Baptized in 1864, the main shopping street of Shanghai Central Avenue was the former international concession. Since September 1999, Nanjing is partly reserved for pedestrians. Read between Henan and Xizang read more than two million walkers will stroll every weekend, but the Shanghainese prefer Huai Hai Lu, chic Avenue of the former French Concession.
French Concession area, Shanghai (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Marked by several thousands of shops stretching 5.5 km, this enclave is fast becoming a tiny Hong Kong with its rows of neon lights flashing. It is here that we find the old “four major” stores in Shanghai who regains its luster over the last three years. Tray 1 has the corner of Tibet, Art Deco structure built in 1934 by three young Chinese architects is still the most popular store in Shanghai with 250 000 visitors per day.
Third part: after a few hours you sink into your chair and pretend to take notes, your rich client invites you to the famous business dinner. So here, for sensitive stomachs prepare your belly. The big boss brings you all in a “luxurious” Chinese restaurant (you can not refuse, it’s tradition). On-site boss was facing the door around the big round table and his deputy is the most expensive place either to the right or to the left (it depends on the regions of China, unfortunately during my first dinner I sat in the place of boss … oops!).
A region map of the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China. See List of regions of China (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The other guests take the remaining places. It follows a parade of dishes all as special as each other (when you look at the whole table is a carnival of color). Unfortunately your host only choose dishes that suit him (anyway it was he who pays), but you will not necessarily appetite. And for dinner you will make thousands gambeis (very codified, only the first big boss customer can make a Gambei with whom he wishes and then in the evening after many glasses you drink in the right all directions). The game is to make the opponent drunk one night. I am not “fanalcoolique” (oh oh nice word) but I recognize that I can drink alcohol like water (the Chinese are quite surprised to drink with me because I rarely shows signs of intoxication).
Dinner closes, everyone is drunk and you see that it is barely 19:30 (yes it is stuffing the mouth early in China). Once you are ready to return to the hotel to finally know peace by saying that tomorrow everything will be just a bad memory. Unfortunately the customer has enjoyed your company and wish that you stay one more day so that shows you what I do not know shit. Here, a murderous look, you stare your boss insisting, and the only answer he found to say is a big “yes.”
Thank you chef to forget that I have a private life outside of work. These are the joys of business trip.
Those of you who work in China where Chinese boxes that work there, know that you have all rights to the “business trip”.
What is the business trip? This is a business trip, meeting customer associated with and coupled to the business dinner. These three elements will overcome more than a laowai.
China Insurance Building (中国保险大厦), Shanghai (Photo credit: thewamphyri)
What I implying.
The business trip always starts well.
First your boss asks you to attend a meeting which takes place at customer Babeloued, deep in China. This means that you will stay on site at least two days. He tells you that you will then have to get up much earlier than usual, or for long hours driving or to get to the airport. The luckiest will fly.
Part Two: you finally arrived at the place of rendezvous, now you are entitled to meeting client. The interminable meeting where the big boss client stops talking, and you balance smokes every 20 minutes even if you do not smoke. Oh I forgot, the big boss punctuate these sentences with the big spit phlegm in the tissue. Meanwhile you mine interest you even if your eyes are just waiting to close. In addition, for those who do not speak Chinese and even for laowais Mandarin-speaking, it is a long moment of solitude. I can not tell you how many times I count sheep (I’ve already knitted a sweater and a wool coat). And whenever this is the same blablablabla laowai tinbudong blablablabla is what is meant and they make you smoke more passively.
After this whirlwind tour we head to the theaters and cabarets. Until then throughout our day, we stayed on our hunger given the low number of contemporary buildings encountered. The balance would be restored quickly by visiting the Korean Broadway (that’s why we nicknamed the neighborhood). First, it is crowded with people, it moves everywhere. Artists improvise music in the street, people riot to listen to the stars for a night. This makes us realize that we have never seen artists in the streets of Shanghai, or even improvised performance (long live communism …). The area is really nice, it is organized into two zones (the western part consists essentially of theaters and the eastern part is a more commercial area) separated by a large artery.
English: A TV tower somewhere in China (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The night begins to fall and we decided to go see the panorama of the city from the TV tower. But to get there we still have to climb a hill sacred for more than half an hour to reach … only the cable car station, which took us to the base of the tower. However, since the base of the tower the view is beautiful, you can really see the city and take the opportunity to dine at the top.
Brief towards our hostel is located at the station Hongik University. It will almost three quarters of an hour to find as well as in Tokyo, the streets do not names (it was 22h and we were a little death). After removing the little luggage we had, we were doing a tour of the neighborhood. Well bein there, nice surprise, our neighborhood is filled with coffee, restaurants (all the more attractive as each other) and KTV clubs and clothing stores (imagine the Shanghai Hengshan read more Wanchai district to HK, mix the two and multiply by ten and you get the excitement of Hongik University. The area is very popular, many pretty girls dressed shortly, groups of guys and we wish to fashions (in the middle of this human tide, filming and photographing the show). It was really amazing.
English: text of Hongik University 한국어: 홍익대학교 로고 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The next day we headed straight to the area of the temples, there we arrived at the changing of the guard (quite a din colorful), please visit the first temple, the second temple so on. Little disappointed in the temples themselves are beautiful but the gardens are mostly just poor little (grass is yellow, nothing grows there and it is sorely lacking in vegetation). At the end of yet another temple we decided to go to one of the last unspoilt villages with these atypical wooden houses. Well bein there we got our legs Seoul it goes up and down. The whole town was built around the hills. The reason why we have assembled and after more than an hour’s visit we will declare package (elevation kills too fun).
한국어: 홍익대학교 정문 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
After this showdown, we decided to stop seeing dusty buildings and return to modern life.
We’re coming to one of the future areas in vogue at the moment where a few commercial buildings are installed but most are either being renovated or under construction. Not far away there are still some remains of the ancient wall of the city, and in the same place, the city built a city park and a museum of design (by architect Zaha Hadid). We enjoy the area to enjoy two very good hot chocolate in a brewery.
As I have written recently, I took a holiday, which fell after a weekend on my way to visit South Korea and Seoul. We had the choice between three cities HK, Singapore and Taipei. The first we knew (as all Laowais who are constantly leaving the country and rebuild their visa) and the other two have dramatically slowed when we saw the exorbitant price of tickets (not serious Singap it’ll be a next time).
Seoul City Core from N-Seoul Tower (Photo credit: InSapphoWeTrust)
The choice is ultimately focused on Seoul which was much less expensive (it was already bled portfolio in Japan, it’s time to put the butter in the spinach).
As usual this is all excited that we went to the airport (Hongqiao). And two hours later we’ve arrived in Seoul (note the Korean Airlines flight was nickel chrome, a small flat hostesses had a little trouble with the language of Shakespeare).
First thing upon arriving at the airport in Seoul, was opened metro map, then we realized how the city was immense. It is spread over dozens and dozens of kilometers (the names of neighborhoods and metro stations are unpronounceable for the common man).