Dragon Boat Weekend in Gray Shanghai: Girl Talk and a lot About Trains

Written by Travel

Posted from: Shanghai
For anyone who’s expecting to hear about exciting forays into the highrise mafia dens of Pudong: I was in Shanghai to see an old and very good friend from college, so my trip involved about 137 minutes of sightseeing and about 42,021 minutes of sitting in French Concession wine bars talking about boys.

I met Marta on my first day of university as we each sized up the only other Western girl in class over the top of a pile of new textbooks. I was in an Adicts phase, and possibly a wiping my nose on the back of my hand phase, and she was in a lycra turtleneck mini-dress phase, and also quite definitely a pink eyeshadow up to the eyebrow phase. We took one long, disparaging look at each other and independently concluded that we’d better start making some Korean friends. Three weeks later we were sharing strawberries on the way to school; I’m going to be in her wedding next year.

Good thing we get a long weekend for Dragon Boat Festival, because two days really isn’t enough time to rejoice in the memory of rescuing a Zhou Dynasty poet’s bloated, drowning corpse from being eaten by river creatures (yes, really). I headed down late Thursday night and back up Sunday evening. The new high-speed Beijing to Shanghai bullet train makes the trip in five quick hours, costs a little under $100.00 each way, and may be the only thing in China that runs precisely on schedule.

Beijing to Shanghai: Travel on the Beijing to Shanghai bullet train

Beijing South Railway Station:
China Travel Blog: Beijing South Railway Station

Chinese people travel carrying the most amazing things, but they also disappear into a crowd faster than I can frantically claw a camera out of my bag, so you’ll have to take my word for the fact that some guy boarded the train toting a blue pogo stick, shortly followed by a man clutching a single cucumber.

China Travel Blog: Picture in the Reflective Glass on the Beijing to Shanghai High Speed Rail

I’m one of those people who’s not so sure the problem ever rested with Communism, but rather with the heart of a leader reckless enough to experiment with the stability of a billion lives. But if you’re like me and landscapes splotched with industry tickle your titties, watching the wreckage of that clinical trial hurtle past makes five hours seem short indeed.

Beijing China Travel Blog: Countryside speeding by on the Shanghai Highspeed Bullet Train

Train rides are like cryogenic chambers, a whole amazing lifetime in miniature. I spend half an hour poking my head into all the doors that will open. I want to talk to everyone about frippery, then talk to no one about nothing, then just a good friend about why the universe is such a charming bitch. I sit between the cars for a bit, have a beer in the dining area, have a snack, have a nap, take some pictures and stare out several windows with headphones on. When I get where I’m going, it’s all over and I’m a new woman.

Beijing to Shanghai Travel on the Highspeed Train: Full Compartments and Seat Backs

I rolled into town around 11:00p.m.. Marta and I talked until the sun came up.

Requisite picture of The Bund – check
Shanghai China Travel: Standing Near the Bund

We talked some more on the top floor of this:
Travel in Shanghai Blog: On the 91st floor of the Park Hyatt Shanghai

While looking at this:

Train Trip to Shanghai: The View from the Park Hyatt Bar in Pudong

And one Bloody Mary later were doing this:

Shanghai Travel Blog: Pictures of the

Then we talked some more in here:

Shanghai Travel: Massages parlor near the French Concession

Jiggety jig:

Shanghai to Beijing Bullet Train: Getting on at the Hongqiao station

Shanghai to Beijing High Speed Rail: Boarding at the Platform at Hong Qiao

And now I will leave you with this pile of Shanghai Art District knicknacks alluringly labeled “Screams of Pigs”, none of which are actually Japanese sex toys:
Sightseeing in Shanghai: Knicknackery in the Art District Market Stalls