12.11.2016 Shanghai 

Sun streamed through the window so we were happy despite a slight dull ache in the head from the dreadful wine from last night! 

Breakfast was bananas from our local banana seller (he knows we want san (3) bananas each morning now) and went to a fast food place in People’s Square metro for rice balls filled with stuff. This was a recommendation for Shanghai street food which we couldn’t find on a street so resorted to a stall in a mall. We chose 2 randomly and only Google translated them afterwards. Oh dear, we had not chosen the bacon filled one, we had chosen the meat powder one and the (gristle) sausage one. They weren’t fab, but Guy was hungry so finished them both off. 

We were sat next to a mango and icecream stall so I ordered mango and ice cream for my breakfast. Delicious.

As Guy was still starving (claiming last night’s crisps for tea was not enough) we went straight to Yangs Dumplings, joined the queue (it was 11.20) and got a plate each of these delicious soup filled pockets of goodness. We were positioned at the front of the restaurant and a 70 yr old woman shared our small table and ate her dumplings with much more delicacy and much less mess than us 2 blundering westerners. There was still a queue when we left so we couldn’t have put too many people off!

Walking down the street we saw a couple of Chinese guys fall out of a restaurant in a slight tussle. We hadnt seen drunk Chinese so far, so to see them at 11.45am was quite a surprise. 

Fuelled for the day we went to get some rays of sunshine from the nearby park. We got distracted by Starbucks and only went in for coffee and WiFi. They had coffee but no WiFi. They did have shoe shine men and beggers. 

We wandered out into the park to be met by a wall of Chinese people. It was a hot Saturday so we thought nothing of it. However we soon noticed that there seemed to be older Chinese people sat at the side of the walkway, with umbrellas and A4 paper with writing on it, which seemed to included a few dates or measurements, that we could make out, with the odd photo of a young person. Loads of older people were walking looking at them. We realised that this is where kids are put out there to be married off (there is probably a better term for this on Google but guess what. ….we can’t access it). Again, this was a fascinating sight to see, there were literally hundreds of people/ umbrellas in the park. Some ‘adverts’ were on wine boxes, which is what I think my parent’s whould put my advert on, if there was ever a need. We even saw a couple of blokes have a bit of a barney about an advert, all seemed to be a bit for show, but still quite emotional. 

UPDATE we have recently found out more on this via the woks of life blog

All the seats in the park were in the shade and once we had found one in the sun the clouds had set in. Oh, well, we sat in the warmth and took in the scenery for an hour or so. 

We made our way back to the hostel and realised that beer is cheaper than tea, so had 4 beers (24 yuan) instead of pot of tea (35 yuan), we are on a budget so if this is what we need to do to stick to it then, so be it.

Dinner was at a Hunnan restaurant, in a shopping mall. We ordered it all via ipads and ended up with a lovely green bean, onion,garlic and chilli dish, a single pork rib with spicy garlic rub and stinky tofu for Guy. Even Rick Stein didn’t like this, it stank and tasted like sewers and smelly feet, I tried a little and it was minging. He finished the dish and had an aura of stinky tofu for the rest of the night, but the rest of the food was delicious and filled with garlic so we must have both smelt divine. 

  You need gloves to eat some food here,  apparently. We needed to get more biros so went into MiniSo, a pink plastic heaven of shopping , outside the speakers were blearing ‘shopping makes you happy’ well, how can you disagree with that? OK, shopping is a necessary evil would be my interpretation but everyone is different.  The shop was rammed with youth and westerners buying cheap pink plastic. Every 2 mins or so there would be an announcement of some sort, and all the staff would chant something, all together, like robots. It was really weird. We got our pens and left before we became brain washed.

We had had some cheese tarts a couple of nights ago, and needed to check that they were as good as we remembered. So we purchased 2 more,  and they were as good as before, crispy sweet pastry and creamy cheesy inside. 

We headed back to the hostel for a good nights sleep………..

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