08 Jan There’s so much to do in Shanghai, it’s hard to choose just one thing
There is so much to do here in Shanghai it’s hard to chose just one thing to do on the weekend. On top of the various things we want to do individually there are also activities organized by Absolute Internship, which are also great because they’re with the whole group! So some of the activities I’ve done individually is to meet a friend of a friend, go around Pudong, walked around Nanjing Road and Xujiahui, People’s Square, Madame Tussauds, 1933 Shanghai.
This mall, 1933 Shanghai, used to be a slaughterhouse. It was suggested to me because the architecture is so unique. It was a maze-like place with an eerie feel about it, though I don’t know if that would be different if I didn’t know it was once a slaughterhouse. It was quite confronting to imagine that animals ready for the slaughter would be trapped in those tunnel-like passageways with no way out except, well, in pieces ready for the grocery store. Other than these morbid details, 1933 Shanghai was full of photographers and studios and models posing for photos. And for good reason, as the architecture is atmospheric and picturesque. The photos from above almost allude to the Escher Stairs.
Nanjing Road is such a long road that there are two metro stations for the east part and the west part. All along it are malls and brands and more brands and other brands…then there are the side streets which start to get more interesting with little cafes and restaurants that are privately owned by expats and little shops full of interesting souvenirs. It’s great to walk around and, from an architectural point of view it’s refreshing for the change from glass and steel skyscrapers. However when you’re not walking among skyscrapers you do realise that in reality most of Shanghai does live far less glamorous life styles and there is poverty and homelessness right next to the billion dollar skyscrapers. Homelessness is something I’m not really accustomed to because Australia and Singapore don’t have that problem, not as big as here anyway. It seems that of the huge population here, the majority struggle because there are just so many people to compete with that you have to be up there with the really successful people to be successful at all. That’s what it seems like wandering around Pudong, anyway.
So wandering around the Pudong area on the other side of the river was a whole different pace to the rest of Shanghai where somehow there is a sense of big businesses and money and activity on an international scale…showing the german exchange rate for example, on an electronic board over the road so people can read it on the way to work. It was a fantastic energy to be in! Here we went to the Shanghai World Financial Center, also known as the Bottle Opener, to the 91st ﬂoor. This level is the bar, so you don’t have to pay for the observation deck but you still get the view. The view was amazing, and really humbling because of the scale at which you see everything from that high up. I don’t usually get views from high up because in Adelaide there aren’t any skyscrapers and even in Singapore I don’t go up very high. But as I’m playing tourist here in Shanghai, I guess that’s an excuse!