Saturday, January 5, 2013

June 22; luxury finds us in Shanghai

Day 138
Comparing Beijing to Shanghai:
  • fashion. Old/young, fe/male, rich/poor - WHOEVER it is,  Shanghainese dress better than Beijingers hands down. There's less gaudy colour on colour, flashy jewels, tasteless platforms...and tacky.
  • subway etiquette. Beijing is full of seat hogs no matter what time it is. These seat hogs come in all variations too, it'll surprise you that the worst are the elders. People in Shanghai do not run for seats. Today, an old lady insisted that we sit on the subway.
One more great thing about this hostel is there is free breakfast.
Cereal and milk, baozi (steamed bun), youtiao (Chinese donut), and "orange juice" Yum!

A few of us go to the mall to do some window shopping/air-conditioning. I don't see anything I particularly like except for the poster below:
hi moshisoyo
We check out of the hostel by 12 and set off to check in at the hotel. Google maps is not as accurate as I thought. After having a bit of trouble finding the place, we finally spot it: The Holiday Inn. Imagine sitting in a five star lobby and watching five young girls (unaccompanied minors?) checking in, three of them with backpackers bags bigger than themselves. We don't exactly fit in, but we could not care less. I sense luxury! For the first time in many years, I check into the 5 star hotel. Kristie and I share a room for the first night and when we enter the room, we have this moment of pure exhilaration. 

When we enter the washroom we have another moment of pure joy and excitement. 
Here's a list of this things I fangirl over:
  • soft beds! The beds we have been given over the last 6 months were firm.
  • automatic bathroom curtains
  • tv with HBO! and hell's kitchen! and movies!
  • clean water kettle
  • chairs that we probably won't actually use
  • nice smelling complimentary soap, body lotion, shampoo
  • tea!
  • clothing line
  • ironing board in the closet
  • being able to turn a knob and hear the TV from the washroom
These are more or less ordinary things, but we have been away from these things for so long. It's exciting to have these things back in my life. I forgot what luxury was.
The view from the window - pretty gloomy day.
After soaking it all in, we once again head out to the French concession area in Shanghai where the shopping district had me at hello. The area got its name after the French claimed the area for French settlement back in the mid 1800s. The Chinese got their land back, but the influence of French society in the area remains prevalent despite attempts to rebuild.
Theatre - the Shanghai Film Festival was happening
hot dog truck!
So many brilliant stores, however I didn't end up buying much (only earrings from h&m) because space is scarce in the bag that carries two months worth of stuff... After an hour browsing in h&m, we get huuungry. Tanjin finds a Punjabi restaurant with Chinese Indian food (Hakka food!!)
Veg Manchurian gravy - 38 RMB plus 10% service charge.
Outside of Haagen Dazs waiting for Sig to get her dose of coffee
We get back to the hotel and browse the amenities and I break my 5ish years pool haitus today. We have the whole pool to ourselves. So awesome. After the refreshing late night swim, we go back to the room to snuggle in our big comfy bed while watching TV (documentary on the third sex on National Geographics) and sipping on tea.
Oh luxury, how I've missed you so much.

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