(Pictures of cars backed up.)
A MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT CAUSES A TRAFFIC JAM IN DOWNTOWN SHANGHAI.

CITY OF SHANGHAI
Shanghai means `On The Sea".

Author's note:
All material on this website is covered by copyrite, `00/11.
Copy, in whole, or in part, without express permission of the author is illegal.


(graphic image of girl.)
FAMILY

Fantastic in-laws
(Vancouver airport. )
GOING

and Returning, Via Air Canada
(graphic image of friends.)
LONG HUA & PU SAN

Districts of Shanghai
(Front end of mag lev.)
MAG LEV

Bullet Train

(graphic image of friends.)
PU DONG

A District of Shanghai
(World's largest French Safe.)
QIBAO

Ancient Town
(graphic image of old city temple.)
SHANGHAI

Experiences
(Face of a lesser panda.)
SHANGHAI

Zoological Park
(graphic image of Gateway Dept. Store.)
SHOPPING

In Shanghai
(New Street.)
ZHOU PU

(See Pu Dong)

(Exterior of a large store.)
NOTE THE SANTA HOUSE AT THE MAIN ENTRANCE
AND A SLEIGH ON THE ROOF
GENERAL
STREET
SCENES
OF
SHANGHAI
(Interior of a large store.)
CHRISTMAS 2006

(Santa Clause on a balcony playing a saxophone.)
SANTA ENTERTAINING FROM THE BALCONY OF A LARGE HOTEL ON NAN JIN LU. I CAN'T REMEMBER THE NAME OF THE SONG. IT WASN'T A XMAS SONG BUT IT WAS A WELL PLAYED WALTZ (The main shopping area of Nan Jin Lu is like that of Granville St. in Vancouver. No cars.)


(Crowds in a market.)
SMALL STALLS LINE THE SIDES OF A STREET
RESTRICTING THE PASSAGE OF THE MANY SHOPPERS
(Crowds in a market.)
(Crowds in a market.) (Street vendor cutting keys.)
A SIDEWALK LOCKSMITH CUTS A KEY
(Street vendor cooking food.)
A TASTY TREAT FROM A SIDEWALK VENDOR
(Street vendor mending shoes.)
A SIDEWALK SHOE REPAIR SHOP

I have never been to China in the summer so I don't know how they live. They do say that it gets terribly hot in the summer and most people, at least in Shanghai, find it unbearable. Cold is what they are used to.

The first them I visited Shanghai I was frightened by the way the cab driver was driving; late at night, no streetlights, and no defroster, he was constantly wiping, with an old rag, the condensation from his windshield.

I learned later that there was probably nothing wrong with his car. He probably didn't know how to turn on the defroster. When my brother-in-law got his new van and took us for a trip I took the rag away from and wiped the windshield for him, then turned on the defroster and showed him how he didn't need to use a rag.

Heat is not something they are used to. Their; homes, hospitals, places of work, stores, are not heated. Buildings have no source of heat. Buildings are not insulated, or lined. Most buildings are made with concrete and the concrete is smoothed and painted for a finished wall. Floors are either hardwood or tile.

Though they have no idea what a furnace, or a space heater, is they certainly know what an air conditioner is. All buildings are dotted, on the outside, with cooling units. Usually one for each room. Thought they say electricity is too expensive to use to heat the home, they do not find it too expensive to cool the home.

When company cones to visit, they take off their shoes and put on slippers that are provided by the host. The host does not offer to take their coats, as in a Canadian home. The hosts are already wearing coats and the company will keep theirs on.

The temperature inside the home will be the same as that outside, give or take a degree, or two.

If it is a sunny day, which is quite common in winter, all windows will be open to freshen the air. The quilts will all be hung from the windows, to air them out. I once passed by a construction site and the scaffolding was a patchwork of colour. The neighbours were using the crossbars to hang their quilts.

Though most of the newer apartments are equipped with washer and dryer, the clothes are usually washed by hand and hung outside the window to dry. Most apartments have racks attached to the wall, outside the apartment windows.

At night, before going to bed, to keep the bedding clean, you have a shower. Bedding consists of a sheet, over a thin quilt, underneath you, and a quilt, or comforter, over top of you.

Undressing in the bedroom, is chilly. The air is cold, as is the polished hardwood floor. You remove your; eiderdown coat, wool, or eider down vest, wool sweater, shirt, T-shirt, and thermal undershirt, your; two pair of socks, lined slacks, thermal under pants, and shorts. Put your feet back into the lined slippers, which have an extra liner in the bottom, and pull on a quilted robe.

As the cold air makes goose bumps on your naked calves you saunter through the living room, dinning room, and into the bathroom.

First you close the door, then you close the window. Or vice versa, it really doesn't matter. The room is going to be cold the entire time you are there.

There is a bathtub. I don't know why. It is fairly deep but no one is ever going to fill it let alone use it. Water costs money, hot water cost more, and no self respecting Chinese would sit and soak in water that would be contaminated by ones own body.

In the bathtub is a bowl, beneath the spigot. Tied beneath the spigot, with a string, is a small funnel, to direct the water into the bowl. The spigot is opened, slightly, to allow a slow drip. A piece of string is threaded through the funnel to the bowl so the drips of water will follow the string and enter the bowl, silently.

All water, entering the apartment, goes through a meter. It is believed, though I seriously doubt it, that if the water drips slow enough the meter will not register it. This, free, water can then be used to wash dishes, vegetables, floors, or can be boiled for drinking. It is believed that the water, straight from the tap is not hygienically safe to drink. Not that Chinese ever drink water that hasn't been polluted with tea leaves. You will notice them, everywhere, carrying a small thermos. They sip from this constantly. In the morning they put in fresh tea leaves and fill it with hot water. Throughout the day they will refresh the water. Any store will gladly fill it for you.

Sort of like Americans who are never more than three feet from a insulated coffee mug, large. Except they don't get free refills.

I take the string and funnel away but I leave the bowl to fill as I turn on the water. I have to let it run for awhile as there is no hot water reservoir (hot water tank). Water is heated by natural gas which, like the water, is on a meter. The water heater becomes active when you open the hot water spigot. It takes a few minutes to get through the pipes. When the water turns warm I remove the bowl and direct the water at the floor of the tub to warm the cold enamel. Now I remove my robe, and slippers, quickly step into the tub, and pull the curtain.

I believe, this type of hot water system is now being

A shower is short and to the point. Any part of your body that does not have the stream of water from the shower head is being rapidly cooled by the five degree air that is in the room. Luckily, unlike the water in Vancouver, the water in Shanghai will rinse the soap from you within a few seconds.

Then it is quickly dry, open the curtain, and very carefully step out of the tub.

As I said the tub is deep. The wall of the tub is high, and the floor of the tub is just above the height of the floor of the bathroom, so one must be careful stepping out. Also the floor of the bathroom is tile so it is slippery, as well as cold.

Quickly I dry my feet, slip them back into my lined slippers, and slide my body into the padded robe which still retains some of my body heat, if I folded it properly after taking it off, and if I haven't spent too long in the shower.

Now walking quickly, but not too quickly so as so create a wind chill factor, I hustle back to the bedroom, don a T-shirt and slip into bed.

The sheet is cotton so it doesn't take too long to warm up if I tuck the quilt around me and lie still for a few minutes.

It is only going down to 4 above tonight so I don't need pajamas. However when it does get colder I will wear socks to bed.

The bed is not soft and comfy like back home. It is not a box spring and mattress. It is like a combination of the two. A box spring with a small amount of padding over what feels like a sheet of plywood.Other than flat on your back, it is hard to find a comfortable position.

(Arron beside Jing Xian's bed.)
Modern housing in China includes; large, bright, bedrooms.
Aaron checks out the firmness of the mattress.

The bed is not soft and comfy like back home. It is not a box spring and mattress. It is like a combination of the two. A box spring with a small amount of padding over what feels like a sheet of plywood. Other than flat on your back, it is hard to find a comfortable position.

Busy hotels will have heated rooms, but they are not as warm as we are used to. As I travel in off season I often stay in hotels with few other guests. When we stayed in Wuxie, we were the only guests. There was no light and no heat. When we returned from exploring, late in the evening, they turned the electricity on for an hour, while we retired.

Luckily down is very inexpensive in China. All beds are topped with big fluffy quilts, comforters, or duvets. And there is usually an extra one in a closet.

(Young boy on bus.)
CURIOUS YOUNGSTER ON A CITY BUS
(Large crane working on a pipeline.)
A CRANE LOWERS NEW PIPE FOR A WATER SYSTEM UPGRADE

(Tall buildings.)

(Tall buildings.)

(Cars on a street.)

(bridge over canal.)

THE CITY IS INUNDATED WITH CANALS

NAN PU BRIDGE OVER THE HUANG PU RIVER


NAN PU SQUARE PARK

Nan means South and Dong means East. So this is the Southern bridge over the Huang Pu River, going from Pu Dong, or East Pu, to Shanghai.

Both ends of the bridge preserve vital industrial and residential property by utilizing a spiral bridge to go from ground level to span level.

Within the circle, on the Eastern shore, is a large park, Nan Pu Square Park.

Within the circle on the Western shore is a bus terminal.


LOOKING SOUTH FROM THE SPAN

LOOKING NORTH FROM THE SPAN

WESTERN SPIRAL

LOOKING EAST

WESTERN SPIRAL

LOOKING EAST

FURTHER SOUTH, AND WEST,
ANOTHER NEW BRIDGE SPANS THE HUANG PU RIVER


SHANGHAI - NAN JING EXPRESSWAY


XU PU BRIDGE

XU PU BRIDGE

END

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SHANGHAI WEATHER FORECAST


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Huangpu River

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(Pic. of Airport.)
YVR Vancouver International Airport.


SHANGHAI, CHINA
* Going, and Returning: Via Air Canada. *

Being susceptible to colds and fevers I am used to getting sick whenever I go to a different climate. I wasn't prepared, however, to get sick on the eve of departure. As per normal it started in one nostril and during the night spread to the other. By noon my head was pounding and all I wanted to do was go to sleep. It was probably the fact that I was so sleepy that gave me the patience to endure the unending wait at the ticket counter.

Arriving at the Air Canada check in, at the YVR, (Vancouver International Airport) the same time as everyone else, we joined the end of the queue which was way down the concourse in the direction of the Canadian Domestic Departure check ins. Air Canada was checking in passengers for three flights at the same time.

The fact that I was weak and tired helped me overcome my impatience at the interminable wait as the line inched slowly forward. When we finally reached the check-in our delay was not over. The check-in lady was a trainee without a trainer and she often had to look for someone to help her as the girl at the next check-in was also a trainee. Eventually, with many an apology, she finally got us through and brightened our day by telling us that, though we had lost time, we were not late as the plane's departure had been delayed.

This was good because I was starving and I desperately wanted some hot soup. Despite man's advances in medical science I am still a firm believer that the best cure, and/or relief, from a cold, or its symptoms, is hot chicken soup.

I had neither the time nor the energy to search all of the eateries in the YVR to see if one was serving chicken soup. While the wife headed for the duty free shop I headed for the food court where I felt sure I would find a hot broth of some kind. I lucked out with a bowl of hot noodles with wonton.

In the departure lounge I asked if we could pick our seats for the flight as we hadn't been assigned any at check-in and I was told that my name would be called later as the computers were down at that time. Later they called my wife's and my step son's name, but not mine. Our numbers were not concurrent as our tickets had been purchased on separate days.

I explained to the lady that we were travelling together and she gave us two seats and when I asked for three together, she snarled, "Be happy, I'm giving you good seats, very good. I'll try to get you another one in the next row". Too weak and tired to argue I took what she gave us.

Later, when they called for boarding, they asked for rows one to five, for Business Class. I looked at my tickets, they said Executive Class. I had noticed that the forms I had turned in, which I had received from check-in, had said hospitality class.

I caught the attention of an Air Canada employee and asked if business and executive were the same thing. I was informed that it was a hold over from Air Canada's acquisition of Canadian Air that used different tittles but yes, business and executive are the same, as are hospitality and economy.

Gathering my family and our carry-ons I quickly joined the queue for boarding. Now I knew what the lady had meant when she said she was giving me good seats. I wondered if it had anything to do with my patience during check in by a trainee or if it was just luck of the draw. Whichever, I wasn't going to complain because I had never flown first class. But then I had never flown any other class, this was my first overseas flight.

By switching seats with my stepson I was able to sit next to my wife. Though I had been given row four and they, row five, our seats were on the opposite sides of the plane.

We were barely settled into our seats when we were served champagne. What a wonderful way to start a flight, but wait, we hadn't started yet. We were still connected, people were still boarding.

I marvelled at the big screen up front that showed the position of the plane over the continent, the time at the points of destination and departure and was informed that all of that plus several movies were available on my own individual screen built into the armrests between the seat. Also, there, I was able to find my own personal telephone. However it only accepted Yankee phone cards which I found strange as this was a Canadian airline.

When we had left Vancouver it was clear and sunny and we got a good view of Burnaby, Richmond, and the gulf islands as we circled, clockwise, away from the runways. Unfortunately I didn't have a camera with me.

Though I spent most of the twelve hours of flight time blowing my nose and trying to sleep I was very pleased with the menu and the service. The stewardess and steward, or flight attendants, whatever the politically correct terminology is nowadays, were ever so friendly and efficient.

Our touchdown in Shanghai was a bit of an ordeal as my sinuses were blocked and trying to clear my ears was difficult and painful. Thankfully our drop from eleven thousand meters to seal level only took a few minutes and the torture wasn't prolonged.

The new international airport is not in Shanghai itself but in a district called Pu Dong. It is a large modern glass, concrete, steel beam, edifice along the lines of the expansion in Vancouver only emptier, virtually deserted.

It looks rather immense from the outside. However, once, one overcomes the cavernous effect and the polished glitter it really isn't as big as Vancouver's airport. It takes very little time to walk from one end to the other. There is no food court, few restaurants, a couple of small gift shops and few duty free shops.

(Highway leaving airport.)
PU DONG AIRPORT (Photo Dec. `06)
OK, IT'S NOT THE GREATEST PICTURE IN THEWORLD. I HELD THE CAMERA OUT THE CAR WINDOW, POINTED IT BACKWARDS, CLICKED THE SUTTER 4 TIMES, THEN WELDED 2 OF THE PICTURES TOGETHER

We arrived at the same time as a couple of other flights but all were swallowed in the cavernous expanse of glass and steel. After walking and riding on long, moving, sidewalks we eventually reached an area where we had to report for inspection. This consisted of handing in slips of paper that we had filled out aboard the airplane. A little further on we stood in another line where our passports were inspected.

Down an escalator, we were dwarfed by the huge cavern where luggage was collected. Carousel after carousel, all sitting idle. Luggage went round and round on carousel number ten but none of it belonged to anyone aboard our flight, although the labels showed it had come off our flight. Eventually our luggage joined what was already there and people began collecting. We collected four of our five bags and then waited for a long time. Eventually they closed the door to the outside and turned the carousel off.

There would be no more luggage coming off our flight. Still, there were many people standing around looking for luggage and still the original luggage waiting on the carousel to be claimed.

I found an official and explained the situation to her and she went to check. Other luggage came and went, on neighbouring carousels, as another two flights arrived and the passengers picked up their luggage.

While we waited, passengers from other flights came to our area to get luggage carts. Despite the size of the building there only seemed to be one area where carts were available and they seemed to be in short supply.

These carts come equipped with brakes and despite the fact that the instructions are on the handle, many people were trying to push the carts with the brakes on. As many of them were trying to go past where I was standing and I didn't speak Chinese I used sign language to tell them they had to push down on the handle to release the brake.

Eventually an official had us fill out forms describing our lost luggage and the few of us who still remained headed for customs.

I had been watching the customs. Only one of the three checks was open and only a few officers stood around, not stopping people as they hurried on by. When it came our turn to go through customs there were no officers present and we went through uninspected.

When we left home I had ordered a minivan for a taxi as few modern cars have space for three grown ups let alone any luggage. Shanghai proved to been even worse with smaller cars, than those in Canada. The majority being Santana by Volkswagen.

We were lucky and got a driver who wasn't afraid to drive. At forty to fifty Km above the posted speed limit, we flew down the nearly deserted freeway. The Pudong airport is serviced by a network of new freeways that would leave L. A. jealous as they roll through and around the structure of the airport.

(Highway leaving airport.)
PU DONG AIRPORT (Photo Dec. `06)
THE OVERHEAD SIGN SAYS WHICH TRAFFIC SHOULD BE IN WHICH LANE.
(FROM LEFT TO RIGHT) PASSENGER VEHICLE MAXIMUM 100 MINIMUM 80 -
LIGHT VEHICLE MAXIMUM 80 MINIMUM 60 -
HEAVY VEHICLE MAXIMUM 80 MINIMUM 50 -
HEAVY LIGHT VEHICLE MAXIMUM 80 MINIMUM 50

Once off the freeway into the side streets, I thought I was back in Mexico. The streets were narrow, unlit, and shouldered by pedestrians in dark clothing and bicycles with no lights. Why our cab driver, who didn't slow down and kept constantly wiping the windshield with a rag because he had the defrost control blowing the heat on our feet, didn't hit anyone, is beyond me. We came close several times as we flew through intersections, slowing for the odd red light but stopping for none. Swerving through, and honking at, oncoming traffic.

Along the roadside concrete stalls with roll up metal doors. Each cubicle containing a small business, open late in the evening.

In a suburb of Shanghai we arrived at my wife's house and were greeted my several members of her family who had arrived ahead of us to open the house which had been closed for the summer.

My wife and her sister had bought adjoining apartments on the outskirts of town but then found that it was too far to commute. Consequently when my wife is living in Canada her sister closes up their home and lives in the heart of the city.

My wife had not told her family that I was coming with her and they were all quite surprised to find a Caucasian amongst them.

All in all, despite my head cold, my first trans oceanic flight, thanks to Air Canada, was a pleasant experience.

I sat over the wing, in the middle section of seats. There is definitely less elbow and leg room but it wasn't too uncomfortable.

I was disappointed with breakfast, not that it wasn't a good meal but that they didn't have any ketchup for my hash browns.

I think my only major complaint was that the wine they served for supper was not from the Okanagan valley, in fact it was not even from Canada. This I find strange when it is common knowledge that Okanagan wines have won awards, even in France, and the name of the airline is `Air Canada'.

However the flight crew was efficient and friendly and the flight was smooth and two hours shorter than the flight going over.

The return flight, in January, was not quite as comfortable as I didn't get promoted to first class and experienced my first long flight in economy class.

PVG
PU DONG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (Feb. 2003)

(Freeway approaching airport.)
YING BING WAY (WELCOME FREEWAY)
ACROSS SOUTHERN PU DONG TO THE AIRPORT.
ON THE LEFT, THE CONCRETE RAIL OF A HIGH SPEED SKYTRAIN.

(Airport terminal.)
(Outside of airport, entering covered departure area.)
DEPARTURE LEVEL.
(Inside of airport.)
NORTH, CHECK-IN AREA.
(Outside of airport.)
VIEW, LOOKING NORTH, FROM CHECK-IN AREA.
(Outside of airport.)
VIEW, LOOKING SOUTH, FROM CHECK-IN AREA.
(Inside of airport.)
NORTH, DEPARTURE GATES.
(Outside of airport.)
CHINA EASTERN AIRWAYS.
(Inside of airport.)
AIR CANADA FLT. 38 GATE 21.

We left Shanghai in rain but landed in sunshine, coming in over Vancouver island.

Seeing the snow on Forbidden Plateau, and the mountain peaks near Whistler, made me glad to know I was only home for three days and then off to sunny Mexico.

YVR
(Pic. of Airplane.)
Air Canada lands at YVR
In the background, fresh snow crowns Grouse Mountain.

END

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Temperatures in Chinese
SHANGHAI WEATHER FORECAST


The WEATHER NETWORK

* * * * * * * *

RELATED WEB SITES

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DIGITAL PHOTO GALLERY

Shanghai
(S E P logo.)
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(Head shot.)
LEIGH KIRKWOOD
Travel Consultant
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