Monday, July 20, 2009

Shanghai as it goes by

All good to in China though this will be a quick update.

Shanghai has been mind-bogglingly, roastingly hot, hovering between 35 and 40 all of this week with very high humidity. Luckily I enjoy the heat a great deal and when I don't have to wear long trousers feel very comfortable in these conditions.

Sadly the predictions for the next couple of days are not looking good for the eclipse so I'm going to be heading off tomorrow West to Wuhan by train where the sun promises to show itself not showing itself. Wuhan looks to be even hotter than Shanghai and the heat index for Thursday is set to be a completely unreasonable 64 degrees centigrade! The heat index is supposed to reflect how the air actually feels, taking into account the humidity and other factors which affect how well your body is able to cool down. I plan on being well out of the city by then, hoping currently to head up to Beijing or Qingdao on the afternoon of the eclipse.

Apart from that I've been hugely enjoying my time in Shanghai and while I don't know the city at all, I feel very much at home in a Chinese metropolis, with the chaos, the smells, the people and the food all making me feel very settled here as soon as I arrived. I'm staying with a friend of a friend in the French concession which is a particularly pleasant part of the city, with thin tree-lined avenues and European style buildings branching off little side-streets. The chaos continues here however and there is no lack of street vendors, dodgy KTV parlours and fake designer hand-bag shops.

I've been getting my fill of exotic food whenever possible, though the heat and a few days of stomach troubles have stopped me from devouring at full throttle as I had planned. I definitely expect to get back to some old favourites in Beijing if I do end up there.

Anyway, I hope to expand some more on my thoughts on Shanghai with plenty of weird and wonderful stories when I get back to Spain in a little more than a week, with photo accompaniment but for now we're off for a quick drink on the Bund and a view of the lights of the city at night.

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