Bullet train to freedom

Bullet train to freedom
Shanghai, China

Shanghai, China


Went to the embroydery factory but by now we were ‘crafted out’. Boarded the express train to Shanghai. 40 minute trip but only 25 Yan $2.70 in Soft Seats. Immaculate train, clean, fast silent and more leg room than British Airways. Top tip, train travel in China is very good and extremely reliable. Arrived in Shanghai in the mist for yet another Lasy Susan lunch, Elly and I had decided by this point to dump the tour at the first opportunity. We visited the Bund the old colonial waterfront of Shanghai. On the west bank of the river you have the old customs house and HSBC bank across the river you have a skyline that looks like Star Wars. The mass of stunning skyscrapers and futuristic buildings are less than 15 years old, before then it was paddy fields. The contrast is stunning. If Beijing is China’s present, Shanghai is China’s future. So now we are free, we can eat where and when we want, see what we want to and spend as much or as little time in each place as we choose. 48 hours in Shanghi with no coaches, mouth-breathing English tourists, politically correct guides, forced jollity and absolutely no Lasy Susan’s in sight. Drinks on the 33 floor of the Okura Garden Hotel. Impressive view and such a relief to away from the group. For the past 2 days the choices have been beer or Seven-up, so a Dry Martini hit the spot not to mention no one yelling “leaving in five minutes”. We then walked doen MaoMing Rd and found a little gem called Restaurant 31. This wasn’t another piece of uninspired socialist naming but rather a former Shanghai restaurant restored to it’s 1931 glories. It was small, with only 12 tables and had perfect reproduction posters and wall paper. Three dishes and a glass of wine for under $40 for two. We decided to order one dish that was described as Shanghai noodles with eight mystery ingredients. The sauce did have a peculiar flavour and Elly kept muttering “Ingredient Number 4: Badger scrotum, Ingredient Number 7: Dog testicle, etc” I never got the waitresses to tell me what they were. Now pass the Immodium.


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