Friday, 3 October 2008

The Shanghai Aquarium

So, some people from Drew are studying in Nanjing University. For the national holiday, they decided to visit Suzhou and...Shanghai! YAY!

It's been over a month since I've seen anyone from home, so to see two of my favorite people from college made me very happy. There was much hugs and reminiscing. We got together briefly on Wednesday. We ate at a Sichuan restaurant on Nanjing Road and then went to the other side of the river and looked out on the Bund. That last part happened by accident because for some reason the subway stop we wanted was shut down and we skipped right over. Instead of ending up AT the Bund, we got the first stop on the other side of the river. Huh.

Yesterday they decided to go to the aquarium and were happy to let me tag along.
The aquarium was ok. It was packed, as I should have expected. Getting close enough to the displays to actually see anything was a chore. Once when I was relatively close to the front, a young girl in her mother's arms yanked on my shoulder with surprising strength. When I turned around to see what the heck had grabbed me, the mother pushed in front of me. Grrr.

Otherwise the aquarium was good. And being able to enjoy with friends made it even better. There were many tanks with tons of tiny bright colored fish that Paul/Benno and I kept referring to as "Sprinkle Fish".The aquarium really liked the "go through a clear tunnel with fish all around you" idea. This is a picture from the first one that you walked through. Or rather, were pushed through roughly by the people behind you. You can tell I am not kidding about how many people were there.

There was a second tunnel that was very long and you stood on a moving walkway or "Travellator" as the sign named it. It went roughly .0001 miles an hour. I don't know if that is the normal speed or if having 400 people on it makes it go that slow.

It was in the second tunnel that I saw my favorite fish:
After we finished the aquarium, we waited outside for some other Drew people to come out (who got there later than us). Then the five of us sharing a mutual desire for sushi (and no the irony does not escape us) went to the mall nearby for some delicious Japanese cuisine. Then we had DQ for dessert. Yum!

I went back with them to their hostel to hang out for a bit. First time I was ever in a hostel. Even though the entrance looked skeev-tastic, the inside was actually very nice! This brand of hostel is actually in a lot of places, so I might look into it if I travel. We left there and met up with Charlotte, Andrew and their friend Iris. I liked Iris immediately and we shared phone numbers so hopefully later there will be hanging out.

We went to a yummy bar/restaurant called "The Spot" and then later went to a bar called "Windows". I quite liked the "Windows" bar. The drinks were ridiculously cheap but tasty. There was a table for pool, the music was good, and the bathrooms were decent. I will definitely be going back. We made friends with some other people at the bar and bought each other shots and played pool. Well...other people played pool and I cheered them on. Sadly, the bar was in Puxi and no one else was from Pudong, so I had to take the 20+ minute taxi ride back by myself at nearly 2am. Possibly with the help of a little "liquid courage", I struck up a conversation with the cab driver in Chinese. Notice to Chinese language learnings: cab drivers make excellent practice partners.

Here is an equally terrible and adorable picture of me with Paul/Benno (on the left) and Kyle (on the right) waiting outside the aquarium for the others to come out.'s good to see familiar faces.

Much love!

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