I arrived in Shanghai on Sunday afternoon, and my friend and her dad picked me up from the airport.
On Monday, my friend and her parents took me to a place called Laochangfang (老场房). It was a little weird and creepy because it’s an old slaughterhouse from the 1930s that has been converted into a tourist site and commercial building with shops and restaurants (including a dog cafe!). Parts of it looked like it could be a map from one of those first-person shooter video games… Also some of the staircases were really steep and terrifying.
We also went to the area where all the pavilions were when Shanghai hosted the World Expo in 2010. The Saudi Pavilion (now the Moon Boat – 月亮船) is still there, and we went to see it. Sadly, all of the art and the model Bedouin tent have all been removed, but they did have this really cool and massive projection thingy that showed pictures of Saudi Arabia. We enjoyed that enough to go through it twice!
Then we went to visit the old China Pavilion, which is now the China Art Museum Shanghai. We didn’t stay there for very long because we were getting tired and it was almost dinner time, but I liked the parts I saw and it was the first time this trip that a random person asked to take a picture with me!
Yesterday, my friend and I went to the Shanghai Museum in People’s Square. I saw it from the outside while I was here last year but just never went inside. We saw pottery, bronze work, sculptures, calligraphy, and paintings. We had fun chuckling and speculating about some of the objects that didn’t quite match their descriptions, such as a pot that was supposed to be bird-shaped but had four legs, and frogs that appeared to have wings drawn on them. My favorite was the calligraphy; it’s impossible for me to read it, of course, but I have fun trying!
Today, my friend and I are just staying home while her parents are at work. It’s hot out, and we’re both kind of tired – I pretty much passed out after we came home from dinner last night. I also had some work to finish up, anyway (I had to submit a preliminary curriculum for the kids I’m going to be teaching by Friday and submit a transcript and a summary of the last school year so I could renew a scholarship), so it’s still been fairly productive.