our train from Tai'an pulled into shanghai just after midnight so we got a taxi with Leroy to the only hostel that was less than Y60. luckily they had enough space for us, allbeit in seperate rooms, and we went to sleep pretty-much straight away.
we woke up and went for a stroll to get a feel for our surroundings and the city. Shanghai is China's biggest city (pop 16milion), and from the amount of ultramodern glass-covered skyscrapers and absence of traditional chinese buildings we could tell it was a thouroughly western-infuenced city. The famous 'Bund' skyline, especially Pearl Tower (china's tallest building) was very impressive and after a few hours of meandering about the shanghai streets, we returned to our hostel, chilled-out and played pool and then went out to get some takeaway noodles from a street-vendor. BIG MISTAKE: the noodles didn't seem to affect oli at all but they had a very adverse effect on me: we decided to go out with some friendly northern blokes from our hostel (to a nightclub called BonBon which had an open bar), but after less than 1 hour i felt so ill that i had to get a taxi back to the hostel and was subsequently sick all night. Oli made very good use of the open bar.Goodman
we packed-up our things from the hostel and phoned John, our couchsurfing contact in shanghai. I was still feeling very ill and oli very tired and it was the best we could do to get into a taxi and go to meet him at a starbucks several miles away.
John (who's very welcoming and genuine indeed) and his friends, who'd just finished playing basketball, sat outside starbucks and greeted us very jovially. we returned with john to his flat, which was completely covered (all 8 floors) in bamboo scaffolding. it looked like something out-of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. we got settled-in and then went with John and his girlfriend Angel for a meal at an all-you-can-eat Brazillian BBQ where we met some more of john's friends including Chris, a very amiable and relaxed american dude and ate as much as we could.
Feeling stuffed, we went with John, Angel and Chris (and Chris's mother and some of her friends) to see the newly-released film 'The Forbidden Kingdom' starring Jackie Chan, Jet Li and featuring John and Chris in several scenes playing thugs. The film was totally silly and OTT, very entertaining nonetheless. John and Chris both looked very mean indeed as the crooks, but i was expecting something better from the first ever collaberation between Jackie and Jet.
We left the cinema and went to a couple of bars, where we had trays full of interesting tasting shots and 1.5 bottles of whisky. feeling very drunk, we returned to John's at about 4 and crashed-out.
we woke-up very late and went with J, A & C to a sushi resteraunt where we picked sushi from a rotating conveyor belt. we went back to J's in the evening and watched the american re-make of disturbing german thriller 'Funny Games'. it was made by the same team who did the original so it was pretty good(it messed olis head up---he says). It was about 2 young psychopaths who go into a surburban family's home and play a series of torturous games with them before kiling them. It was very well made and very dark and soon after the film finished, we were very tired again so we went to sleep.