Thursday, October 16, 2008

Shanghai - Museum and Cheap Street Food for Dinner

16 October: Reenie’s foot had been hurting for a couple of days and we suspected it was because of too much walking and Great Wall hiking. I, on the other hand, started having breathing problems because of the pollution. I bought cough drops for my sore throat - something to consider bringing when traveling to China. It might have been better if I had renewed my inhaler prescription.

We took it easy this day. After breakfast at a French pastry shop near our hotel, we headed out to visit the Shanghai museum (no charge). On the way there, three young people stopped us. They welcomed us to China and spoke English quite well. We chatted for several minutes, as they told us they had recently graduated from college and were on vacation from Suzhou. The second one of them asked if we had ever been to a tea ceremony, I politely ended the conversation by saying I don’t like tea. They smiled and walked away.

We really enjoyed the museum and spent a couple of hours looking at the various artifacts, jade pieces, calligraphy, and other Chinese works of art. Reenie sat a lot to rest her foot.

We slowly headed north to a well fodorite-recommended place for lunch: Jia Jia Tang Bao. It was very easy to find, as we saw a long line of hungry diners. We waited in line for about 25 minutes, which went by very quickly. We had two sets of dumplings: one with chicken and pork and the other with chicken and crab (my favorite); along with some seaweed soup. These dumplings were so delicious I was in heaven! The dumplings were soft in texture and thin. The soup inside was piping hot, so one has to be careful when biting into them. It’s best to place the dumpling in the spoon and biting from the top. I sucked out the soup before eating the rest of it. Wish there was a place like that where I live!

Reenie had enough with her foot, so we took a taxi back to the hotel where she iced up her foot. I headed out for the remainder of the day walking around the area and seeing the Pudong skyline at sunset. Many people were on the Bundy promenade hanging out and watching the skyline scenery.

For dinner, which we had in our room with our wine, I picked up some street food. One small shop had two vats of boiling broth whereby each person takes a basket and fills it with whatever food they want to eat. There were skewers of various types of meat and seafood and assorted vegetables. There were also three or four types of noodles to select. I picked some pork meat, two types of mushrooms, cabbage and thin noodles. The cook finished off the soup with some hot sauce and other spices. I also picked up two crepes that were filled with leaks – a Chinese pancake that was typical of Shanghai. I think they were 1 RMB each. The soup was about 14 RMB. Cheap, cheap dinner for two.

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