Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Shanghai Day

On Tuesday I spent the day in Shanghai with some lovely ladies I have met here.  I managed multiple firsts on this trip:

1.  High-speed train from Suzhou to Shanghai
2.  Visited a fabric market to have a few dresses made to accommodate my expanding waist line.
3.  Some minor attempts at bargaining.
4. Many trips around town on the subway.
5. Probably the most important: I used a squatty potty. At the the train station.  My recommendation is now to make sure your first experience be at a place with slightly higher standards for cleanliness.  It is a good thing we take our shoes off before coming in the apartment because my pretty pink tennis shoes will never enter this apartment.  

I snapped a couple pictures on the trip:

The market was three stories of individually run nooks.  Very similar to my experience at the flea market.  Each little nook had lots of fabric to sample from, books with images of things that could be made and sample products.  You can also bring in clothing, pick your fabric, leave your sample with the person and they will copy it for you.  For one of my dresses I picked it out of an album.  It was actually straight out of a Victoria's Secret catalog. 

Once you know what you want the fun begins.  You ask how much and are given some ridiculous amount and all kinds of silly reasons why.  Then you bicker back and forth (acting angry or appalled is acceptable) until you can agree on a price.  If you they won't come down to your asking price, you just turn and leave.  Maybe you come back later, maybe you head off to find another deal.

I love this picture merely for the sign, "Fat Girl."  All the other places said things like cotton or linen, this place must specialize in the plus sized tailoring, which is strange because all places measure you to tailor to suit.

Outside the market were all kinds of people selling jewelry, watches, and sunglasses.  I am assuming this is the kind of place I could get Gerin her knock-off purses she requested.

After we left the fabric market we headed to a neat part of town.  I honestly have no idea where I was.  It was a bit of a step back in time.  A maze of shops and restaurants.  Some of the streets were wide, some were tiny. It was crawling with Westerns, so I can only assume it is a bit of a tourist attraction or just an expat meeting place.  But while you wander up, down, and sometimes around in a circle, you would never know you were in a modern city of 22 million. 

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