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Shanghai: The Bund

It’s been a well-packed day. We rode the bus for 2 Yuan to the Yuyuan Garden, had the famous Nanxiang xiaolongbao for lunch, checked out The Bund, went up the Shanghai Oriental Pearl TV Tower, and walked by the new Shanghai Apple store. The Bund summarizes China’s recent economic boom, but also underscores the overpopulation problem very well. People elbowed each other in queues, with some inventing ridiculous techniques to cut lines, like using a small child to lead or putting one leg forward. The Shanghai Oriental Pearl TV Tower felt just like another observational tower, like the Sears tower. It’s a 360 degree glass platform, with transparent glass flooring on some parts. To get to the other side of the Huangpu River, we took a trippy tourist light rail through an underground tunnel.

The Bund at Night

The Bund at Night

Haggling –
My favorite activity to do here in Asia is haggling. A street vendor approached me as I stepped out of the light rail station, showing me a plastic model of the Pearl tower. It looked nice from a distance, but failed to pass under my careful inspection. The other glass cube with an image of The Bund engraved inside did pass, and I was interested. Here’s the proper way to bargain, so listen closely. He asked for 35RMB at first for the unpolished version. I laughed, said it was way too expensive, and walked away. He followed me as he should, continuously reducing the price. I kept up with the “no, I am not interested” look, finally saying “ok, $15 for the better one” (which he asked for $50 at first). Eventually, with the help of Carson, I got what I wanted at the price I wanted to pay for, $2USD.

It was all laughs and giggles, until we stopped by a Thai restaurant for dinner after the tower tour. Basically, the restaurant did not inform us that most of the dishes were unavailable because they were about to close, until we had already ordered. We had to change our orders multiple times, which confused the underpaid and undereducated waitress. The restaurant then tried to charge us extra for a dish they thought we ordered. Normally, I’d let that slide; but not after a day of pushing, shoving, and loss of personal space. When the fight or flight adrenaline hit, I chose to fight. Going into an argument with the Chinese waitress and her manager, I was outgunned and outclassed. Yet, somehow my Mandarin carried me though it. I had McDonald’s for second dinner.

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