Shanghai in the Rain


Day 26

June 18, 2008 - Shanghai

Well folks, we’ve been dealt a blow. Mercer’s computer is dead and it was raining so hard on our tour day that I took a borrowed Sony mini camera to take my pictures of the tour day out from under an umbrella and have discovered that I won’t be able to get the pictures from it downloaded to my computer until I get home and find the right kind of cord. Soooo, you’ll have to just see a couple of shots that I took on my Blackberry and a few I took on a rainy night out the window of my room on the 44th floor of the Marriott Tomorrow Square. The lobby, by the way is on the 38th floor of this huge building that looks like a monster Saturn 5 booster ready to reach into the heavens. Chris Hall and his Marriott Rewards got his room on the 56th floor and free drinks and access to the world’s highest library on the 58th floor of the building.

Shanghai was a very vibrant pleasant place that somehow did not seem the hectic home of 16 million people that we expected it to be, maybe we just lucked out. Our guide “Judy” took us to some beautiful gardens and to a large shopping area where we discovered the English words that most every Shanghai resident seems to know. “YOU BUY WATCH?!” they shout loudly at you on every corner or with any eye contact whatsoever. I’m sure we missed some great buys on genuine Rolex watches! Jim constantly said that he is in awe of the commerce that is going on and wonders how all of these capitalist things can be going on in a Communist/Totalitarian governed country.

Like Dubai and Hanoi, Shanghai is under construction every place you look! I will upload a few pictures from the BlackBerry, but we have some beautiful shots that will have to be sent up to the blog at a later date. Mercer is kind of in the dumps with his computer dying, but maybe in a few days he’ll borrow this one and send some of his shots of Shanghai to the uplink. In about an hour, I'll uplink the first part of our Beijing blog, stay tuned. - Bob


Every place we have been on this trip has exceeded my expectations. Even India, it was worse than I imagined. But Shanghai exceeded my expectations in the other direction.

It is beautiful, outstanding architecture and all connected with an orderly hustle and bustle. Don’t cross the street without a guide. The little green man walking sign is only an illusion of safety. I think a pedestrian just looks like one more video game target to the average driver here. Doesn’t matter whether they are a bus driver, scooter driver, bicycle driver or rickshaw driver, they will kill you and not look back. However, once unsaddled from their trusty steed of choice, these are beautiful and gracious people. Old and traditional jammed against each other so close that it is very hard to imagine how this all works. The super high tech next to food markets where all sorts of animal and vegetable hang ready for the next customer’s wok.

Our hotel was the J.W. Marriott and the registration lobby is on the 33rd floor looking over a mind boggling cityscape. This super modern city lights up like a kaleidoscope at night. The developers here not only compete on the bigger is better scale but here it is all about lighting your monument. Laser and holographic touches accentuate these beautiful mega structures. My Canon Eos is still recovering from color shock. Put this city on your must list.
Cheers, Mercer

Lauren Kowalski