Where in the World...
Shanghai - 5:35 PM local time, 2/28/01
The bad news is that I am still wearing the same clothes. The good news is that I may soon be in for a change. Kirk - Our Man in San Francisco - spent probably too much time (bless him) harassing the folks at Continental until they located my bags and assured him that they would arrive tonight in Pudong. If I had not had e-mail capabilities, and if Kirk were not so persisitent... well, I would have had to do alot more shopping today than I did.
It was a fun day. The sculptors are all here - this looks to be a very fun group - and we finally got out of the hotel and were given a taste of the booming city of Shanghai.
Our first stop was the Urban Planning Exhibition Center - not quite as dry and uninteresting as it sounds. Lots of photos/exhibits of old, current and future Shanghai. Lots of miniature model type stuff. This is a very large city and growing ever larger before one's very eyes.
I have been in Shanghai now for 3 days and today I saw my first child. It is weird - no skaters, no wailing babies... can't help but wonder if all of China is this childess. When I finally saw an absolutely adorable little girl. I had to shoot her picture.
Next was lunch. This was quite a deal, with all of us sitting around a large table with a big rotating platform in the middle. The servers brought out dishes a few at a time, and we just helped ourselves as the table turned. Just when you thought they were finally finished bringing out the chow, they would load up some more. I am not an adventurous eater and didn't bother with the things I could not identify, but what I did eat was very yummy indeed.
After lunch was "free time." Damon and I grabbed a taxi and headed for parts unknown - ending up by the big river. It was cold and wet and my first purchase was an umbrella from a street vender - I reckon I paid just over $2.00. (Haven't quite gotten this currency thing figured out yet.)
We wandered fairly aimlessly, stopping in the occasional shop, picking up a few trinkets. At one point we seemed stuck in "Hardware Store Hell" -- there was some very weird stuff in those shops. It morphed into jewelry shops - lots of jade - and then we realized that we had basically walked in a circle, unintentionally ending up in back at the river, where we uneventfully caught a cab bck to the hotel, using the convenient little map card that says "Take me to the Rainbow Hotel" in multiple languages that the establishment thoughtfully provides.
Some random observations: No children! The whole day I saw 4, total. Lots of bicycles, but no locks... bike theft is obviously not a problem around here. In spite of the chilly temperatures, the people here do not wear hooded garments, and few hats of any sort. the city is reportedly become much more cosmopolitan over the past three years, but Damon and I were still something of a novelty in the part of town in which we landed.
Tomorrow early we leave for the contest site in Luliang. While I will continue to shoot photos and add pages, there is a good possibility that I will not be able to upload them until I get home - where we are headed is quite far off the beaten tourist path, as I understand it....