I’m quite possibly one of the most easy going travelers ever. I’m comfortable with discomfort, I’m excited by the unknown and although I meticulously plan things on the home front, when traveling, I relish in submission to the ebb and flow. Life is an adventure, and when we leave the comfort of our homes and the familiarity of our own areas, the best experiences unfold.
Day two (of free time) in China did not disappoint. We stepped out of our [ridiculously challenging to find] Airbnb to this ridiculously amazing street vendor, who was making our breakfast. She spread a thin layer of batter over a hot griddle, cracked an egg, sprinkled green onion, garlic and chili paste, rolled it up into an empty burrito, cut it in half and handed it to us. It was the most amazing crunchy, chewy, flavorful thing I think I’d ever had. And so simple! And maybe 25-50 cents? I wish I had taken a photo of it finished but it was too quickly devoured. We returned to her the next morning for round two.
With food in hand, we set off on foot to explore our new neighborhood, eat, drink, smell and just be in Shanghai for a day. It was so interesting observing people’s activities on a Tuesday. Men sitting outside talking, vendors inside working, people enjoying card games in the park, and so many people walking. Of course there are plenty of vehicles in China, but the Chinese enjoy daily exercise and walking is an essential element. I was thankful to take part in it that day and explore such a dynamic yet simple city. Here are some of the observations I captured.
The hallway of our apartment, 6th floor.
People (wisely) use these little front jackets while they ride their scooters. It covers their arms and sometimes chest to protect them from rain, bugs, whatever on their ride.
I just loved all the men sitting outside. How long had they been there? What were they discussing? What did they do for work?
Almost every Shanghai restaurant has a trash can beside each table so that people can throw away bones, wrappers or whatever else they need. So practical.
A man washes something on a street corner. What is he washing? Why on the street corner? Where does he live?
This guy was making noodles! He’d swing them and slap them and swing them again. I want some now.
Adam lived in Shanghai for a year several years ago. This was a bar he used to frequent, though it was closed.
People had all sorts of birds and crickets in cages hanging on the sidewalks.
Eggs boiled in soy sauce.
A huge group of people were playing cards in the park. We stood and watched for awhile. Some groups got animated and excited. Most were quiet and serious.
Sidewalk construction support.
Before the sun set, we stopped at this specialty coffee shop for an espresso. After our experience at the Indie Coffee Fest and learning about Chinese culture and how they look at process and technology, we are excited about the future of specialty coffee in China. Hopefully to return for more soon!