Singapore Adventure

Monday, April 17, 2006

Shanghai 101
by venitha

Not to be confused with the world's tallest building (that's Taipei 101 in an entirely different part of the country), this is a list of The Things We Learned In Shanghai.
  • Not all Pepto Bismol tablets are chewable.
  • We pronounce Shanghai incorrectly as shang'-hi; it's shong-hi'. Jim: "There you go, offending a billion people. Sheesh."
  • Doctors in China strongly advise their pregnant patients to get rid of their cats.
  • Quit trying to dissect food with chopsticks. It's not that Chinese people are so adept with chopsticks that they can use them to debone chicken and to cut the skin off fish. It's that it's not impolite to spit things out.
  • Censorship sucks. Say what you will (and I do) about the controlled environment of Singapore, but I have yet to find a website that I can't get to. In China, I can't even see wikipedia.
  • It doesn't hurt to ask. At the head of the only English-speaker line for the fifth time (I'm not kidding), Deepali and I finally secured our train tickets to Suzhou, the Garden City. Victory! Deepali nudged me, "Ask again about tickets back." We had already been told at least twice in this same line that they do not sell return tickets, but I shrugged and asked and was promptly sold five return tickets. Deepali: "It works all the time in India."

  • Always always always always always get a taxi receipt. Always. The five of us piled out of our cab at Shanghai's tallest building, the Jin Mao Tower, and... "Jim, do you have the camera?" I taught Rohit a few choice words and made a valiant attempt to chase down the cab, but red lights are never never never never never on my side. Never. Rohit's father, my hero, promptly gave his receipt, of which we could read absolutely nothing, to the very kind receptionist. Within minutes my fantasies of a shiny new digital SLR were dashed, and I was back to snapping shots of Shanghai with my snazzy little HP compact.
  • Cheap beer and dumplings are so nice.