The weather is getting cold from the downpour yesterday with water crystals appearing at the edge of the windows. As the laundry service provided by the hotel seems exorbitant, we decided to take a walk down the street to the laundry shop which we saw yesterday. The price they quoted is almost 3 times better than the hotel service, at only 50 RMB as compared to the 150 RMB (including 10% service charge) by the hotel. We accepted it and highlighted that we would like to collect it later in the evening.
Thereafter we got back to our rooms and had a rest for the day. No more travelling and sightseeing for today.
Later in the evening, we got a call from a fellow colleague who just returned from Japan. We were invited for dinner with him at Xujiahui. Took a bus from the hotel to Xujiahui, the cold is really enduring; standing out in the cold waiting a long time for the bus to arrive. Upon arrival there, we walked through Xujiahui central and through a busy street branching off from there. We arrived at a popular Taiwanese steamboat store round the area. It was pretty crowded with us waiting 20 minutes at the entrance before being ushered in to our table. We ordered quite a lot, with dishes ranging from beef sashimi to the usual steamboat ingredients. The main soup is divided into chicken herbal soup and hot spicy soup. The sauce served there could be mixed and match so whoever came up with the best sauce combinations will really make the meal satisfying to the max. At the end, we were introduced to a game on whoever guessed the total price for the meal correctly or closest to it will be exempted from paying it. I didn't win this time round.
Day 11 (Wednesday)
The only highlight for the weekdays this week is ice skiing. Since we will be visiting the ice skiing indoor stadium again next Monday. I shall share more about it then.
And now let's have a sneak peek into our daily lifestyle in Shanghai. After 2 days of consuming food in our company's food court, we have resigned to having bread, corn and potato for our lunch. Like the lady seen in the picture below selling corn and potato by the roadside:
For our dinner, we try to go light by having meals in a restaurant a 10 minutes walk from our hotel. Consider posh for local standards, but this is where we have our dinner daily. Quite affordable to us Singaporeans, with meals ranging from 50 RMB to 100 RMB for 3 person.
A typical serving for dinner looks like the pix below:
Day 14 (Saturday)
Here is the trip plan for today:
The day started at 11am and we took Bus 205 to Xujiahui and transit to the MRT station. Did some window shopping at the IT building there next to the station, my colleagues originally intending to get a mouse and some DVDs but find the variety and price to be quite costly as compare to back at home.
So we move on to our next stop at Shi Men Yi Lu station, the ticket costing 4 RMB each. When we left the station to the main shopping street, we were amazed by the long stretch of vendors selling goods ranging from pirated DVDs to daily accessories. This street is so horded by people that walking through it takes several minutes.
Our final destination is here. And this will be where we will have our lunch at a popular Chinese store. There is a long queue waiting to collect the food but the worst is yet to come, getting a seat in the shop is a much more unforgettable experience.
We finally settled down on our meals which is shown below. Consisting of Xiao Long Bao and fishballs/meatballs soup. The tea pot we see at the top actually contains vinegar.
Next we proceeded on by foot to the famous Xiang Yang market, the place where we have been to a week ago. This time we were led by a 'local'; he is actually a Japanese who has lived in Taiwan for over 6 years and now being posted over to Shanghai. Along the way, we bought a large numbers of original DVDs from a video shops, not wanting to take the risk with pirated stuffs. The original discs still cost equally cheap as compared to back in Singapore. Walking down the street, we came upon one of their many public toilets below:
Shanghai also has many gardens spread out through the city with the one below just next to Xiang Yang market. As it is winter time, all the leaves have fallen, leaving only the wooded park against a backdrop of the setting sun.
And here we are at the Xiang Yang road market.
There is a notice at one of the exit / entrance to the market which mention about the illegal hawking of counterfeit branded goods. Dun think anyone really is bothered with what is written on it, and it is in English, so presumably it is meant for the foreign tourists and foreign law-makers to note and not for the local Chinese.
Upon arrival at the market entrance, touters will swamp the visitors asking them whether would they be interested in purchasing any counterfeit goods ranging from bags, watches, pens, DVDs, shoes and so on. Normally on a weekend, we will see lotsa foreign tourists.
When we make our purchase, we were taught how to go about bargaining and getting a good deal out of it. Our local guide told us to ask for the price first and set our price at 20% of what they have requested. Thereafter we can insist to keep our price by walking away from the shop (by faking failure of negotiation) and they will eventually give in to our requests. So this is the negotation techniques we have adopted for all our shopping there.
The coolest negotiation group I find are from the caucasians who have a niche way of bargaining with the local shopkeepers. They will befriend the shopowners and slowly shift down the price using charisma, especially to the female shopkeepers.
During the evening, we continued the journey which we left out from last week at Nanjing Dong road. The pictures below show the start and the journey through Shanghai's famous shopping street.
The temperature is now at 3 degree celsius.
The beautiful night scene at Shanghai's Bund, facing towards Pudong.
The famous night scene at Shanghai's Bund, facing towards the old administrative buildings.
And we finally settle in for dinner on a floating restaurant at the river bank.