Dave's Sketch Journal

Drawing is taking a line for a walk. - Paul Klee

Back...to Shanghai...again

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It's a sad day for us. We have returned to Shanghai. Our days of dwelling in the remote parts of China are over. Our quiet farmlands are gone. We are smack in the city of Shanghai with all it's traffic noise. Trucks on the streets, beeping mopeds and taxis, constant throngs of people, beggars and, of course, higher costs for everything. Qingdao beer that once cost 10 yuan in Lijiang now costs 40 yuan here in Shanghai. Meals are double or triple. At least we have a good view from our new location. Ruth edited some of my past posts while we had pizza atop Captain Hostel.

Even our walk under the river to the Pudong area cost us money. We are staying on the Bund (Weitan) in Shanghai just across the Huangpu river. We thought it would be nice to walk under the river to see the buildings on the other side. But it cost us $7.50 each round trip to take the little railcar to it. During the little ride they have a light show in the tunnel. Random patterns paint the walls red, blue, green, and white. Voices in Chinese and English spew random words: "Paradise" and "heaven and hell." Then the lights flash. Kind of corny if you ask me. When we got to the other side, we learned that it cost another $20 to ride up to the lookout of Oriental Pearl Tower.

So, instead we drank a cup of Starbucks and watched the boats float by. We snapped a few pictures and came back to the hotel, eh, I mean, hostel.

We found a cute little hostel on The Bund called the Captain Hostel. For just $55/night we get a clean room, bed, and normal bathroom. I'm so grateful for the normal bathroom. You don't know how good it feels to have a light and mirror above the sink. And to have a sink and shower with their own drains.

The last place we stayed at had the shower at the far end of the bathroom. As I showered, the water streamed across the bathroom floor, then swirled around the pedestal sink, and finally passed the toilet some twelve feet away into a drain in the wall. The toilet was right in the doorway. When I opened the pocket door, I had to step around the toilet to get to the sink. I complained in a previous post about the difficulty I had in shaving with a single light to the right of the mirror. However, in this last bathroom the mirror was over the toilet and the sink faced a window on the right. So I lathered my face, set the razor, then craned left to see the mirror over the toilet some four feet away. I then shaved one stroke and began the process all over again. This resulted in a query from my wife concerning blood on my lip. "Ruth, I said, you can't begin to understand the challenges of looking beautiful for you on this trip."

However, that's all behind us now. Our new bathroom even comes with soap. There is also a soft soap and shampoo dispenser in the shower.

Eat your heart out silk-pajama-Tim.

We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment. - Hilaire Belloc

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