Final Weekend in Shanghai

Monday, December 21st, 2009

On my final weekend in Shanghai, I said sucks to my cold and the chilling weather and went out into the city. On Saturday, I took a bike ride through the Expo construction north of Lupu Bridge. Much progress has been made on many of the buildings and roads in the area. Nothing looks finished yet, but some order rises from the dust. I forgot to bring my gloves on the ride, and my hands quickly became red and numb.

That evening, I met A. for some dinner.

A golden cock sculpture outside a small mall.

A new, but unfinished road.

Wheeling the cable into place.

Dirt retention mats.

Man in old coat stares at me with skepticism.

Repairing a dump truck.

Woman sitting amongst her junk.

Bags of trash for recycling.

Many large piles of recyclable items.

Loading cardboard onto a truck.

Colorful Expo buildings.

Chairs in the sun.

Men in earth tone uniforms.

Laying asphalt.

An expo building made from reused roof tiles, possibly from the homes that were destroyed around it.

Detail of the tile walls.

Barrels.

A group of men were hanging out in a random abandoned parking lot and tossing live birds into the air. The birds were trained to fly back to them. It was a weird, yet beautiful sight.

A man, just about to catch his returning bird. Another trained bird hangs out on a handlebar.

A bird in mid-flight.

Pouring concrete using a tall boom.

Men of scaffolding at sunset.

The elevated highway in the dusty evening light.

Rubble.

A canopy protects random abandoned things.

Spicy bean salad at Lost Heaven.

A flavorful chicken dish.

Mushroom salad.

Pork with spicy dipping sauce.

Fish steamed in banana leaves. Expensive but delicious.

On Sunday, I went to brunch with A. using a sizable voucher work gave me as a gift. The restaurant was M on the Bund, a fairly famous place that J. and I had been to before she left. Brunch was expensive but not very good. My pancake were small, my main dish overloaded with meat, and not only was our dessert the wrong one, but there was a long hair in it. The combination of cream, pears, and hair and it ended the meal on a questionable note.

After brunch, we went on a pedestrian-powered shopping spree across town. We covered a lot of ground, and finished near Jingan Temple empty-handed. We ate some Ramen for dinner and went our separate ways.

A man in a wet suit about to submerge himself in a flooded hole near the Bund.

Bund construction.

A fancy, Miami drug lord style cappuccino at M on the Bund.

Pancakes with berry compote.

Heart attack on a plate: lamb chops, beef steak, bacon, sausage, fried egg, over mashed potatoes.

Bund construction as seen from the balcony of M on the Bund.

Boats passing by.

Construction as far as you can see down the banks of the river. In the distance, boats full of construction materials head upstream.

Shoes in an empty store.

Colorful bike.

Grand opening flowers.

THE MAGNIFICENT Hotel.

Evening light on at an antiques market.

Don’t feed the poop ducks at the urinate pond.

Street meat.

More street meat.

Frozen pond.

Warning plaque on an electrical box.

Redemption House: a Christmas tree display in Xin Tian Di.

Paving stones in a park.

The park’s resident cats.

Sunset under an elevated highway for my last Sunday in Shanghai.

It’s sad that I won’t get to explore Shanghai anymore. If they amount of change during the ten months I’ve been here is an indication, the place I’m leaving will be dramatically different when I return.

More thoughts on China will come after I return to the States tomorrow on my 30th birthday.

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