After lunch, Sam had to go apartment hunting. Peipei and I decided to randomly roam from the vicinity of my workplace to The Bund. After all, the Oriental Pearl Tower had seemed so close, and one of the girls at 1933 told me once that 20 minutes was all it took on foot to The Bund.
This is my work neighborhood. I love the colors, the smells, the noise, the dirty streets, the very realness of Shanghai, especially when it is so close to the man-made financial center across Huangpu River.
In spite of her reputation as the factory of the world, here in the middle of Shanghai one can still find almost-archaic machines, like this one that roasts sunflower seeds, serving individual producers in cottage industries.
Gotta love the sharp contrast of old and new, but must the old really give way to the new? I guess it's an inevitable circle of life.
With Japan's out-of-this-world architecture, you stare in awe. With Shanghai's (or China's for that matter) you just stare and wonder what it was for. We tried to turn our charm on the security guard to let us in for a closeup view but failed.
After so many times in Shanghai and The Bund, this was the first time I actually crossed this famous bridge which has appeared in countless movies. Doing the Concession era, there was a sign on the predecessor of this bridge which crossed over to a park that said, "No animals and Chinese allowed", equating the Chinese people to their lowly four-legged friends. After the foreigners left, the old bridge was destroyed and this new one built in its place, marking the rise (and rise) of Chinese pride and power.
There must already be thousands of such photos in my hard drive, but when standing face-to-face with it, I just couldn't resist another picture. So I will in the end have a collection of the Shanghai skyline in every conceivable weather, today cloudy and gray.
The lack of sunlight did not take the romance away from many couples who braved the hot afternoon and bustling crowd for their bridal shots. Of all, I found this one especially moving. The two families and circles of friends brought together by the nuptial ties of the lovely couple, standing in the heart of old Shanghai, and against the postcard backdrop of her modern face.
Watching this, I actually thought that taking such bridal photos (which I'm totally against) may not be too bad after all. Only this shot. Me in a short cute frock, I don't care if it was white, canvas shoes and yes, a cute groom. Oh throw in the husky and retriever too. Sweet dreams are made of this.
Haha, that scene also reminded me of one blustery October afternoon sitting at Columbus Circle watching a bride in a long green gown, me of course saying I’d trip over a long skirt, but would look totally cute in a short frock, probably not white. My friend said he’d go in purple, his favorite color. Yes, that’d be hot.
Afterward, we swung by the Captain Hostel on Fuzhou Road where you could mail postcards to your future.
Inside the hostel, there's a cafe with a cute name. All the Chinese words don't translate to Momi Cafe, they say "Cat's City in the Sky Concept Bookstore".
Walking further down Fuzhou Road, we chanced upon this cat on the roof, searching for her city in the sky?
We must have walked non-stop for 3 hours, so we popped into Starbucks at Raffles City People's Park for some people watching, my favorite thing to do, while Peipei snuck in some forty winks in ten minutes.
While still not particularly hungry, we decided to have dinner anyway. Both of us loved spicy and the evening was turning a bit chilly so we headed into a Korean restaurant for some hot and spicy soup dishes.
Kimchi and appetizers ... no big-head sprouts 😦
Bliss (^_^) Beef and transparent vermicelli in spicy steaming hot soup.
We were so full after the dinner so we decided to walk on to Shanghai’s famous shopping street, Middle Huaihai Road, and then on to the hip Xintiandi. We parted ways after Xintiandi, but the Apple Store nearby was still open so I decided to pop in to “update” my playlist. I stayed until closing time, along with hundreds other eager customers who sent the cash registers ringing as they walked away with their iPad2s.