The Beginning of the End: Part 1

X-posted from an ancient blogger account. Original post here:

Well this will likely be my last post from China. Its been an amazing couple of weeks. The best way to develop cultural appreciation is definitely to spend some time embedded outside of your own.

The last few days have really just been shopping and little exploring here and there. After learning about how easy the subway is I’ve been riding it at every opportunity since we don’t really have those in Milwaukee.
A little summary of what I did each day –
Thursday: I walked Nanjing lui the first time. Its a wide road just for pedestrians with a ton of modern shopping structures like you’d imagine in any large city. So many touts. ugh. I’m not a violent person but I’m going to punch the next person who comes up to me saying “bag, watch, dvd”. Made a fast friend accidently because he spoke more english than those 3 words. His name was Jiang Wei (sounds like john) and he did talk me into looking at his dvds. I’m sure Nanjing lui is probably the worst place to buy dvds since I’ve seen a ton of stalls all over the city since then. whatever. I ended up buying 10 probably at twice the price I should have negotiated though I did get a good price break when I said I might come back and buy a bag. I’m not sure if all the touts take you to the same type of shop but this was a locked back room kind of place. wierd vibe. hope I didn’t buy anything stolen.

Friday: Walked nanjing liu for a bit before heading to Pudong which is like the Manhatten of Shanghai. Lots of new money there. I went up the Jin Mao tower to the observation floor at the top and got a nice birds-eye view of the city. Ate some kinda lame 5-spice beancurd noodle soup in the upscale cafeteria in the basement afterwards.
After returning to nanjing lui to buy a hard suitcase with wheels I once again acidentally made a fast friend. The lesson learned? I’m pretty sure 99% of chinese people who speak speak english on nanjing lui are solicitors. For me, walking end to end of nanjing is strenous because I’m not used to throwing so many cold shoulders. It actually takes energy for me to ignore somebody. Luckily most of the touts aren’t too persistant if you just keep quiet and don’t make eye contact.

Unfortunately, the first time person who asked me where I was from friday got a brisk “nowhere” and that was enough to make him persist. I ended up overpaying for a tea, a hot sweet milk (which was full of fail. supposed to be a cold, black tea) and some watermelon. I had already decided if my friend “john” just started ordering stuff, I’d storm out of there, but they brought out a menu to at least show me what kind of exhorbiant prices they were charging. I was sick of walking by that point anyway.

uh ohs. Internet is about to run out. I’ll post the rest of my adventures in shanghai once I get back. Catch you all on the flip side.

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