After a long, difficult and exhausting road, Shanghai did not make the proper impression. We crossed the Yangtze River, and on the other side we were met by all the power of China’s industry and a smoke screen emanating from countless pipes and slowly covering this huge city. Interspersed with factories, we observed matrices of homes from concrete cells. What all around is huge gray. But plunging deep into everything became more glassy, mirrored, alive and modern. And the people on the streets became more and more.
The bus station in the city of Shanghai, like all the others in China, spat us out onto the street. And the situation did not differ from the situation of any Russian station. Around people the hard workers with huge trunks, dazzling signs, garbage and utter confusion. All the same pseudo-modern and dirty.
What is the first thing you need to do on arrival in Shanghai? Of course, ask the seller for a screwdriver and make one worker phone out of two broken iPhones! And also try to connect to the Wi-Fi and arrange a meeting with Serb Nikola, then get lost in the subway, get hungry, get angry and go look for a supermarket.
We left the underpass on the other side of the railway tracks and got into a completely different world. Clerks of all nationalities of high-rise stores, cafes, restaurants and cafes, using their lunch break for the intended purpose. And apparently, we got the wrong address, because we could not afford a supermarket in the area. But we was a hungry. So we found expensive mega-spicy noodles and expensive mega-spicy rice, warmed up their.
Shanghai Metro is the same price as everywhere else in other major cities. About a dollar — and a half to get from the center to the outskirts — I don’t remember exactly. But I remember that none of the many maps indicate where you are. Still there check bags like at the airport and poorly thought-out navigation.
Couchsurfing in Shanghai
We are somewhere on the penultimate station of a subway line waiting for Nicola, but he is not there. Already all the seeds have ended, but he is not there. But patience won the panic, and finally we saw our red-bearded host from Serbia in the signature T-shirt of the Kruzhka pub. He works as an English teacher in a private language school and also loves TV shows and beer. But contrary to common interests, we did not find a common language and spent only two nights with him, after which we awkwardly said goodbye and went on way.
It is difficult to communicate with the hosts when you have a lot of work and you have to constantly look into the laptop and press buttons. But, after a night in the fucking AirBnB’s asshole, we found Shayu, and with her everything will be different. She waited us yesterday, but unfortunately, after we paid for this hole, we decided to stay, work, withdraw money and try to find “Teraflu” or something. But when everything is in Chinese, not only the names of the drugs, but also the answers of the saleswomen are not understood, and we decided to drink hot tea.
Shaya also works as a teacher, but not in English, but in Mandarin and not in a private school, and in a state university, where we will also work our work through university wi-fi and ride skateboards between buildings. But it will be tomorrow, and now we are waiting for her at the subway, but she is still not there. We are in front of the entrance to the elevation, and opposite us, street-food kiosks smell deliciously. People are buying, eating, and throwing packaging under their feet. Sausages, octopus, chicken lie all day on the shop window and inspire doubt. But their fried very well. How do people love to eat. An hour passed, and we went to catch access to the network. It turns out that we misunderstood each other, but soon she would come after us and it became easier.
Sights of Shanghai
Shanghai is have a lot of interesting things. But we don’t have a lot of free time, so we are just walking, as always. We went to the Confucius Temple, which was not a temple, it was school where the sage taught children to read and write. In addition to the temple, there is a museum, and in complete silence you can view the ancient Chinese writings, and you can walk around the temple grounds, looking at unusual stones, sculptures and architectural elements, as well as relax in the garden near with the pond. But we do not have much time to sit, so we go on.
We like to be in places where ordinary people live their life without embellishment. But now, it seems, we had no choice, because the temple is surrounded by simple houses with even simpler people. They smoke tobacco, play checkers, sell something, carry something back and forth, just sit there and make noises. The laundry hangs over your head, very small children worn barefoot unattended under your feet, you walk through it all and it is very very cool, you have a different world around you, you make video about everything around, take pictures and smile in response to smiles and greetings.
We went to the park, where older musicians played their double-stringed violins, and older singers sang songs to them, and older checkers people were surrounded by a crowd of elderly viewers. Everyone else just walked, played and ate. We also had a snack and went to the embankment of Wai-Tan.
The whole point of this incredibly popular attraction is to walk along it and look at the unusual futuristic forms of skyscrapers and understand where all Chinese money is earned and where it is spent. Here everyone considers it his duty to be photographed against the background of high-rise buildings, and we also took photos here. And pleasure boats depart from here if you want to see the city from the river. The area of the city from the embankment side is called “Pussy”. This is an old and kind of rave district, so the name itself is quite justified. With its buildings and streets, it is very similar to New York. And one fine evening Shaya brought us here to one prestigious club with a panorama of all the beauty of Wai-Tan. There is a “Happy hour” and up to nine you can drink for free. The bartenders between the cases decorated their ceiling with golden helium balloons, closed the windows, and, apparently, something grand was planned here. We have seen such clubs only in American films. There are a lot of rich foreigners here, hundreds of dollars of champagne flow like water and we do not feel “at ease”. It’s good that on the way here my stomach started to hurt. Shaya reacted to this with understanding and after a couple of “Mojito” took us home.
Lastly, we walked in the rain through the business district of the city, which was almost empty on a cloudy day. We managed to get into the elevator “Openers” and we went up to the middle by one completely empty panoramic “observation deck” to look down on the city. But Shanghai was covered with thick fog and, except for the nearest skyscrapers, we did not see anything. Tickets to the top of the skyscraper cost around two thousand rubles per person, so we were very pleased with such savings and the fact that from the top lookout we would see almost the same thing – just fog and the tops of the skyscrapers.
We go further
Our gas cylinder came to us, and the next morning we said goodbye to Shay, hoping to meet somewhere else. By the way, we will have such a chance in Phuket, but there we will be completely without money and will not be able to meet with her. Well, maybe somewhere else. And now we will prepare breakfast for ourselves and immediately have lunch, eat and go to the railway station, we will not be late, will quite simply understand the boarding passes and sit on a twenty-hour trip to Guilin and this will be our big mistake!