’ve ever experienced. The Danes we met on the train to Xian were Shanghai bound for that event specifically. They even showed us the custom glasses they were going to use.

Anyway, the heavens opened. We dropped walking around the Bund, and headed to the East side of the river instead, with the TV tower and fancy new buildings. The view was great and we managed to beat the worst of the queue. Shanghai looks like something out of a science fiction movie.

After that, we headed to lunch. It was OK, but the Pizza Hut next door was pretty tempting. The waiters were the surliest we’d encountered until then. The guy delivering the second helping of dumplings gave me such a withering look that I averted my eyes.

The Acrobatic show was amazing. These kids are either aliens, mutants or both. The show ended with “The Ball of Death”, 5 motorcycles in a steel cage. Before that, the show let the performers display such physical prowess and dexterity that the mind simpy cannot cope. My face hurt from smiling so much.

Went back to the hotel after that. Taxi was no problem. The sky bar was full, so took in the view, then tried the Music Bar on the fourth floor. We walked in to a dark room, where a few tables were occupied by girls. They all looked at us and started snickering. We had no idea, but the bartender served us up a few Heinekens (though we asked for Tsing Taos). An older woman, clearly the leader of the girls, came over, said “Hello,” and dropped a box of tissues on our table. The girls looked over at us every now and then, and the vibe was rather weird. The second round never manifested itself.