Day Three – Shanghai
2005-07-28 1815 (CST)
I am sitting at the Shanghai train station waiting for my express train to Beijing. The trip is going to take 12 hours. After checking out of the Hua-Dong hotel, i took a cab with the intention of going to Nanjing Road directly. During the cab ride, i told the cab driver that i would like to eat more local food. So he dropped me off at street full of restaurants, near Nanjing Road. There were restaurants on both side of Zha-pu Road (乍溥路), but i think there were more “foot massage” parlors than restaurants. I have a feeling the “foot massage” parlors are just a front for more “intimate” activities.
I picked one of the restaurants. Again, like my last dinner, i ordered three dishes: the salty chicken (cold dish), the tofu with crab meat and chives with river snails. Once again, the food was very good. From talking to the friendly waitresses, i found out that most of the waitress working at the restaurant are not from Shanghai. The two waitresses that i talked to most are from An-hui (安徽). They told me that almost all the waitresses in privately-owned restaurants are not local. Waitresses in privately-owned restaurants have to work 6.5 days a week, in comparison to 5 days a week for waitresses in state-owned restaurants, and the locals are also paid better. They told me they make about RMB 1500 a month, which is equivalent to about 190 US dollars. I then asked them if they have share their tip with the rest of the waitresses, and after finding out that they could keep the tip to themselves, i left them a RMB 100 tip (which is actually more than the meal itself 🙂 ).
I spent the rest of the afternoon checking out the Bund area (外灘) and shops along Nanjing Road. (南京路). I was trying to see if i could find myself some cheap suits but the two stores that i went into did not even have my size. The largest sizes they have were 190 cm (i am about 193 cm). There were tons of people walking along Nanjing Road. At one point, i was approached by two supposedly Shanghainese ladies. They asked if i needed “company” while shopping. I thanked them and told them i could shop on my own 🙂
On my way back to the Dong-Hua hotel, i took the Metro. The Metro system looked pretty new and it made me feel like i was riding the MRT in Singapore. I took the Metro to the Shanghai Railway station stop and then went to the hotel to pick up my backpack. After eating some dumplings at DNSJ (大娘水餃), i went to the train station to wait for the express train to Beijing.