Shanghai (12 Girls Band)

The parent company had planned a full-day training session for its Asean counterparts, so a few hours after a late night company event in Singapore, the design team headed to Shanghai. It was conducted inside the Shanghai showroom, which is perhaps the most impressive by far, given the showroom’s high ceiling with proper displays of the latest models. Davide, the technical specialist, conducted the session with extra emphasis on assisting the Shanghai and Taipei representatives. We were intrigued more by the introduction of the latest proprietary ceiling hood and wine chiller.

Exhausted after the compact training session had ended, everybody headed off to a famous restaurant to try something that somebody had enquired about during lunch earlier. Enough to say that I tried my best not too be a bad guest without compromising on personal food preference; with the sometimes weird dishes being placed non-stop on the lazy susan. The hosts were definitely trying their best to make sure everything was catered to be it lodging, food and entertainment, and we appreciate it very much. The New Beacon Qingzhilv International Hotel was our base throughout the whole trip.

Bar Rouge, at Bund 18, was the final stop for the night and the place definitely lived up to the hype. The freezing weather in Shanghai weren’t being too kind while everybody was out on the open roof terrace overlooking the Huangpu River. Luckily, I had my pack of ‘Double Happiness’ cigarettes for company.

Our return flight was close to midnight the following day, so we had practically the whole day to explore the rest of Shanghai. First stop was the XinTian Di district, a rather hip area made up of boutiques and restaurants. The architecture of the surrounding old buildings were attractive enough for some people to be posing along the lanes for their pictures to be taken. We then took a public bus to Yuyuan, kind of like Shanghai’s Old Town, where many locals gather for the abundance of street food and also to absorb some cultural and historical places of interest. I managed to do a little bit of shopping for souvenirs, including some traditional Chinese tea, at this place.

Soon after, a quick ride on the Shanghai Metro, and we reached The Oriental Pearl Tower. Something that just had to be done, so RMB150 poorer individually and we were at the top of the imposing building. The highlight was of course having vertigo while walking on the glass floor that afforded the view 350 metres below.

The last dinner in Shanghai was to be had along the streets of Ninghai Road, where I finally managed to patronise a truly Halal joint, run by Uyghurs. Long sticks of spicy mutton satay. So long that most people used them as darts to aim into the dustbins resulting in bouquets of satay sticks.

Safe to say Shanghai is not a place I long to return to. Weather was chilly like Tokyo during that time, which I love, but the surround sound of ‘Harkkk Ptuiii’ almost every ten minutes wasn’t to my liking. Hopefully, the suggestions by the many representatives to make it an annual affair would be realised. It would be nice to return to Bangkok after so many years.

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~ by blackcadillac73 on March 16, 2011.

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