Chinesse love traveling
The Chinese people are well known all over the world for their creativity (don’t confuse with originality), gastronomy and not last for their passion for photography.
On every flight I get in contact with funny groups of Chinese which are traveling together for so many hours just to discover a new continent, so unfamiliar to them.
They are the kind of people enthusiastic for everything what is happening around: capturing the sunrise on their photo camera, following with a stare gaze all the movements of the cabin crew or trying to understand a language totally unknown to them. If you are “lucky” enough to have a blonde hair and blue eyes, you will feel like a super model on a catwalk while you are walking thru the aisle, trying to avoid the annoying flashes of the camera at all times.
As i mentioned before, they don’t really understand english or any other language other than chinesse but it won’t stop them to pull your sleeve whenever they need something. First, I considered this behavior rude but by the time I understood this is part of their culture and I shouldn’t feel offended.
Even when they disembark you can feel their enthusiasm and gratitude the lovely ladies, short with curly hair will not stop thanking for your kindness using the famous “xie xie” or “senx”(thank you). Don’t be surprised if they will ask you for another picture or will hug you to show their satisfaction for the flight.
Fighting the temperature bellow 0
After an extremely long and tiring flight we finally landed in the famous Shanghai. Maybe not that well known as Beijing or Hong Kong but definitely the most populated city of China with more than 24 millions habitants.
Passing from 30 degrees to less than 0 it was a little bit shocking and it was almost going to cancel our planes of exploring the chinesse land. Most of my colleagues are unprepared for the winter period which makes them give up and spend the rest of the layover in the warm bed of the hotel. Others, even if they are wearing spring clothes, are showing a brave attitude trying to face the frost from outside.
Our first stop is Oriental Pearl tower, which host more than nine chinesse tv stations and ten radio stations. A modern masterpiece, located by the side of Huangpu river, the amazing location adding a bit of glamour to the whole picture.
Not even here we cant escape from the flashes. One by one, my short friends are asking our permission to take pictures by pulling our sleeves, obviously. I am having lot of fun, blaming my big red hat for this brief moment of fame.
Freezing, we decide to go back to the hotel and continue our adventure next day in the morning.
Yu gardens and the legend of the dragon
Just how we planned one day before, we meet in the hotel lobby early in the morning, excited by the view of the sun which is warming the beautiful Shanghai.
After a quick breakfast at Mc Donalds we are walking with no direction exploring the red decorated streets. A kind eldery local which surprisingly speeks an impecable english is directing our steps to Yu gardens.
The story of the gardens starts in 1559 during the Ming Dynasty when Pan Yunduan tried to impress his father after he failed his imperial exams.
The beauty of the gardens can’t be described by words and I am sure Pan’s father was impressed same as us. Everything looks like a misterious asian book and for a moment you imagine yourself living in another era, surrounded by mythical yellow dragons and black tortoises.
Going back to our times, the dragons became huge golden fishes, which are protecting the garden’s lake and are always ready to eat a smartphone or a selfie stick if needed.
Even after more than 500 years the gardens are preserving their beauty and it represent a green paradise in a middle of a crowded city.
Admiring the beautiful gardens, we are approached by the locals willing for photos as usual. Even a group of cops, which are wearing with pride the communist flag around the arm, are asking for a photo souvenir with the “strange looking” tourists.
Cheap shopping, agressive bargain
We are in China the master country of shopping and we cant leave this place before having a look to the small shops around the city center. Just as expected the comerciants are selling everything from umbrellas to fake watches or bags and they even become agressive when the bargain is not working in their favor.
But the best seller in China is, not surprising at all…the selfie stick. Wherever you go, this is the must have accessory and it’s available in every color just to match your clothes and preferences.
Buying a selfie stick and a set of fancy chop sticks, I stop my shopping, decided to not waste money for low quality products.
Food in Shanghai style
I don’t know about other countries but romanians when we say Shanghai the first thing which come in our mind is the famous Shanghai chicken. Certainly this is the right place where you can find the most diverse and authentic recipes: chicken, pork, sea food, everything can be cooked in “Shanghai style”. Even if I am a little bit sceptical regarding the street food, I am dying to try the shrimps, praying though to not get food poisoning before the flight.
Being a sea food lover I can easly recognize a well cooked shrimps but this time I messed up. My food is totally drowned in oil, which is licking all over my clothes from the first bite.
Xie xie China