What a week in Shanghai does to a Girl
It makes me think about what is next. It makes me happy to be alive. It makes me thankful for great people. It makes me want to know who in the heck is living in all those apartment buildings. It makes me wish I had seen this city 30 years ago. It makes me wonder what it will look like in another 30 years. It makes me curious to know why the Chinese culture doesn’t embrace foreigners that much. It makes me want to shop. It makes me wish cars and factories didn’t polute our world. It makes me dread re-entering the design seen. It makes me miss Thai food. It makes me cold. It makes me want to live there.
As you can tell, our week in Shanghai was eventful to say the least. For the first three nights, we splurged on an expensive room at a little bed and breakfast called The Quintet. They have only 5 rooms and each is designed slightly differently. The owner, Fay, is super sweet and was a great hostess. And let me tell you…the breakfast is wonderful!!! Especially the French Toast with berry compote and link sausages. The place has the perfect blend of traditional and modern to make it a cozy temporary home.
For the last two nights, we had our first Couchsurfing experience. We stayed with a Swedish/German couple, and they really made our trip ten times better. They invited us to join them with several friends for dinner Wednesday night, then we met up at their office Thursday before going over to Pecha Kucha, and then Friday night we joined them after dinner for dessert and drinks before heading back to their place for some Swedish Glögg. They and their friends gave us a great peak at what life in Shanghai would be like, and they have all but convinced us to move here in January. Now all we need is a job offer…and we’re there!!
When we weren’t spending QT at our temporary homes, we were walking around town, navigating the Metro system, sipping cocktails at the Park Hyatt bar on the 91st floor of the Shanghai World Financial Center, browsing through the World Exhibition 2010 exhibit at the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, climbing the Lupu Bridge for an amazing panoramic view of the city, eating sweet potatoes on the streets, and gawking at all of the HUGE construction sites.
Our days were relaxed but busy, and it was an amazing week. After Beijing, we weren’t too thrilled with the polution and lack of history in Shanghai. But as the week went on, we liked and appreciated the city more and more. If we had left after three days, we would have placed the city low on our list, but since we stayed for six, it grew on us. Of course, it helped that the sun came out on Friday, and the city sparkled. If this is where we end up next year, I think we’ll be happy.
Nik did a much better job of documenting Shanghai than I did, so take a look at his blog to see more.