not just sunny, not just warm but HOT. I have been covered in a sheen
of sweat since 7:00am. The sunblock wouldn't even stick to me, just
slid around on the surface. Contrasting with the over airconditioned
stores, there is no relief. You just have to deal with it. Get
comfortable being overheated. Get distracted by the thousands of
things there are to look at.
Today I went on a short solo venture while my sister and her friend
checked out the Shanghai museum. I wandered through the streets alone
looking for the real shanghai. I found a small street full of food
vendors not too far away. Hidden behind the main streets of fancy
department stores, this side street was bustling with local action.
Scooters zooming through the crowds. No shame in plowing by someone
and almost knocking them over. ( I stayed awake to make sure I
wouldn't get run over) people were doing their prep right in the
street. Cleaning giant clams ( see picture ) washing vegetables,
washing dishes, chopping meat. It was a total frenzy of lunch time
action. I strolled a little bit and found a line up for a man doing
some sort of frying and assembling of some type of dish. I asked an
old man eating it around the corner. Used my guide book to point to
the translations like chicken? No Beef? No. Pork? He nodded with a
smile. Then I pointed to the translation that said 'how much' and he
counted to six in his strong Chinese accent. That's about .70 cents.
So i thanked him. In mandarin it sounds like "Shea Shea". He responded
in something I couldn't understand and waved with a smile.
I stood in line for quite awhile. All the locals were staring at me.
Some like I was a science project. Some with a proud smile. A lady
arrived in line behind me and I could just sense she was not loving
that I was ahead of her in her own corner stall. I made sure she
didn't bud me by keeping my leg out while I was standing. So far in
this city we've had alot of locals bud us in lines. I don't like
trying to get into a fight with them so I just make myself clear with
my body language :)
Eventually I caught on to how to place and order and successfully got
my food. It was good! Super tasty. The experience was the best part. I
have a video of it that I'll try to post parts of. It wouldn't let me
post the whole thing with my iPhone so enjoy the bits:)
The lady who was behind me also put her hand on the zipper of my bag
which I had basically under my arms on the front of my body. She was
daring. I just turned around at her and she put her hand down. This
city is so different than the sleepy lakeside of Hangzhou. It's wild!
It's busy! It's hot!
But it's amazing.
Posted by amy at 7.7.10