Posts/March, 2009/

Biking to the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel, Tasty Meals

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

It’s is almost the start of week six in China. Time seems to be flying now. The weather still isn’t the greatest, but work is going well. For leisure, J. and I have been content to explore the town on our bikes. There are still so many new details to see even biking around the same neighborhood, and even more when venturing into the unknown. It’s very easy to cover a good distance on bike.

I’m not sure what a foreigner would do in this town if they didn’t like biking around. There aren’t really any “attractions” besides the details at street level. J. and I, though especially me, don’t care much for the nightlife. There’s a lot of it going on in this town, but to me it just seems like a waste of time and money.

Maybe if my first paycheck came earlier than the end of next month, I wouldn’t be so frugal.

On Saturday, J. and I biked with two friends from work along Suzhou Creek to the Bund. Our goal was to take the Bund sightseeing tunnel, even though we knew it would be cheesy. Along the way, we passed by the typical Shanghai sites, people, construction, filthy waterways, hustle and bustle. We sat and had some good coffee in the madness of Nanjing shopping area. The weather was drizzly. I had only eaten an apple and peanut butter that morning, but I was managing to not feel very hungry. No wonder I’m skinnier out here: endless biking and reduced food.
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Night falls over Shanghai. Seen from the roof of our hotel.
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Pearl Tower as seen from the roof.
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Looking down from the 37th floor.
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Another day, another pile of garbage in the courtyard.
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J. and Mike compare maps.
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Two foreign devils on a WW II era bike.
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One small lady was pulling one large cart.
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Cart accepting used electronics for recycling.
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Construction worker hikes his pants near Suzhou Creek.
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Building missing wall.
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Dirt barge on Suzhou Creek.
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A. looking at the barge.
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One classy building.
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Construction sign.
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Photo shoot in the wreckage of old buildings.
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Old building and reclaimed bricks.
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Rare Chinese graffiti. Maybe they allowed it because of its pro-China message.
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Literal graffiti.
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Wall of windows.
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Perfectly patched pipes.
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A safe and clean looking public toilet.
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J. looking at me with understated intentions.
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Building skeleton.
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Sand bags and graffiti.
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Old homes, new homes, and a barge in Suzhou Creek.
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Hi-tech gate.
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Screw store.
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Repainting.
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Old brick building.
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Egg mascot outside a vendor selling small waffles stuffed with warm custard. Six for ten RMB. Decent.
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Old hydrant on the Bund.
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Business as usual as the Bund is torn to hell.

The Bund Sightseeing Tunnel is pretty hilarious. A roundtrip ticket is a fair 50RMB, and it entitles you to take a ride in an automated train under the river through a pathetic and trippy tunnel. The train passes through various themed sections of tunnel that are announced over a loudspeaker. I can’t remember many of the names, but some were Hot Magna, Heaven and Hell, Meteorites Falling to the Earth, Sparkling Bubbles, etc. The announcer sounded on soma, a contrast to the ever changing music that was the work of Philip Glass channeling lunatic at a Casio keyboard. We all laughed out loud during the ride. I’m not sure what reaction the designers had expected.

The train dumps you out in Pudong in a confusing area between the Pearl Tower and Convention Center. The views of the river are actually much calmer on this side, due to fewer vendors and no construction noise.
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These coin-op viewfinders in at the ticket area to the sightseeing tunnel just had pictures of fully clothed ladies inside. Why?
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M. and the enormous watch.
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Inside the Bund sightseeing tunnel.
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Another glittery section.
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Heaven and hell.
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The large ball of the Pearl Tower.
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Looking at the Bund from the Pudong side.
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Promenade washers.
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Old building.
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Unused pier.

My sightseeing was under a bit of a time crunch, as I had to leave the area around 4 to bike across town to meet people at work. J. waited for me near the office and we met up for a delicious spicy dinner and a ride home. Saturday felt very long, in a good way.
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Construction worker biking with a bamboo ladder.
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Good color scheme.
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A lone building stands amongst demolished brothers near the Expo construction along the river.
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Patchwork door.
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Shoe delivery.
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Surveying tool.
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Enormous drain pipe being installed under a street.
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Random flowers on a garbage can.
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Short-lived blue skies above our apartment.

Here are some photos of some food I’ve eaten recently. Unfortunately, I don’t know the names of any of the dishes. All of them pictured were very good and pretty cheap. Most are between $2-3. The priciest dish pictured was about $5. Not as economical as Thailand, but way better than back home.
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Delicious fried dough beef wraps with cucumber.
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Eggplant, peppers, and potato.
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Chicken, peanuts, and chili.
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Greens.
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The much mentioned, awesome, black sesame smoothie. Looks like concrete, tastes like awesome.
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Beef and veggies.
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Smokey and succulent pork parts with bell pepper and herb topping.

Cheers to another good weekend in the Shanghai.

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