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Published: June 26th 2008
He who cannot compromise with his enemy is controlled by them!
There are no other words to describe Shanghai as every building as far as the eye can see is Empire State Human. We walked around this great city with cricked necks and dropped jaws looking upward while clumsily bumping into everything. I thought about all the impressive historical sites we have seen on our journey so far, Palenque, Tikal, The Great Wall of China, The Bayon faces at Angkor Wat, Inca trail-Machu Picchu and the amazing Yungang Caves in Da Tong. Every building in China is balanced as they use the sacred art of Feng Shui, new constructions have green lush potted plants to protect its jagged edges and to encourage growth, and fish tanks are used in North points to keep the flow of energy moving.
THE BUND is the world famous promenade opposite the spacey Oriental Pearl Tower and JinMao skyscraper. Shouts could be heard from all the illegal food sellers, cheeky magic men, kite sellers, beggars who weaved between hoards of walking families and skyscraper gazing tourists. The special 'Bund' police force gave regular chase while driving a single plastic electric buggy that looked more
Babies bums everywhere
christmas gifts anyone?
like those cartoon vehicles for kids that cost 20p to run for three minutes outside a supermarket, the cops had 'Enya' played at full head splitting volume from the buggy. The illegal’s ran for their lives away from the legal’s but I felt they were running more from the repetitious sounds of Enya than the carry on policing style of the special Bund force. Restaurants had picture and sound menus, animal noises clarified if it was pig, cow, or chicken, fish is a universal word or you point to the fish swimming in the standard aquariums situated in the north points of the restaurants. You will find that the words 'sorry', 'bye bye', 'OK', 'how much you pay' and 'cheap' are universal, products in shops had pictures on it and or similar graphics to products at home, counting numbers on fingers or in written form is universal also. If you hate tipping come to China as they don't accept tips at all, just before we left the country I went to a public loo, I decided to leave all my loose change and small notes in a dish for the loo attendant, but she came running out the loo's to
give me all the money back as the dish was for soap only.
Our chunky Lonely Plant hardly saw the light of day. We simply have gotten into a well oiled travel routine and prefer to listen to locals and others in the know, there is a natural flow of various traveller trails, just decide where you are starting from and the trail begins, many people cross paths we all swapped notes, all the hostels are fantastic modern clean emporiums and they all recommend each other up and down the country. So far our lonely planet book has been used for the following purposes: Door stopper, bed lamp stand (to raise a little bedside light a bit higher), to wedge between a flapping annoying AC vent , to lend to those less confident than ourselves, Laptop knee rest while playing DVD's on a rock hard futon bed, to keep old yet important bits of paper flat, to sit on to avoid piles on cold or wet concrete, paper weight, I tore out one small corner on page 357 to use as an emergency tooth pick, to learn Cantonese with a copper on a public train (the only genuine usage)
Shanghai is a great city to walk around, while we were there we must have walked another Great Wall in distance, but one day I woke up and my feet and ankles had exploded. The swelling was more disturbing to those who had to look at it as the Chinese always seem to look at my shoes or feet then sniff the air a bit, which I don't understand at all. I felt fine, pulse regular, blood pressure normal, I did not know what to do next as it was quiet painful so I went in search of another traditional Chinese medicine place, I found one somewhere up there in the Shanghai heights around the 37th floor level. I was quoted a horrific price for the same service I had received elsewhere for cheap cheap, but the receptionist assured me the price was all inclusive, the consult, all treatments - (plural) and needles. I might as well go for it, but Stu also suggested that we could just leave and I could just put my feet high up higher than heart level for a bit and rest, the last 25 days of solid walking and lying horizontal on hard
trains for hours on end (Luyuong to Shanghai 17 hours) and 24 nights sleeping on back breaking futons with little sleep, permanently eating pot noodles has not helped. I did not listen to him my legs were in agony and so I continued with the consult.
She complemented my 'prosperity palace' nose but focused her attentions more on my 'ears of abundance'. She felt my face had good solid quality of yang chi my round face was the face of fine fertility! The frontal bone in my head was a good ‘Jade Pillow' again meaning prosperity and luck, she told me my childhood was not so good, she could tell this by indentations in my right ear, she fondled my ears for ages, she got very excited as her thumb and forefinger traced every lump, bump, plump fleshy broad bits, thin bony narrow bits, she told me my ears were pure perfection and I should be expecting a child soon... WHAT? I piddled into a cup, she took some blood, she placed three plasters with a small stone onto my ears to encourage me to press the relevant pressure points for the next 7 days, one point made me
wish to pass out, she said that was progress, along with an assortment of temporary acupuncture needles I was stabbed from every angle, as this would help balance my chi energy and reduce the swelling in my feet.
I rested with pins in my ears, head and neck for 30 minutes she told me all I needed was complete rest, then I saw the bill - silence - my currently not so abundant ears popped with semi annoyance for not listening to Stu, they had doubled the cost, apparently the urine and blood tests and packets of crushed herbs to take for seven days to give back vital Qi energy were not included in the original quote, as much as I calmly argued then pleaded that SHE pointing to reception lady in front of me who suddenly could not speak a word of English, had previously told me using good English, that it was ALL INCLUDED? The argument died, I had not listened to myself or to Stu who said to leave in the first place. Three days later the swelling was still there, so I emailed my friend Dalia in Guatemala who is a dietician I told her
about my diet of noodles and rice and the constant walking I am doing, she told me to steer clear of starches such as noodles and rice, pasta and breads for at least three days, raise my feet above heart level when resting, then the swelling should go down. The Dr had not asked me about my diet or gave any advice to raise my legs, which I already knew to do, she just said to squeeze my ear points three times a day for a week, ba humbug! Dalia was right, the swelling reduced and this great advice cost me nothing.
Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think.
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