We had a slow morning yesterday, not getting out until after 10 a.m., walking along the Bund, then Nanjing Dong Lu pedestrian shopping street, where we searched in small streets to the side for somewhere for breakfast/lunch. A little place cooking dumplings was busy, so in we went. It turned out there was an English version of the menu, once we figured out to order at the counter. But no food came, and a nice man seated opposite us took pity, and took our receipt, Kent following, to the window outside, where 4 fried dumplings awaited us. They were a disappointingly gummy on the inside, but not bad. Finally, with prompting to the waitress from our benefactor, a bowl of noodle soup, which we shared, appeared. In China every meal is an adventure, from choosing a place, to figuring out the menu, to discovering just what kind of food arrives, to actually eating what we've gotten.
We wandered through People's Park, with a sculpture exhibit, and many men playing cards around a lotus pond where there was a little restaurant that would have been fun for lunch. We were in search of the Shanghai Museum, which turned out to be much farther away than we thought it would be. I haven't mentioned how many times a day Kent and I have discussions and disagreements about where we are and which way to go now! Or, which of us is almost always right!
In the tea shop at the museum a young man asked to talk to us. We were wary at first, but he was genuinely interested in conversation, and our views of the differences between China and the U.S. His concern was the same as that of another man Kent had spoken with in Pingyao, that China has had many centuries of peace, while the United States in its short history has, like Europe, fought many wars. And is democracy the best way to insure peace and prosperity? Then he pulled our a huge book, a history of philosophy! Kent told him he'd taught philosophy. They could have talked for hours or days, but the museum was closing soon, and we had a long walk ahead of us.
We ended up eating dinner, one of the best meals we've had, at a little hole in the wall place that turned out to be Korean food: a rice bowl with eggplant, braised cabbage with red chile peppers, a bubbling hot pot of beef with vegetables, and two beers. All cost only a little more than our tea, coffee, and one slice of cake at the museum -- a little over 100 RMB or $17 or a bit more for two of us.
We walked back to the hotel through the garish lights on Nanjing Lu, and past many more brides along the amazing, brightly lit Bund.
Linnea and Kent