Sunday, October 08, 2006


I returned on Tuesday from Shanghai... Had a great trip... brought my friend Bridget along! The loads were super light, so she got 1st class both ways.. I would walk my her sleeper bed angrily, stopping only to toss into her bag provisions for our in-room buffet. I forgave her though after my 4 hour chemically enhanced rest break.

When we got to our hotel we went down to the hotel bar (where it never fails that you see the pilots redeeming their cherished free drink coupons from check-in)... Had a quick drink there then down to the Bund area on the river to see the skyline at night. There was some sort of massive holiday and the streets were packed with locals. Many of them carrying inflatable Hello Kitty hammers. (I never figured out if this had any relation to the holiday being celebrated.) I was very overwhelmed by the crowd. Bridget had to talk me out of buying an inflatable hammer myself, just to beat people out of our way. I guess I don't do well in cities of 17 million, even being a self described city girl....

We sought refuge at a very nice restaurant called Truffles (worth cheking out) next to the Captain's bar, a quite well known hostel and bar. After some risotto and wine, my blood pressure dropped to a safer level. We went up to the Captains bar too (great patio and view) before the amazing race like challenge of getting a taxi in the inflatable hello kitty crowds.

slept like logs... and got up and went to the fabric market. It was very calm and quiet.. nobody yelling "hello! watch... DVD special price" every 10 seconds... we actually were able to look around unharassed, and had a few things made to order, which were later delivered to the hotel. After the fabric market we got lost on our way to the 580 NanJing Rd market, but at least found a dirt cheap place to eat, that actually looked ok.... (No glaring signs of bird flu or mystery meat).. I had noodles ordered very spicy (I think it can kill any germs CNN warns about) along with a Tsing Tao.... off to the market finally, which was more of a circus.. got a few bags, jeans, some jewlery... and went back to the hotel exhausted... It was all we could do to walk 2 blocks after our nap to get our mani/pedi/ oil massage.
The girl massaging me seemed to remember me from last year, and asked me all the same questions. (" you very beautiful! You want Chinese husband? I like your teeth and eyes! you big breasts. You like China or America?"") (all while slathering me with oil and candleing my ears!!)

OUr last day we went to Old City, which is just beautiful. I had wished we had had more time... we went to the dumpling restaurant and wandered around the gardens, making a few more purchases. For some reason I got it in my head that I needed to buy 2 globes.. which later turned out to be a major challenge to get home...

ANYWAY! The God of light loads was smiling lovingly upon our tired little crew selves, and we went home with only 90 in coach, 20 in business, and 1 (Bridget) up front! making for another long and well needed crew rest!!!

so all in all a great trip. I still have to clean my room which looks a bit like a market kiosk which has exploded.

Best friend is flying in tonight...