Sunday, June 22, 2008

Shanghai - Day 2 - Saturday 21 June 2008

My plan for the day was to explore the French Concession. I started at the Museum of Arts and Crafts, where I bought myself a dinky little lace parasol. Then I went to Lulu Massage, with blind masseuses. Excellent, and very cheap. Soon after however, and for the rest of day (possibly aided by the massage, but more likely something I ate) I had cause to become very familiar with the public squat toilets of Shanghai. Let’s just say that the most common digestive side effect of the iron tablets I’m taking is no longer an issue. I was also getting quite sore and tired from all the walking. So the rest of the day was not nearly as enjoyable as it should have been.

I checked out Taikang Rd Arts Centre – a little courtyard of boutiques and coffee shops – and had lunch at Kommune (the above-mentioned ailment hadn’t quite hit yet) and did a little souvenir shopping. Then I walked to Fuxing Park – originally French only allowed – and had a welcome rest while watching old men practicing tai chi, a couple of people playing badminton, and plenty of families – one child a piece – enjoying the park. All under the watchful gaze of Marx and Engels.

Fuxing Park
Then I had a quick look around Xintiandi (a touristy shikumen alley), and sat for quite a while with an iced tea, gaining the energy and strength for the trip back to the hotel on the metro. I had an early night with plans for taking it easy the next day.