A final update before my executive status disappears along with the computer!! Shanghai has been a real treat - it is a lovely, friendly city with the most amazing architecture. On one side of the river is the vison of the future - sci-fi city! And on the other side are the architectural gems of the last centuary and earlier and somehow they complement each other. The combination works - the two styles don't jar or look out of place and at night it is simply stunning! The city becomes vibrant, the buildings are beautifully lit and the main shopping area is alive with neon lights, families, shoppers (the shops are open until 10), hawkers, buskers and where there is music there are always people dancing! It's great fun - a feeling reflected in the locals I think. they are much more cheerful than the average Chinese!
The other side of the river is reached via the 'sight-seeing' tunnel - a really funky light experiience. One is transported in a sort of capsule through the tunnel under the river whilst being bombarded with a weird and wonderful light show. It's quite hallucogenic(?)! If only someone had thought to do that in the Channel Tunnel!!
Another uplifting experiance was the fantastic acrobatics at the Shanghai Circus. The only animals were human and they were amazing! The finale was 7 people on motorbikes whizzing around at breakneck speed inside a not particularly big mesh sphere. Not only did they go round and round horizontally without bumping into each other, but they went round vertically as well. Finally some were going vertically and some horizontally and some diagonally and so fast all one could see were their lights! Breathtaking!!
After weeks of battling to transfer food from plate to mouth - noodles being particularly slippery customers, I think I've finally cracked the chop sticks thing. I've been eating in Shanghai's No. 1 Food Store where food is very cheap and cooked as one waits. One then looks in vain for somewhere to sit at the many tressle tables, then one watches how the locals do it and I think I've finally got it! That just leaves the squat loos... But there is always McDonalds - the last refuge of the desperate!
So, it's Guilin tomorrow - my home for the next 4 months! Until the next time, (internet facilities permitting), love and good wishes to all.