Shanghaied !

Tripoto
1st May 2019
Photo of Shanghaied ! by Meha Sinha
Day 1

view of the city from Jin Mao towers

Photo of Shanghai, China by Meha Sinha

the jade Buddha temple in backdrop of the city’s skyscrapers

Photo of Shanghai, China by Meha Sinha
Photo of Shanghai, China by Meha Sinha
Day 2

the Bund

Photo of Shanghaied ! by Meha Sinha

the road outside the Bund

Photo of Shanghaied ! by Meha Sinha

the Shanghai roads

Photo of Shanghaied ! by Meha Sinha

the Bund at night

Photo of Shanghaied ! by Meha Sinha
Day 3

street food at Yuyuan bazar: crab on stick

Photo of Shanghaied ! by Meha Sinha

street food stall at the Yuyuan bazar

Photo of Shanghaied ! by Meha Sinha

crab on stick

Photo of Shanghaied ! by Meha Sinha

inside the Yuyuan bazar

Photo of Shanghaied ! by Meha Sinha
Photo of Shanghaied ! by Meha Sinha
Day 4

It has now become a rule that something which isn’t ordinary will happen before or during my every trip. And these events have been shaping my experiences and may I say, making the trip memorable... quite simply they have made my trip into a story worth telling !

So after the earthquake in Bali ( more about that in my blog about my trip to Indonesia) I was conned by a con artist in shanghai !

The shanghai trip happened as a result of a contest that my company had conducted. We were a huge group and the itinerary largely included the popular spots. But I had a list of my own and I was determined to tick the items off that list.

One such place was the Yuyuan bazar, a beautiful market in Chinese architecture, selling souvenirs, silk scarfs, pearls, clothing and other cute chinese stuff with a number of street food stalls.

The Yuyuan bazar

I was strolling along the bazar , turning in directions that my heart told me to. And suddenly at a corner, a Chinese woman requested me to click her photo. As if it was not strange that a chinese was not only speaking English, but complete sentences of it ( as opposed to the majority not knowing even a word of it) she struck a conversation and told me she was also traveling alone. Everything sounded fine, then she asked me if I would join her for a Japanese tea ceremony. I agreed, even though my gut told me run.

She took me to a small shop where a chinese lady started talking in Mandarin or Cantonese (because I can’t tell the difference)and the English speaking Chinese lady ( let’s call her alice - I don’t remember her name even though she told me) was doing the translation. I realised it was going to take time and wanted to leave but Alice insisted that I stayed , that the ceremony will be over in 20 mins. My gut spoke louder and angrier this time. It screamed, “ flee! “ but who is smarter? Me or my gut ? My gut of course but I asked it to shut up and justified staying back using the “ this tea ceremony is a new experience “ excuse.

And so throughout the ceremony which largely involved the chinese lady giving us tea samples to drink, I kept my guard up and drank the tea only when Alice finished hers ( just to avoid the possibility of my tea being spiked) . At the end of the boring ceremony, I was told that I was now a customer and could take one of the six varieties of tea home for free. I didn’t understand, but knew there was a catch. Soon I was presented with a bill charging me with 48 Yuan for each type of tea I tasted. To cut the story short, I ended up paying 50 yuan instead of 348 yuan, kept the flower and fruit tea for myself ( which I was on the verge of losing because I agreed to pay only 50 yuan ???? )

Things could have possibly gone horribly wrong , people had advised me against going out alone because the Chinese don’t speak or understand English. getting a taxi is difficult and it’s a new country , blah ! Blah ! But the point is things could go wrong even when you aren’t taking a chance .

I was supposed to join my office group at a place called AP market. Getting a cab in China is a big big challenge. The cabbies never ever ever take you in. Reaching the hotel is one thing , but reaching a lesser known place is another. Add to it that the market has some 11 gates and getting hold of the group in time could be difficult. So anyways, I decided I will figure a way out. I had gotten the hotel guys to write down the name of ap market in Chinese for me in advance. However, no taxi agreed to come and I tried for about 20mins. Then I noticed a lot of taxis going into a 5 star and came up with an idea and I highly recommend travellers to China adopt it.  I went inside, asked the concierge to get me a taxi and voila ! I had a taxi in 3 mins plus the hotel guys explained to the cabbie how to get to the location !

I got to ap market ahead of time, met the group without any difficulty at all and was left with a good story to tell ????

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