Shanghai (5)

Friday 06/10

Isabelle goes with Ludivine and Jules to a dyeing t-shirts workshop (at 9am), booked by her friend Anna. Florence prefers to stay with me. We both stay for a couple of hours at the apartment; I’d like to catch up with the posts but I can’t access the blog (the internet connection seems ok but the VPN doesn’t work properly).

Florence and I go and buy a chocolate bread for (late) breakfast before going to the flower market, by metro (it is close to the Londge Road station). Just as a side note, some metro stations in Shanghai are so big that they have up to 20 different exits!

The Caojiadu Flower Market is the largest flower market in the city. The market is mostly indoors; it’s quite a maze. There are 3 levels of plants and flowers for purchase, at wholesale prices. On the second floor, we find mainly fake flowers in tiny to enormous arrangements. There are some pets also: fish, turtles, frogs (some of them dyed…– see picture), rabbits…

It’s nice to do an activity with only one kid; you have a very different relation when we are only the 2 of us.

We then take an Ofo bike to the Muslim Market (it’s Friday after all…), where the 3 other members of the family join us. We eat mutton kebabs and dumplings hot off the grill, from street vendors.

The kids go back to the apartment, by metro.

Isabelle and I do a tour of the Old Town (following a walk from the good DK guidebook). During the first hour, Isabelle focuses more on the notions shops (where you can find buttons, thread, ribbon etc. used for sewing) while I roam around, trying to spot nice pictures opportunities around the Yu Gardens Bazaar, on Fangbang Middle Road. But it’s much too touristy (probably the most touristic place in Shanghai…). We were not very clever when we fixed the place of our meeting, in the middle of the Bazaar, near the Huxinting Teahouse. What a crowd! It’s good that we can call each other…

We continue the walk. At one point, we enter Shouning Road, one of the few remaining food streets. Locals come here for fresh seafood (including water snakes) and shellfish cooked to order on outdoor barbecue grills.

We end our walk in Xintiandi, where we had dinner last week (the area of shikumen houses, redeveloped into a smart shopping, dining and hotel complex). It is a lively area.

We have dinner at the apartment, prepared by Isabelle, “like at home”: pork fillet with apples in oven and round small crispy potatoes. The kids usually like to save the best part of the meals for last but this time they say that they would like to keep everything for the last bite… They are basically always very happy to have dinner at the place where we stay; they like when we answer ‘yes’ to their usual ‘can we put our pajamas after the shower?’ question before taking their evening shower.

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