Sunday, July 30, 2006

Hotel bound on the Bund

I've been tied up at my desk in the hotel a lot over the past couple of days. That's my excuse for not posting much. While I landed with no firm times for my meetings, and many of my sources seemed to suddenly vanish, today has proved productive. My week is now planned out. Arranging this trip is mind-boggling. I am skedded to be in Beijing, Mumbai and Delhi, yet I don't have plane tickets for any of those cities because I haven't nailed down all my interview times. It's like that chicken and its stupid egg.

Speaking of eggs, I'm hungry now, so I'm going to go out and grab lunch. There's a little restaurant tucked into a side road I passed yesterday that had lots of soups. looked good. i'll let you know.

I've taken to wandering down little back alleys and peeking into people's homes. everyone leaves their doors open. it's another world, just 5 steps the bright lights.

There was a big black humvee parked on one of Shanghai's flashy tourist strips. I have no idea how you navigate a vehicle like that around here. Cars may be everywhere, but the practical Chinese still boot around on their mopeds.

From a second floor restaurant last night I watched a busy intersection for one hour. Yes there were stop signs. No they didn't get much use. At any moment there were cars, trucks, bikes, mopeds and pedestrians criss-crossing in front of each other. In all that time I saw just one bump between two mopeds. No words exchange. They just putted away from each other.

tonight I'm going to head over to Pudong, that's the financial district which isn't actually in Shanghai, but another city altogether. a couple of decades ago it was muddy farmland. Today it's what many of China's other million-plus cities (there are 200 of them)aspire to. I'm going up the baubled tower for what is supposed to be an amazing view of the city.

Oh, by the way, my dad is circumventing the Chinese censors and reproducing this blog on his website, so I can see the comments after all.


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