Shanghai (3)

Monday 02/10

Homeschooling to start the day.

Around 11am, Isabelle and I go to our lesson of… tai chi. I indeed booked a one-hour introduction course with a tai chi master (with 20 years of experience…). We wanted to try this martial art, to have a feeling of what it is.

Thai chi is indeed considered one of the most effective exercises embracing the mind, body and spirit. It not only helps reduce stress and anxiety but also helps increase flexibility and balance. Tai chi is often described as “meditation in motion”. There is growing evidence that this mind-body practice, which originated in China as a martial art, has value in treating or preventing many health problems. In this low-impact, slow-motion exercise, you go without pausing through a series of motions.

We enjoy this one-hour lesson; it’s interesting. It is quite intense but we have the impression that we can get started even if we aren’t in top shape.

We walk back to the apartment, where we eat a salad for lunch.

It starts raining again.

We go to the crickets market by metro. We were not very successful with our searches of crickets markets in Beijing but here we finally find the “real” cricket (and birds) market. Very small and nice (and noisy…) market where people raised and trained crickets (for singing or for fighting). They take good care of them; they feed them one by one… There are also other animals such as mice, squirrels, chinchillas, turtles, fish, cats and dogs, to the greatest joy of the kids.

We take the metro to People’s Square station, from where we walk the pedestrian strip of East Nanji Road, which remains one of the most famous and crowded streets in China. We see mainly umbrellas…

We try to go to Pudong, to see the Shanghai History Museum but the East Nanji metro station is closed (probably to avoid too much crowd during these celebration days of the Moon Festival). We walk to the Bund to try to take the ferry but there are many people (and Isabelle is sick), so we decide to go back home. We wait a bit for a bus but we eventually take a taxi back home, where we eat.


 Tuesday 03/10

Homeschooling until 11am.

We go to the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center, on People’s Square. Set over 5 levels, this modern museum covers Shanghai’s urban planning history, tracing its development from swampy fishing village to modern-day megacity. It aims to display the past, the present and the future of Shanghai. On the 3rd floor, there is a large and visually stunning model of the core area (110 km²) of downtown Shanghai; it covers an area of nearly 600 m² and is viewed from an elevated walkway. It shows a detailed layout of Shanghai as it will look in 2020. There is also an impressive virtual 3D film showing you around the city.

The sky is grey.

For lunch, we go back to the nearby Yang’s Fry Dumplings. We want to show the place to Ludivine, who was not with us when we first came here last Friday. She likes the soup dumplings as much as we do. We eat at least 4 pieces each; total cost of the lunch = 64 RMB, i.e. less than 8 Euro…

Isabelle goes to the Natural History Museum with Florence and Jules. They have an appointment with Anna, a friend of Isabelle from our time in Morocco. Her daughter, Chloe, was in the same class as Florence. We walk all together over there. The architecture of the museum is also a highlight, with a striking design that is beautifully integrated in its art-filled Jing’an Sculpture Park.

Ludivine and I go back to the apartment, with the (yellow) rental bikes Ofo. I need to prepare the Japan part of our trip and Ludivine must do some homework (she has a busy programme because she wants to spend the weekend with her friend Katie who is coming back from Hong Kong where she is spending the Golden Week).

Around 6pm, Isabelle comes back with Florence and Jules. They much enjoyed the Natural History Museum. Isabelle didn’t pay close attention to the museum itself because she was happy to catch up with her friend, Florence didn’t really “click” with Chloe and Jules was happy to have a friend of his age (Zein, Chloe’s brother) to visit the museum. When he came back, he indeed told me that it felt good to be with someone of his age…

We take an ‘apéritif’ at home before leaving around 6:30pm to the circus. Tonight we indeed go to the Shanghai Circus World. The show (Era: Intersection of Time) combines awesome acrobatics with impressive classic elements. At the end, there is an impressive act where 8 motorbikes drive together in a circular steel cage! It is also great that most of the acts are accompanied by a singer who is performing live (she has a nice voice). The show lasted 1h30, until 9pm.

We eat a baguette at home for dinner.


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