|Note the Battery slung low between the wheels. May be a standard Car battery|
|This Battery has a handle. Presumably to take it inside to charge.|
|Doesn't this look ancient? The electric conversion is makeshift DIY|
|This seems to be a more modern rendition. Has mounts and chains for the motor|
|New Years Decorations|
|Some of the Chinese Fish swim upside down.|
|I have no idea. Ugly Fish. And frozen. Ugly Fishcicles|
|Let's Do Math. 2.99 RMB for Half Kilo. That is about .50 cents for 1.1 pound. Walmart says $9 for 20 lbs in the US. Hmm. seems to be about the same.|
|in the Station|
|I didn't feel ordinary|
|Hey, these are nice seats. Perhaps we got into the VIP section|
|No, the VIP section is over here|
|AHHHH. VIP section. You get there 2 minutes earlier.|
|From the MagLev Museum|
|The Pilot? Engineer? He gets to ride up front|
The main issue here may be air friction. At the speeds this thing is moving, the main thing you are using energy for is overcoming the air friction of moving along. That is why airplanes fly so high, to reduce air friction in the thin, high altitude air. So making a really fast train doesn't make too much sense unless you can put it into a tunnel and pump the air out. Oh, that sounds cheap, doesn't it?
|Greetings from MagLev|
|My Partner shot this during the film below. 430 KPH = 267 MPH |
Of course, the Star Tours ride at Disney Land goes TransLight
Downtown (don't wait a minute more)
|10 years ago, there were only 2 subway lines.|
|Some nice decorations in the subway. |
Remember, a lot of this is new in the last decade
|This is electric signage. The adds changes. In China, you can't show cleavage,|
But you can evidently intimate all you want.
I think the English for this was "One Night Stud". Movie? Play? Delivery Service?
|Well Japanese anime girls can show anything they want.|
This train was themed to this anime both outside and in.
|Alien Spaceship or "TV TOWER". You decide|
|Nearby Plasma Ray Projectors protect the city.|
If only Tokyo had these in the 60s they would have been safe from Godzilla
|Not sure how much further up that one on the right goes|
|This shows the oriental looking building and the brief case handle|
|You can see inside of it. Is this for Cooling?|
|That is a tree made of gold chocolates. For New Year Celebration next week (CNY)|
|A very small lady with very big feet|
|Perhaps this picture is sideways.......|
BKM for River Ride
- Follow the BKM on getting a Metro card and learning the Metro.
- Take the Metro to the Nanjing road (east) stop.
- Gasp and take a picture of the TV Tower.
- Go up the escalator to the skywalk.
- Head clockwise around the circular skywalk generally toward the Radio Tower. It is quicker to go anti-clockwise, but you want clockwise. Trust me.
- As you pass the “Super Brand Mall” realize that you really need to use a bathroom. You won't find any bathrooms further on nor would you have found them if you had gone clockwise. In fact, if you had gone clockwise you would have:
- Gone to the base of the TV tower and found that the rate was too expensive.
- Inquired at the little Tourist Information shop about actual prices.
- Found a very enthusiastic young woman eager to practice her English.
- Had the following conversation:
- Can you tell me where a restroom is?
- You are tired? You need to rest?
- No. A washroom. Where is a washroom?
- You need to wash your hands?
- A bathroom.
- You need to take a bath?
- No. I need to urinate.
- Urinate? Hmm. Urinate. I don't know that... oh oh. You need a toilet !!
- Yes. A Toilet.
- Oh, no toilet here. You should have read the BKM and gone clockwise around the skywalk. So sorry.
- You might spend some time ruminating on how an English student might learn the word “urinate” but not learn the American euphemism “bathroom”.
- Upon entering the Super Brand Mall veer to the right and go must past Malco Marco (or some similar store) and turn right into the restroom area. I mean, the washroom area. I mean, the Urination Facility.
- At this point you could wander around the mall a little. If it is near New Year (and by that, I mean Chinese New Year, which, in China, they call New Year) you will see a lot of gold and chocolate. In fact, it looked like there were young women dressing up as dancing gold chocolates, but I digress.
The Bathroom is to the left Inside Super Brand Mall (Notice the wigs, everywhere)
- Exit the mall by whence you came and continue your clockwise orbit of the traffic circle. Go back down to street level as if you were headed to the Radio Tower (hey, stop by and say hi to the enthusiastic English speaker). At this point, you are walking down the street with the radio tower to your right. You are headed toward the river. (Careful, you are on a Peninsula, many ways go to the river) Editor's note: Actually it was more of a curve in the river, which really messed up Jon's internal mapping system, which is almost always very accurate, and drove him a bit crazy on this trip. I have no such mapping system, and thus can revel when his doesn't work, as long as we aren't out lost in the snow.
- Pass the Insect Museum (evidently like an aquarium only more creepy) and go through a little traffic barrier and you are at the River (even if you can't see it). The building in front of you looks like a big stretched piece of canvas. It is right next to the building with the two giant globes. There is a booth out front to buy tickets and a reasonable little restaurant across the street (Julie's) to grab some lunch. Hey, there is a good bathroom in Julie's also.
- Buy your tickets. Show up early for the ride. Get a seat on the Starboard side of the boat so that the things you see will be in sync with the pre-recorded descriptions.
Here are the cool things we saw. Mainly nice views of the city skyline
Inside our cruise boat
There are hundreds of these little barges. They seem to have family dwellings on the stern.
No Idea. Yet.
The aforementioned tent building (tour terminal) and the Globes
Part of the Famous Bund. Lots of Old Buildings. Underwhelming.
|Heavily Laden going one way|
|Same sort of boat, empty, going the other way|
There were actually maybe 25-30 small shops. Full of strands of pearls, and other interesting jewelry. All a little different, but mostly full of strands of different colors, sizes and lengths of pearls. It was a good place to "practice" buying jewelry.
|Rows of Pearl Jewelry Shops|
We did finally find a shop that seemed to have some nice and different looking earrings. We had a very nice (non-pushy) salesperson that helped us try on some earrings and gave us a nice chat. They had some nice stuff and pictures of a visiting Arnold Schwartzenager and Jesse Ventura on the walls. When I finally bought something she wrapped up the earrings and then told us how thankful she was because we were her “First business”. Of the day? Of the New Year sales season? Unclear. But the 4 ladies in the store were all gathered around sort of helping. I handed the earrings to my partner and wished her luck and happy new year and gave her a kiss. The staff was delighted. They all laughed in a very pleasant friendly way. China can be such a fun place.
One Child Policy
The one child policy has some other side effects that I had not previously considered. I mean, sure, each child is an “only”. Hell, every PERSON younger than 50 in the country is an Only. Think about what else that means. Each parent has one child. Each set of Grandparents only has one grandchild. Because of this no one has any siblings. They also have no cousins or aunts or uncles. Pretty much no relatives at all except for the 6 adults whose constant attention they have earned by their single birth. Wow. Could this lead to empowerment issues. Perhaps problems with sharing?
This line of conversation has the editor thinking a lot about child development and socialization and child care and the children of Jon's colleagues, who are engineers and live here and are raising families. Maybe next time we come over to Taiwan or China I will try and set up some interviews with parents and some infant/child observations.
|85 C Mocha|
|See, it looks like it would be a nice bathroom. And it is. Just not a Western Style commode.|
Looking for that Strange Building
|Just rows upon rows of these things|
|And older section of town. Just before the train went back underground|
The train eventually ducked back underground. We ended up in a less touristy part of town. Had to come up out of the station, get our bearings, and then head back down and loop back to catch the train to the ship terminal. We found those funny buildings. Brightly colored. A sort of shell over the balconies. They are obviously an office park, but no one was home on a Sunday (which would be strange for an American office park) and though there was an elevator going up into the Gourds, it was all locked up and deserted looking.
|Covering over the balconies.|
|Took this from a little viewpoint arch in the river park|
|Entrance to the main street|
|Everything lights up at night, and the famous tea house on the lake|
|There are always nice teenagers around to take your picture|
|Lots of Brass Statues and old guys that think they are amusing|