The previous two days have been my first real gastro-intestinal problems of the trip. Think it was the icecubes in a Diet Coke I was drinking at a western place... could have had a couple of causes though. Didn't need the Imodim I packed -- mild. Not bad, all things considered. No sniffles yet either, although I've been hitting the hand sanitizer pretty hard.
Anyway, I had a late start, and scratched plans on the more modern, eastern side of the river, Pudong. Walking outside the hotel I almost got hit by four mopeds on the tiny sidewalk before reaching the corner -- no kidding, and I was looking behind me too. Nerves were on edge early.
Just ended up walking around the area, trying to find the entrance to Jingan temple, getting something to eat. To "stay off the streets during rush hour" I'd have to add "during lunch hour too" -- it's a jungle out there, and cannot stand.
Finding that YouTube had nearly 500 videos on "china traffic", and that shanghaiexpat.com echoed the horror stories, and finding some of the few Web articles on traffic fatalities in Beijing and Shanghai, all these took the pressure off me -- my sentiments on their rapid adoption of automotive technology were not alone. We gave them magic, and they have not internalized the consequences of abuse.
Lots of kids here, lots of doting parents and grandparents... seems more of a bonding than on the streets of San Francisco. One of the great incentives for the future growth of this society?
I'll miss Beijing-style street breads when I get back. From dawn to closing hour you can get meat buns, sesame buns, other small portable packages on most streets. Price about two for a quarter. Beats western donuts!
Last night I did enter one of the places I had identified as "a clip joint", but it was straight-up, Location was across from a Hilton, so prices were a bit higher. 500 ml glasses of Carlsberg draft at two for 40 RMB during happy hour, and a plate of rice fried with beef and sliced red/green bell peppers for 30. About $10 US total, during two hours of streetside peoplewatching. Girls there were just for show.
Saw a group of four German businessmen there. They first ordered from the waitress in basic English -- lingua france. But at the end, one of the guys settled the bill in basic Chinese. Very cool.
Lots more people publicly pick their nose here. At public restrooms there's maybe about 20% who handwash, and many of these are perfunctory. I try to clean my hands after handling money.
Right now I'm typing up yesterday's notes at a ubiquitous (yet wireless-less) Starbucks. I'll put this away now, get out the maps, and figure out subway transit and itinerary for my trip under the river to Pudong.