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The French Concession Is Enough To Bake Your Bread

Hey Hey and a Big Whinge Toya Let me tell you something about bloody football and football players. Have you noticed that none of them wear watches. Next time you watch a game look at their wrists and you'll see that none of them have a watch on. You see, if they did they wouldn't be playing at such ungodly hours like they do. One thirty in the morning, what a stupid time to start a game. Begin the game at that time and it finishes several hours later in the wee hours. Stupid Stupid Crazy Stupid!! I don't care that they are playing on the other side of the world, the rest of the world is bigger and we all have to put ourselves out and go to a pub, drink lots of beer and have a fantasticly awesome time whilst we do it. We get to meet heaps of people, be with friends and make new friends. BUT...what about the next day? Footballers don't even stop to consider that do they! Anyhow, to the day. After falling to sleep around 7:30am I was woken around midday and didn't I feel like total crap. My head was still spinning and there were jumbo jets flying around my head smashing into my brain and skull a million times a second. I should have stayed in bed but I'm in Shanghai and one can not allow a ripper of a hangover stop them from placing one sandal before the other and venturing out into the new world. I met up with Daniel and Alexa and we slowly made our way down towards Nanjing Road in search of food. We headed into a department store and found a nice little cafe. Lunch was eaten at a slow pace by Daniel and I and luckily it stayed down. The coffee was a life saver and it slowed the jumbo jets down enough for a smile to shine through. The aim of the day was to find the 'Copy Market'. We had been told about a huge store known as the 'Copy Market'. Supposedly it was like a supermarket full of brand name ripoffs. It was supposed to be down Nanjing Road somewhere near the end. Right, like I need to walk amongst all those people feeling like this! Bugger! We walked and walked and searched and searched and the only thing we found was fact that the hawkers were really annoying. Watch? Ladies bag? Tee-shirt? Do I look like I need a ladies bag mate! Tell them no thanks and they then bring out their colour photos of the watches, ladies bags and tee-shirts. Say no thanks again and they then try to grab you by the arm and try to drag you down a little street to show you their little shop. Some of them will actually walk with you or just behind you for as long as you're in the area hoping you will change your mind. We asked a few foreigners if they knew of the market and one of them had been told that it had been closed down and that the stalls were now all over Shanghai. After having enough of hawkers and crowds we grabbed a cab and headed over to the corner of Huaiha Zhouglu and Fenyang Lu where the big Clothes Market was supposed to be. Here we were once again attcked my hawkers and when we found that the clothes market had been closed down and moved we decided to just spend the day walking around this beautiful part of town. The tree lined roads were peaceful and the archetecture was comfortable to walk amongst. For once there was not a white tile in sight. What a beautiful thing! We were walking the streets of 'Faguo Zujie' or better known as French Town. The lonely planet description is pretty much spot on and as I'm not much of a an architecture type of person I'll just use theirs. This section of Shanghai is full of 'Art Deco apartment complexes to neoclassical mansions and villas with quaint balconies and doorways'.

It really is a beautiful part of town. To find this lovely part of Shanghai simply walk along Yan'an Road and when you cross Chonqing Nanlu head south. I'm unsure how far up it goes but there is enough of it to bake your bread. We found a great English Bookshop and spent sometime browsing. I had my hands on the latest release of LP's China guide when my friend Judy from Australia called. She was the one who used to teach in Tiandong and whom I travelled to the Xishuangbanna Region with last winter break. Well, when she found out how much I spent on beer the night before she let the tongue lashings run riot. It wasn't the fact that I spent some money it was the fact that I never do that whilst travelling. So now I have wasted some money and have wasted this day. Only in Yangshuo/Salems Lot do I do this. Even then a weeks beer money there would be like one nights here. How right she was and soon the jumbo jets returned. Sadly I put the LP Guide back on the shelf and hung my head in shame. I can live with my old version that has been cut to pieces. Cities, privinces and regions have been pulled out and stapled together. I think that the next release of LP China should be sold in a ringed binder and sectioned by provinces. It really is a smart way to do things especially when you have a guide book as thick as the China one. After the book shop we continued walking around the streets. My head began to clear and the day became pleasant once again. When Alexa spotted the H & M sign she went off the planet and niether Daniel or myself could keep up with her. She was off mate. I had never heard of the store but obviously it was a huge hit in England. I didn't find the clothes to my strange taste but the girls walking around were. I then noticed something completely alien to me. I then began to count and wow, wow, wow there was over twenty foreigners in the store. In one line there was five of the strange creatures. It really has become such a strange sight for me. Daniel and I waited outside whilst Alexa went from floor to floor and when she finally stood before us with several bags I nearly died when she told me the financial outcome. Bugger I thought, where is that bloody book shop. My beer night and guide book would be still under that total. Oh to travel on English Pounds! For dinner we went to an awesome eatery in one of the department stores we found the day we arrived. It's called the Banana Leaf and it's in that department store just over there. Sorry, no idea of the name. It seems every building around the Nanjing Road area is a department store. It really is amazing. I had Thai and Daniel and Alexa had Indian. Isn't is amazing I thought as I ate my Thai, to have a choice between food from different countries to eat. Things like this have slowly slipped from my mind and I haven't even missed them...until now! After dinner it was time for the Nanjing Road by night walk. It was amazing, it was colourful, it was flashy, it was glitzy and of course it was bloody packed full of people. The day time hawkers had been replaced by the sleazy night time ones; You want boy mister? You want girl mister? You want a punch in the face...fark off! Beers N Noodles to ya...shane The soundtrack to this entry was The Basement Jaxx The album was 'Remedy' Super groovalistic sounds and a heap of fun.

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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