Tequila is not to be trifled with. Neither is Four Roses. I decided to skip breakfast at the hotel for sleep. Later we moved our hungover behinds to elemental fresh, a nice restaurant with only healthy and organic food. After that we went to Alex favorite massage parlor Dragonfly, which was the very next door. A very nice japanese massage for an hour later we headed back to the hotel. My recovery was progressing fine, but to be sure I took a long hot bath as well. Things weren’t as good for poor Uffe though who somehow managed to get the runs and was in kind of a bad shape all dehydrated and exhausted.
Next up was dressing up and dinner and then later we were heading to Bling. When we got down to the lobby we for the first time hadn’t reserved tables at any restaurant which meant twelve opinions but we managed to decide that local chinese would be fun. The hotel had a few veryimportant rooms (sic!) which usually were for business dinners so we got one of those. Everyone drank fresh orange juice or coke during the meal and only in the end did some have shots of a local dodgy stuff that tasted awful. It was going to be a slow start tonight.
When taking the cab to Bling we realized that no one in the cab spoke chinese or had the name of the cub (less the address) in chinese. And the only phone was mine (roaming). When dropped off and not finding the club I called Tara and she was of course inside the club and could hear nothing, this didn’t look promising. Two chinese girls proved to be our rescue though since they were going to the same club and spoke limited chinese. We got there in time for the new year countdown.
The place was totally crowded and the music was so-so, perhaps a little to mainstream for my taste and the service was worthless when we got there. Mathias sorted this out though and we got our own guy providing drinks, mixers or champagne. As the champagne was gulped down the music seemed to get a little better, people friendlier and the service better. Laura, Helen and me left after some hours of dancing but not after having some dancing outside the club filmed and some simultaneous jumping documented.
It was impossible to get a cab so we strolled around and found the lovely japanese place we had lunch the other day to be open. So much better than your average hamburgers after a good night out. Later we had better luck with our taxis and got home quite quick. Over and out for this year.
Today the plan was to visit the Shanghai Museum and before that locating the canon quick repair centre to clean my camera’s sensor. Google is your (chinese) friend and I managed to get an address in chinese writing. We also booked our flights back to Beijing but shortly after that being done we were called up and informed that the flight was sold out. The alternatives was late the 1st or the 2nd, with a slightly higher price for the 2nd, we decided to go for the 1st.
After finally getting ourselves from the hotel the cab driver left us at the building which would have canon on their 13th floor. After entering it appeared that the elevator only went four floors. So we entered the adjacent building and asked for canon and pointing at our cameras. We ended up in a department store selling cameras. It was time to explain that I would like to clean my sensor from dust without a common language.
They gathered more or less the whole floor and with their combined language skills they said it was the building we started in, on the 13th floor, and actually walked us to the entrance of that building. This time we walked pass the first elevators and found where floor 5-40 had theirs. Finally; the only problem was that the bellboy communicated that the camera-people were sleeping and back tomorrow-tomorrow-tomorrow. That would be the 2nd, that is the day after we leave Shanghai. Bummer.
After some thoughts of rescheduling our flights we postponed the idea and instead had lunch at a japanese place on the main shopping avenue HuaiHai Rd called Ajisen Ramen. It was cheap and tasted really nice. We then got picked up by Mathias, Tara and Helen who took us to the Jinmao tower since the museum was closed over the weekend. Once the 3rd tallest building in the world the view is quite spectacular and the skyscraper itself rather impressive. Again it was nice that Shanghai didn’t have the same amount of smog as Beijing so one could actually see quite far.
Back at the hotel we met up with the Canadians who just arrived. We were heading to a mongolian restaurant for dinner, then back to the hotel where we would have a party in a presidential suite. The suite was 320 square meters, had a sauna, a jacuzzi and a bar. Rhys was the designated bartender although we had bought some beers and breezers to make things easier.
The combination of sauna, drinking games, tequila, bourbon and a pack of party animals has proven to be a good recipe for extraordinary night before and this was no exception.
Waking up just in time to check out the hotel breakfast we enjoyed the tunes of Johnny Cash together with a fair amount of bacon, omelette and juice. Ulf, Laura and me broke off the itinerary by skipping lunch and instead strolled down to the waterfront (Pu-long river). Lots of nice views and stalls who had printed prices combined with pleasant weather made a few hours easily pass by. A bartered for a really nice silver scarf and ended up paying 2 €.
We got some omelette/pancake thing from a street vendor who made an argument about us paying too much, that’s a nice change compared to the lot of Beijing sellers who try to rip you off whenever possible. In total I paid little more than 1 € for my lunch, quite nice. More photos, a random bus ride and even more walking we ended up at the hotel just in time to prepare for cocktails and dinner.
First we were off to Tara’s lounge which had a really nice atmosphere for some cocktails, after that we were off to a japanese restaurant called Shintori. This was a minimalist place with awesome bathrooms, spacious and concrete interior design. I had the largest sashimi and this proved to be my best meal so far in China. The tuna was close to perfect, and the others were also very pleased with their courses. The place had a club section just around the corner so we headed there as well.
The first thing about this club was the entrance, after walking up a bunch of stairs you had nine illuminated holes in a wall. We thought we were at the wrong place but Mathias instructed us to check out the holes. After inserting hands in one the holes a door slided open to the right, cool. Except that the door revealed a wall with the text ‘Gotcha’, another hole (or sequence?) opened the real door to the club though. Inside it was again concrete, space and minimalist all over. Sweet music but again the bathrooms took the price.
At the restaurant the guys stall was simply glass stands where you looked out to a zen garden and peed on the glass wall, awesome indeed. The bathrooms at the club followed the same fashion as the entrance to the club; there were two corridors with three doors each and no signs of male/female or that this actually was bathrooms. Trying to pull the knobs didn’t open the doors, neither pushing them. The trick was to push the other side of the door (that is opposite to the knob) and the door opened. This didn’t give much confidence though since the room was very dark, when entering no lights appeared until you locked the door. Awesome. Of course there were speakers that played the nice jazz/electronic music in the bathroom as well.
It’s interesting that the coolest and best place so far in China has been a japanese one, but we have a few more candidates on the list to try out. Back at the hotel for some reason me and Ulf decided to try jumping over the beds with both feet together simultaneously. Laura was happy to document this contemporary expressionistic art form which seemed like a good idea at the moment. I’m sure our neighbors loved it.