14 Jul The Best of the Best
So Absolute Internship expects me to pick my favorites within Shanghai. Just to paint a picture in my audience’s mind: try finding your favorite seashell on the Pacific coast or deciding your favorite episode of Spongebob Squarepants. Mission impossible. However, that gives me a whole blog to talk about all the amazing places I’ve seen in this amazing city. After gaining 5 pounds with the help of dumplings, oil-marinated noodles, deep fried beef covered in mayonnaise, and the occasional brew after the first week, I finally found a system where I can enjoy Shanghai and its unique venues without inflating my waistband.
After talking about all that food, let’s chat about the restaurants of Shanghai. I initially expected strict Chinese cuisine throughout the streets and shopping malls. I was surprised to find myself enjoying various cultural cooking. Throughout the Vietnamese, Indian, Western, and Sichuan-based meals, it’s no surprise that my favorite restaurant is 100% authentic Chinese. After the first time a couple of other interns and I went there, we took the liberty into nicknaming it “the place” because we knew we’d be going back and dining there so frequently. A plate of the most delicious dumplings I’ve ever had in my life only cost RMB 8, and a plate or bowl of noodles won’t cost more than RMB 20. Cheap and delicious, that’s how you know it’s not good for you… But it’s so worth it.
Speaking of things that aren’t good for you, now let’s talk about my favorite place to enjoy the upbeat nightlife of Shanghai. Now I feel like it’s appropriate to divide this subject into two categories: clubs and lounge. Coming from Minnesota, I thought the view of the Minneapolis skyline was absolutely spectacular at night. I love my hometown, but my favorites from both of those categories have beautiful views of the most amazing skyline I’ve ever seen. Bar Rouge on the Bund (which is also a breathtaking tourist sight) is on the top floor of a building and has an outside patio looking across at the financial district. Enjoy the drinks, view, bumping music, and company. My favorite bar for lounging back with the friends has been the Waterhouse, located right along the river. Shanghai’s air may be a bit more polluted than what I’m used to in the states, but this quiet and laidback atmosphere is surrounded with flowers that fill your lungs with joy. And of course, this elegant restaurant and bar offers another remarkable view of Shanghai’s skyline.
Now we can discuss why I actually came to Shanghai: the internship. I haven’t had an unbearable workload, but between a few projects, writing these blogs, and other miscellaneous tasks, I’ve needed to find my comfortable workplace to efficiently get things done. As you could have guessed, I went straight to the financial center – in the heart of the skyline. The 91st floor of the Shanghai World Financial Center didn’t have much legitimate competition when it came to finding my favorite place to finish tasks. Enjoying a classy drink from the bar, some delicious complimentary nuts, and the view of the city from the top of the world has made for the perfect combination for taking pleasure in work.
Finally, something valuable I’ve found in Shanghai is practicing Chinese and studying the culture. During my lunch break at work, you can find me walking around the shopping malls and restaurants sparking conversations with the locals to rehearse Chinese. That may be great practice, but my favorite place to do it and enjoy myself has been the fake markets. Going with friends that speak Chinese has been incredibly beneficial so I can listen in on their conversations and make friends in the process.