Hoofin’ it in old town

Days after climbing the wall, my calves still killing me, I fortify myself with sesame scallion pancakes from a food stall and keep walking.

The weather was perfect — mostly sunny with scattered clouds, low 70s, with a light breeze.

Shanghai is a fun city to walk around, especially in the old parts of the city where you see people washing dishes in the alley, laundry hanging overhead.

Some things I saw on my walk: A market street without any other tourists that I could see. It was a traffic jam of pedestrians and bike carts. On this street were all manner of edibles, dead and alive. I saw chickens and a plucker (the squawking made me think they were being plucked, live). I saw live fish in tubs, beside another tub with wriggling water snakes/eels. Meat hanging from hooks or sitting out on a table (no refrigeration, of course). Many fruit and vegetable stalls. A stall with dentures (or, rather, individual teeth pieces), where girls were digging into old men’s mouths to install the teeth, right there in the street.

A bit further, I saw a crowd gathered in an intersection. Between the crowd’s feet, all I could see was what looked like a man’s arm (him lying on the ground?) but I didn’t stop to look closely. I suspect a cyclist was hit by a car. I hope he was okay, but I haven’t seen any bike helmets, and the arm hadn’t been moving. I saw the police on their way, and I kept going.

Just a block or two further, I passed a street food cart where someone was making fried rice to order in a wok. It looked good, but I didn’t get any.

Then I got to the waterfront and walked along a rather industrial section south of “the bund.” I saw an elevated platform with benches, so I went up there to rest a minute. I couldn’t figure out where the music was coming from, but as I was leaving, I looked down over the edge of the staircase and saw a man playing what looked like a wooden flute.

I walked on up to the bund, headed away from the river for lunch (a disappointing soup and some milk tea), and then back to the hotel since my feet were tired. I hung out on the top floor, enjoying the view and wifi, then made an appointment for a foot massage in the evening and headed out for some window shopping and dinner. I attempted to order some dumplings, but after what I thought was a simple question (how many dumplings do you get for the price listed?) things got very confusing very fast. Ultimately, I was given to understand that you had to order 32 dumplings, and although I was hungry, that seemed a bit much. At least the menu was entertaining.

After dinner, I went for my foot massage (intense, but therapeutic), and then met up with A after her conference reception. Her talk had gone well, so we celebrated with hot and spicy fish soup flavored potato chips, Chinese beer, and mochi.

Posterous keeps crashing, so I’ll try uploading the pictures in a separate post.


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