Shanghai – Tuesday, November 20, 2018

My strategy of (mostly) staying awake on the long flight to Shanghai seemed to have worked. I was ready for a hot shower and a comfy bed by the time I got to my hotel, and got a good nights sleep. The extra walking around that I did as a result of “favoriting” the wrong Central Hotel Shanghai might’ve helped. I circled a completely wrong block a couple of times (and even went down a dark and narrow alley) trying to figure out where the hotel entrance was, before ultimately going back to my reservation information and mapping the address again.

Anyway. I made it, and after some quality pillow time, was up fairly early. Greeted by a hazy morning, I walked a bit looking for something just right for breakfast.

I found the hotel where A and I had stayed a few years back, and walked the street where I’d remembered having amazing scallion pancakes, but I couldn’t find them. I eventually ducked into a restaurant whose entrance was in the back of a food hall, with an upstairs seating area overlooking the pedestrian street, where I had some unremarkable noodles and a “latte” that lacked milk. Disappointing first meal. It might’ve been the view of the M&Ms store across the street, but I had a sudden craving for chocolate, and picked up a hot chocolate at a nearby bubble tea place.

After packing up my things and leaving my bag at the hotel desk, I wandered the city some more. After following the concierge’s suggestion, I wound up in the Yu Garden area – a total tourist trap.

Walked a bunch more. I was finally hungry for lunch, and was looking for something tasty from some smaller restaurant north of the pedestrian street. Then, something caught my eye in the street. A rat. A dead rat? A dead rat. And then along came a man with a giggling toddler in his arms. He kicked the rat (again) and she burst into a fresh round of giggles. One more thwack and it was in the gutter. I suppose one dead rat in the street is one less rat in the kitchen…but I decided to walk a bit further before eating.

Eventually found a place with hand pulled noodles with braised beef. Now THIS is what I’m talking about. Slurp!

And then, I was tired of walking so decided to indulge in a foot/body massage combo, before going back to the hotel to grab my pack and head to the train station just as rush hour was beginning.

I was glad I’d given myself some extra time at the station, as the ticket counter was in a totally separate building from the station. After asking directions several times, I eventually wound up in the right place, and was able to pick up all my train tickets while I was there.

Then dumplings, and a night train to Huangshan. Seemed like I didn’t actually do much, but my phone says I did indeed walk a lot.

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