“I do believe it’s time for another adventure.” -?
My last couple of days in Shanghai weren’t as exciting as my previous two days. I revisited some of the places that I’d already been to and ate at some of the same places. Nothing too crazy, and nothing too fun to write about. However, I did go to this area in Shanghai called ‘tian zi fang’. It’s pretty much a maze of tiny shops and stalls selling all kinds of things. Well, I didn’t see any chickens in cages this time. The entrance was super cute and it was a mixture of new and old. The buildings looked absolutely ancient, but because of the shops and people the place was very lively, despite the aforementioned fact.
I enjoyed wandering through the little maze and browsing the souvenirs. I had my eye set on this one delicate little necklace, but it was kind of out of my price range- it was ¥160! (My budget for jewellery on vacation is usually about ¥80-100 per item.) I walked away pretty disappointed that I didn’t buy it- and looking back now, I should’ve bought it.
When I went to tian zi fang, it was drizzling rain, so it was nice to ditch my umbrella for a bit and walk under the protection of the awnings. The first time I went, it was almost night time, so many restaurants and bars were open and were packed with people. It was quite a sight. I feel like if I went with my friends and not my mom, I could’ve had a drink and just stayed there until closing time. I mean, I could’ve had a drink with my mom too, but the bars had more of a ‘college bar’ type feel.
The next day, it was time for me to leave Shanghai. I had a flight scheduled for 7:00pm so I decided to go to a different area. I ended up at this giant mall- full of high end brands. It was quite a sight, seeing so many luxury brands all jammed into this street. I think it was by the French Concession(?), I’m not so good with directions. Beside the malls/shopping centres were these streets. Much like tian zi fang but much more upscale. It was mostly high end restaurants, dessert shops and cafes. A very different scene compared to the streets that I wandered the night before.
It was kind of cool, being able to take a short bus ride and be in a completely different environment (or what felt like a completely different environment). So after walking around this place, I headed back to my airbnb and got ready to take the subway to the airport. Since the subway ride to the airport was an hour, and my flight was at 7, I needed to head to the airport at about 4pm. This was a horrible decision. Right as I got on the subway, I noticed that it was jammed full of people- it was the start of rush hour. I looked like the biggest tourist ever with my suitcase and backpack. Not to mention that I thought it was going to be cold that day, so I was wearing full length jeans. Now, the subway is usually pretty cool but because there were so many people squeezing and pushing, it felt like it was 40°C in the station. Needless to say, I was sweating so much I’m pretty sure it was what kept the people who were commuting away from me. (I became the girl who everyone tried to avoid on the train.)
I got to the airport and was heading to the check in desk when I noticed a crowd of people around it. My flight had been cancelled due to the fog and they didn’t know when I would be able to fly out. I must’ve waited in line (or rather pushed my way to the front) for almost 2 hours. I cancelled my ticket and my mom did the same with hers (we were flying to two different places) and we sat down and tried to figure out our next move. After going through the ordeal of cancelling both tickets, it was almost 8pm. We decided to stay another night in Shanghai, and in the morning take the train to Beijing and stay there for a night. From Beijing, we would then fly to Dalian (where I’ve been staying for the past couple weeks).
The tough thing was figuring out where to stay in Shanghai. The wifi at the airport was slow and so it was incredibly frustrating trying to use it to book a hotel room. So, as a last resort, I contacted the woman who’s airbnb I had stayed at. I had originally wanted to stay at her place for another night, but she was all booked. Just when I thought that was the end of it, she told me that she knew a great hotel that was close to her house. She went out of her way to book the hotel for my mom and I and I cannot thank her enough (HUGE s/o to Ivy- that was her name). So, my mom and I hauled ourselves back on the subway and headed back into Shanghai.
The good thing was that we arrived at the hotel at around 9:30pm and got settled in. The bad thing was that we hadn’t had dinner yet, so at about 10pm, we went outside on the quest to find a meal. The security guard at the hotel was super nice and told us that there was this noodle shop a couple hundred meters from where we were. Fast forward, we found the noodle shop, had dinner and walked back to the hotel.
It was an interesting experience and even though it was inconvenient, I wouldn’t change it for anything. Because, hey, that’s what travel is right? Going to new places, making memories and experiencing new things- and this was definitely an experience I won’t be forgetting soon.
Until next time friends.