Friday, June 6, 2008

China Day 07: Hit the Ground Running

We were up at 6 AM (Dad was up at 5:30) because breakfast opens up at 6:30 AM and we are due on the bus at 8:30 AM. No slackers and lie-abeds here; we this is an adventure, not a vacation!

Once we assembled for Bus Call, we were off for the beautiful Jade Buddha Temple. It's pretty nice weather today - no rain, at least - so we had a good view of the local bicyclists:
This is more like what I thought China would be - I remember all those photos of streets packed with bicycles, and while I never saw anything to match them, here there are enough cyclists to essentially "own" one lane of the road:
That lane is blocked off with concrete barriers (barely visible at the right) so the cars don't plow into them.

We saw a wide range of architecte as we wound through the Shanghai streets. There are buildings still in use from the days of colonialism - and not just the impressive public buildings of the Bund either:
(The wiring issues alone give me the willies!) On the other end of the spectrum we saw a new office building being festively opened:
The "congregation" standing in front of the building are singing songs; a minute later we heard explosions - they had set off fireworks!

And Shanghai is right in step with the rest of China in its love of little bitty dogs:
Cute! I'd take him home!

Along the way we were regaled with stories about the temple we will be touring, and about Shanghai in general. Fred told us that all young Chinese women are anxious to catch themselves Shanghai husbands, because the men of Shanghai are gentle and quiet, and let the women rule the roost. This has some plausibility at least with respect to Tom, our Shanghai guide, who seems to be a gentle, sweet soul.

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