A Metropolis Infested With Foreign Adventurers

I’m in Shanghai at the moment.

I flew to Osaka and had a great time catching up with lots of friends.
I visited a few of my favorite places in Osaka (Spa World, izakayas, and okonomiyaki and yakiniku restaurants) and also went for a swim in Lake Biwa near Kyoto.

I also visited Mimizuka, the Ear and Nose mound.  It was customary for samurai to show the heads of the enemies they had killed in battle to their lords as proof of their deeds.  When one of the Japanese warlords ordered the invasion of Korea in 1592 he wanted heads sent back from Korea.  There wasn’t room on the boats for all of the heads, so they sent back ears and noses instead.  They were later buried in a mound in Kyoto.  Now there is a marker and a sign in Japanese and Korean (but no English).

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Mimizuka

 

Then I took the ferry from Osaka to Shanghai.  It’s a long trip (49 hours), but I was able to relax on the ship.  You could tell it was a Chinese operated ship.  As well as the standard facilities which you’d expect (bathrooms, reading rooms, restaurant) there was also a table-tennis table and a mahjong room.

One of my friends from Australia is living in Shanghai, so I’m staying with him.  Shanghai has an interesting history.  It was controlled by foreign powers after China lost the opium wars.  A museum in Shanghai refers to the Shanghai of that time as “a metropolis infested with foreign adventurers.”
Shanghai is a huge city and (even compared to Japan) everywhere seems crowded.  And people aren’t nearly as polite or patient as they are in Japan.  Shanghai is hosting the 2010 World Expo and there is a lot of construction going on at the moment.

Expo Mascot

Expo Mascot

I also visited People’s Park.   On Sundays lots of parents go there and display their unmarried adult children’s resumes, in the hopes of finding a match.

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Looking for Love

 


The Oriental Pearl TV Tower is one of Shanghai’s landmarks.

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Oriental Pearl Tower

 


A sign at the tower’s entrance had the following message:

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The ragamuffin, drunken people and psychotics are forbidden to enter the Tower.

 

Luckily I was allowed in.

There are some good views of the city from the observation decks (including a glass floor that you can walk on and look a long way down).

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Shanghai Skyline

 

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Oriental Pearl Observation Deck

 

The view of the city at night is especially impressive.

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Shanghai Night Skyline

 


Handy Chinese Expression of the Day:

我不是鬼,我是僵尸。
Wo bu shi gui, wo shi jiangshi.
I’m not a ghost, I’m a zombie.

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13 comments on “A Metropolis Infested With Foreign Adventurers
  1. Angie says:

    I can’t believe they let you into the Tower!

    Hope you’re having a great trip.

    ps don’t stay in the park for to long – you might end up in some arranged marriage!

    Love,
    Angie xxx

  2. Adam says:

    Very cool. Nice photo’s. You would not find me standing on that glass floor for all the tea in China! Watch out for Zombies, they could be ghosts in disguise.

  3. Alex says:

    Hey,
    Some impressive pics and background history.
    And who would have thunk it but i’ve already used your quote twice today! must be something about my pale appearance!
    Enjoy,
    Al

  4. Aidan says:

    @ Hey Al.
    Not sure how many ghosts are around the Tweed. :-)

  5. Aidan says:

    Hey Adam.
    I have some Taoist monk contacts to deal with ghosts and zombies. :-)

  6. Aidan says:

    Hey Angie.
    They must have let me in because of my respectable looking friend. :-)
    I might have to go back to the park to organise a bride. :-)

  7. Leigh says:

    Check out the Yuyuan Gardens if you get a chance (especially pretty at night) and also the main museum is quite cool.

  8. Leigh says:

    PS: The only part of my China/Korea/Japan trip that I actually got around to blogging :)

    http://www.leighreynolds.net/blog/

  9. janet says:

    Seeing we are not in Shanghai,leave you own resume,with our permision and see what you can catch!!

  10. janet says:

    I wonder who Al has been talking to lately.

  11. Boris says:

    Shanghai is a blast.

    I never knew resumes could be used for matchmaking.

  12. joy raymond says:

    yr mum sent me the info. my goodness -I did enjoy it. yr travels have always interested me – yr so adventursome. take care – best wishes.

  13. Aidan says:

    Hi Joy.
    Thanks for the comments.
    I had a wonderful time on my travels.

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