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Freedom!

Day 149 – Wednesday 20th June

Had an absolutely awesome day today! So it all starts with her waking me up having bought breakfast already, women are useful for some things, quite clearly. As it was our last day today, I was in for a long day of being pampered, start as you mean to go on. So I ate my amazing breakfast in bed, then got showered and we headed off to go pick up my passport from the visa place. I wasn’t sure it was all going to happen, when I dropped off all the forms, the guy didn’t seem very confident that I was going to get my visa. So it was a massive relief when I got there and there was no queue and my passport was ready and waiting, such a good feeling having it back again I don’t feel confident travelling around China without one. So after that, we headed to the Shanghai world financial centre which I think is the 2nd tallest building in the world, it’s definitely the building with the highest viewing platform. So after she paid the extortionate fee to get in, we headed up to the 100th floor! The view from the top was very impressive, if not a bit restricted due to the typical smog and the fact that you have to be behind windows and there’s no outside viewing platform. It was bloody cool though, Shanghai is such a crazy city, and you’ve got the rows of giant buildings and then these massive areas of houses with identical coloured roofs, which just looks really bizarre. We didn’t stay there for too long, the view doesn’t really change so once you’ve seen it there’s bugger all else to do. So we headed back down in the ear popping lift, and on to solid ground. After some lunch, we headed back to the hostel as I needed a nap! Once I got up, we went out for dinner, she’d booked a really fancy restaurant somewhere in the centre and wouldn’t tell me what we were having or where it was, exciting. The place was awesome; it was this super fancy restaurant on a rooftop right in the centre of Shanghai with amazing views, wish I’d taken a camera! She’s already pre booked everything before we got there I’m guessing to avoid me knowing the prices, and holding back, because she had ordered 2 starters each and like 6 main meals and desserts! We started off with a vegetable soup and a tomato soup each, then the first main was chicken and chips, then spaghetti with duck, pizza, nachos, beef stew, and a salad. She’d obviously picked up on me moaning about how much I was craving western food! Then for dessert it was a carrot cake and another cake, not sure what it was, all in all it was the best meal I’ve had in China and I don’t think I’ve ever been so full, but I didn’t want to leave a scrap of food it was so fucking good. On top of that the restaurant had Bombay sapphire gin, which I haven’t been able to find since Beijing, so that was another treat, and judging by how expensive one G&T was I really don’t want to know how much she paid for that meal. God it was just so god dam good, wish I could eat like that every day in restaurants that are that cool. After we left, I managed to find a bottle of gin in a liquor supermarket next door, when you’re not in big cities in china all you can ever find is fucking rice wine which is disgusting! So we came back to the hostel and watched a couple films, drank some good alcohol and went to bed around 2. The whole day was fucking brilliant and a really good way to finish our time together; pretty happy she did push her train back a day in the end.

Day 150 – Thursday 21st June

Got up bright and early today, feeling a little worse for wear after having a terrible night’s sleep, probably too much gin. After getting her bags packed and stuff, we headed out to get some food, and we had another huge meal, impossible to finish this time! That was my last meal where someone can actually order the food I want, gonna really miss having someone Chinese be able to order good food. Although she does always order to much and when it’s my turn to pay I’m not happy! Just joking, I definitely owed her for yesterday, so it was no biggie to pick up the tab on this meal and it really wasn’t that much anyway. After that we headed down to the train station, where we said our goodbyes, never very nice to leave someone in tears just before they’re about to get on a 30 hour train, and you walk away smiling. Very mixed emotions about the whole thing, happy to see her go as she would’ve driven me crazy had she stayed any longer, but then on the flipside it was nice to have companionship and as I keep saying, someone Chinese is way too useful, I think my vision is just clouded after that amazing day yesterday. So I came back to the hostel, and finally wrote the blog, been putting it off for ages as she won’t leave me alone, ever. Then I had a well-deserved nap, unfortunately I’m now back in smelly, noisy dorms again so I didn’t sleep that well at all. After getting up I had a chance to Skype everyone, which took up the rest of my evening. I the quickly got some food and spent the next couple hours getting all my shit together for my Thai visa. I’m going to try and get it tomorrow, and they need so much crap if you want to get it, I’m guessing as we’re in China, a country where getting a passport is dam near impossible. One of the most annoying things is having to have a flight booked to leave, I wanted to leave Thailand by land, and I’m not even sure where I want to go next. But it seems logical to take a flight over sea in order to make it worthwhile and I’ve been hearing lots of good things about Indonesia, and lots of bad things about south-east Asia, so I booked a flight to Bali! Early wake up tomorrow and I’ll go down to the Thai consulate and try and sort it out.

Day 151 – Friday 22nd June

Got up nice and early today, after a terrible night’s sleep, I hate being back in dorms they’re just such a massive downgrade from rooms. So I leave the hostel with all my papers in hand, knowing exactly where this building is, so I decide not to take any written address in Chinese, rule number 1 in china never do that, as you can’t ask anyone for help! So I get off my metro and walk towards my road, find it relatively quickly and all I need to do is find building number 537. So I find number 511 and then the one next to it is number 569, brilliant! Neither of them have any sign saying consulate in this building, and after going in to both buildings and saying Thailand in Chinese (I do know that much) they just look at me as if I’m crazy. Either way the place closes at 11:30, and it got to that time so I had to give up and walk away. Today I’ve organized to meet a Chinese girl, Amy, Who I met about a month ago and who happens to be in Shanghai for the day. So I went to go meet her at the metro station, just as it started to rain, brilliant! Then we went to this little street right in the heart of shanghai which I can’t really describe but it’s all very old and very out of place, just this quiet little community right in the heart of this noisy city. It was a really cool little place and she took me to this hidden away restaurant which she was told about, and we had this amazing meal, and you pay by just putting money in to a box and taking your change out yourself, a very un Chinese way of doing things! I would have never found this place if it wasn’t for having someone with me, I need to find a new Chinese travelling partner soon. After the meal, we walked out of the little place and right on to the road where the embassy should be, so I asked her if she could find it, and no doubt she could, it was on the 15th floor of the 569 building, but either way today was a public holiday so it was closed anyway! After that we decided to walk to the people’s park, as neither of us really knew what else there was in particular to see in Shanghai, and that was relatively close. Just before the park we went into the Shanghai art museum, enough said! At least I didn’t have to pay for the experience. Then we went in to the people’s park and I thought I’d seen my fair share of weird shit in China but I was about to be completely blown away. So all over the place there are these sheets of paper, pinned on the walls, standing up on pieces of wood, literally covering the whole park, and I have no idea what they are. So Amy goes up to read one of them, and it turns out they’re people’s profiles for finding a partner! So all of them are laid out in the same style; sex, age, height, salary, then desired height of partner (e.g. 165-170, never bigger than a 5cm gap!) then age of the woman (just a year of birth, no more wiggle room!) and then their number at the end. If that’s not how you find true love then what is?! It’s absolutely insane, every single one is written in the same format, as if height really needs to be that specific!! The best part is that you have loads of parents who sit next to their children’s advert just waiting all day for the right person to come along, and then on the other side you have loads of parents walking around trying to find the right person for their kid, so in this ‘people’s park’ you’ve just got a shit ton of desperate parents all talking to each other trying to sell their kid as best they can!! The whole thing was absolutely mind blowing, and I’m so glad I was with Amy so she could tell me what it was because I could’ve easily just walked past it all without a clue; she was just as shocked as me by all of it. After that little episode the rain got a bit too much and neither of us knew where to go next so we just headed back to her hostel. Her hostel is way better than mine; there are loads of foreigners, a pool table, and a really cool vibe as well as much cleaner rooms, so I think I will move there in the next couple of days. After she got her bag and stuff, we headed off as she had to get a plane to Chengdu, so we said our goodbyes on the metro and I headed back to my depressing shitty hostel. Just spent the night sitting around, on my computer for a bit, then just with some beer, there’s absolutely no foreigners here, no idea why, but it means that there’s not really much I can do. And I really want to go see the clubs in Shanghai, but I don’t really want to go alone, I need to change hostels soon.

Posted by travellingjoe 00:20 Archived in China

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Thanks for the update Joe and hope you are able to find a new companion soon. I wonder whether you are able to see the match to-night? Cheers. GM&GD

by GM&GD

Going to go to the centre and maybe try and find somewhere, but it starts at 3 here, so a bit difficult to go all that way and I have no idea where to go! Either way I've watched all the matches so far on my laptop, so I can just do that if all else fails

by travellingjoe

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