What is there to do in Shanghai besides get drunk??
19.12.2011 - 26.12.2011
Despite being an impressive place in architecture and modernity, there appeared to be little to do in Shanghai apart from party. And being the Christmas season this is exactly what I had planned to do there.
After meeting several people who shared my feeling we soon decided we should start celebrating the impending Christmas day. On 22nd December, me and Niamh engaged in some pre-drinking at the hostel and had our first (and last) taste of cheap Baijui (Chinese liqour)...
"It burns, it burns!" Never again! The only other drink at the shop, apart from beer, was Bacardi Breezers- which bought back some memories of teenage drinking!!
A Chinese guy who lived at the hostel (who we later called 'mystery man' as despite how many times he told us his name we couldn't remember it) took us to a bar/club called NYX, which was to become our 'local' for the next three nights.
The next night we dragged out more people with us and owned the place with our signature moves and epic dance offs (meaning we got significantly drunk, stumbled around on the podium and made complete idiots of ourselves. Mega night!).
On Christmas Eve a few of us went out for a 'posh' meal on Nanjing Road. The restuarant we chose was popular, especially as it was open 25 hours a day (or so the sign said outside of the restaurant). Then we headed back to our 'local' to see in Christmas day!
Saying goodbye to my 'Breezer' partner, Niamh, as she left on Christmas morning was a little sad. Still in last night's make up and wearing her sunglasses as a disguise, we waved her off as she headed to the metro station and we went to get Chinese pancakes for breakfast.
Christmas day itself was a bit of a let down. I had a great day visiting People's park, Yu Yuan garden and an art gallery on the other side of the city.
But the hostel had failed to provided any kind of Christmas spirit- no crackers, no Christmas hats, not even a cheesy Christmas movie! It was the first time I had actually felt properly home-sick. Although back home the day itself consists of not much more than eating & drinking excessively, opening presents, slobbing on the sofa and afternoon naps- I realised how much Christmas Day actually meant to me. Just the familiarity of my parent's house, the usual Christmas routine and spending time with my family. I tried to skype home but the wifi signal in the hostel was really bad, and talking to mum on a crackily phone line ended up making me feel worse.
After my failed attempt at skyping home I pulled myself together, and Joe, Ramy and I walked along the Bund to view the splendour of Shanghai all lit up at night. In the roof-top garden of Bar Rouge, a place too expensive for us poor travelers, we set up some fake pictures of us lounging in luxury and sipping fancy cocktails...until a bouncer came out and caught us in the act...
The thing I found most impressive about the place was the older generation's persistence to continue their traditional ways of life under the developmental shadow of modern Shanghai. In the morning they would line the street of Nanjing road, sharing and selling their skills of fixing umbrellas, polishing shoes, cutting hair and giving massages- a hair cut in exchange for a fixed umbrella!
When the time came to leave I could safely say I was relieved. I met some amazing people, and had a MEGA time drinking and dancing...but six days in Shanghai is definitely enough. It's time for a little bit of calm...and a view of the sea!