I'm getting back more in the mood to have a good time, which is good because back in Beijing, Dad and I signed up for the optional Shanghai By Night tour. This will include dinner at a restaurant and a boat ride up and down the waterfront through the lighted-up Bund/Pudong section.
Our evening began with an INCIDENT. You may remember that Fred is something of a martinet when in comes to time, and on the first day gave us a little speech about how when one person is late it delays the whole group, and so on? Tonight, Fred had told us to be on the bus by 5:00 PM. At 5:08, the bus pulled out - without two of the folks who had signed up!
Well! Ten or fifteen minutes later, they called Fred and raised holy heck. Fred set poor Tom down right in the middle of traffic to go back and bring the two lost lambs by taxi. Not anybody's finest moment. However, it worked out. There was time to get them because we had a "Wonderful Surprise": the restaurant is in the same building as an embroidery factory! That's right - we had a Unique Shopping Opportunity, gratis, for nothing!
It was actually quite fun. We got to see a demo of the silk embroidery:
and then we had time to browse the gallery. I made up for my earlier failure to locate goldfish carpets I couldn't afford by finding some goldfish embroidery:
which I couldn't afford either. To be totally correct, they're actually koi, but close enough is what I say. Of course, I didn't get them for my buddy Robert.
Then we just wandered around admiring the pretty things. I would have taken this
home in a heartbeat. Or this,
or even this:
The landscape one is unusual: it's designed to be looked at from either side, so it's mounted in a free-standing frame that can be swiveled.
Eventually we proceeded upstairs to the restaurant, where we dined on Shanghainese cuisine. This was one of the best meals we had so far; sweet-and-sour fish, shrimp, thin-pounded Panko-breaded deep-fried beef, and several other nice dishes. Dad showed off his chopstick prowess on the appetizer peanuts:
Then we were off to the waterfront to board our boat. We were told that this boat tour is only available on the weekends since they don't turn on the waterfront lights every day. Electricity is kind of expensive and scarce, even in a city like Shanghai.
It was difficult to take good pictures but some of them came out well. This is definitely the best way to appreciate the architecture of Pudong!
Dad and I took each other's pictures against the opposite waterfront, the old-style Bund:
(Mine looks weird, so you don't get to see it!)
There were a lot of people on the boat, and not many seats so we stood by the rail taking pictures. This odd skinny guy from Russia insisted on taking a picture with me (why?) so I took one back, complete with a bunch of other random people some of whom may have been his family.
Hey, ya gotta have experiences.
We also took the opportunity to chat a while with Tom, who seems to be a very gentle soul. After this peaceful boat ride, my spirits are much restored!