Day 10: The French Quarters

              Today we visited the Shanghai university, ECUST, and learned more about Chinese culture and about business in China. We ate lunch in their canteen, and the food is surprisingly cheap. It only cost $3 for a plate of about 30 dumplings, which was surprising considering how urban the area is. I’ve learned that Chinese people enjoy their performances. We played one game this afternoon where the loser of hot potato had to perform for the group. After the university visit, we relaxed in the hotel for a bit and played some mahjong. Then we tried bubble tea, which was milkier and tastier than that in Oakland, and we said goodbye to Lilianna.

For dinner, we went searching for a noodle place, but instead ended up walking around unable to find it. We ended up in an area with very nice French architecture that was completely different from the rest of the city. There were no sky rises anywhere, but instead 3 or 4 story apartments in gated communities. I think it’s an interesting example of the lasting French presence in Shanghai, coupled with the people we heard speaking French yesterday. We couldn’t find the restaurant at all, so we went up to this touchscreen kiosk on the side of a wall which displayed the temperature and time, to see if we could find a navigation app. It did, but it surprisingly enough also had Fruit Ninja, which we played for a bit on this street corner in Shanghai. We ended up giving up looking for the restaurant and instead headed to the mall we saw the night before to look for food, where we ended up getting Peking duck on a pizza!

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from the top of Shanghai Tower
Afterwards, we decided to take the subway to the Bund just to try it out. It’s the exact same system as Beijing and Xi’an, but just as big as Beijing. I bought an extra subway card to keep as a souvenir, since they have the Shanghai skyline on them. The trains and stations in Shanghai are noticeably older than in Beijing, which probably means it was the first system built. Then, since we were in the area, we decided to visit Shanghai tower. The speed of the elevators at 15m/s amazed me, because much like the bullet train the ride was incredibly smooth. The tower’s 124 stories high, so my ears definitely popped a lot going up. At the top, we met this Mexican couple who had visited for a month and are leaving tomorrow. When they asked where I was from, I said America, and they seemed offended that referred to the United States like that. I hadn’t really connected that they are also Americans, and it’s kind of pretentious to have the mentality that the US is the only part of America. It’s good to know moving forward.

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The lights at night were absolutely beautiful. You could peer over the top, looking over the Pudong area. The Jinmao tower and finance tower are so short in comparison when you’re on top, even though they seem comparable in size from below. I was very glad that I went up. From the top, I could even see the green lasers and the two light tops of buildings that we knew were right by our hotel, all the way out west.

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