A Day in Shanghai

wish that the type had more room to breath?  me too but i don't have time to change it.  so this is my 3rd time to shanghai.  on this trip i made peace with shanghai and actually like it now.  just like  i made peace with korea.  what's happening to me?

this was where i stayed the first night.  jin jiang inn.  took this photo the next morning so that's why it's not lost.

this one too, took it the night before on my phone because they brough over a chair just for my camera.  thanks

the hotel room at jin jiang inn.  i think it was $28 a night and they didnt have any single rooms left so i took this double bed.  single rooms are a lil cheaper.  me and bob stayed at a jin jiang inn around the corner when we came.

my lens hood came right off without me knowing and is lost in the street somewhere.  so far, the two L lenses i've had lens hoods for have not locked on, they just twist on and off.  i knew that some day it would just twist off at some inopportune moment and it did.  I wrote canon an email requesting a new one because of this design flaw but they haven't gotten back to me yet.  Nikon lens hoods lock on.  24mm f/1.4 L , the lens hood is EW-83K.  maybe i should get a rubber one that collapses....

i did'nt book the jin jiang inn room for both nights cuz i didnt know if i would like it.  so in the morning i tried to book again but everything was full so they suggested i go down the street to motel 168, a chain.  the guy said it was comparable to Jin Jiang Inn.  how do i know a word like comparable in chinese?  I don't know, i couldn't tell you the word now but if i heard it i would know.  well somehow i just know these things sometimes and remember enough chinese to operate in china.

shanghai has all these short alleys.  the following street photos are somewhere near xintiandi

would you get your daily water from this thing?  i guess you would if that's all you've ever known or if you have no choice.

i saw a store selling these really huge hangers and thought in my dry sarcastic voice, is there really a market for huge long hangers?  and then boy did i look stupid because there is a huge market for it.  everyone in shanghai dries their blankets on them.

lots of majong games goin' on

see, more huge hangers.

don't worry purple is alive and well in China.  Didn't really see that many purple shirts like in 2008 when it was the hot ish

saw this in the rough guides book.  Propaganda art centre.  I surmised that it's this guys private collection.  the art is all shabbily presented, many times without a frame just behind an acetate sheet.  If you look past that you'll see how awesome this place is.  a treasure trove of history, art, and other good ish like that.  after looking at wikipedia i see that it's owned by Mr. Yang Pei Ming whom i met because he sits at a computer halfway through the exhibit looking online for more posters.  The guy in the store introduced me to him after i asked about the place.  kudos to Mr. Yang for keeping this place alive.  

Will translated all these for me.  his armband says revolution rebellion person, his book says selected quotations from maoze dong.  the other book isn't a book at all, it's a rubber stamp and it says poli-econ cultural great authority, the writing on the bodies of the guys getting crushed says capitalistic power yielding elements. the red words say Proletarian revolution faction holds great authority. 

mao ze dong's thinking is the peak of modern marxist lennenism 

advance at a high speed, protect and construct the motherland

i don't understand how this one is in here because it's kind of what they're not all about.  "the truth can live up to challenges and tests".

fight against america support chosun (old name for korea, but here it's alluding to north korea).  rescue neighbor and rescue self (china).  the map says american invasion plan showing that the US will go though japan to korea and through japan to taiwan and up into china.  the figures are at the border of north korea and china at the yellow river.  It's funny how they demonize the americans and brits and literally make them green and gremlin like.  the writing at the very bottom in black says its printed by an association and the associations name is that long.  the chinese people protecting world peace anti american invasion east asia association printing press printed. to the very right it says the shanghai sheng sheng art company authorized to print.

The proletariats of the world unite and send imperialism to its grave

Catch up and surpass England in 15 years. John rides an ox and I ride a horse, country bumpkin gibberish that cannot be translated and makes no sense.  There's pinyin at the bottom of everything because pinyin was just introduced at the way to write chinese characters in english and they're trying to standardize everything, and probably educate the public about it too.

the museum is tiny and is located inside this place, president mansion.  i looked for it for 20 min and almost gave up until this guy saw me looking around and handed me a card that said the name of the museum and showed me how to walk back there.

Jing'an Temple.

couldn't decide which photo i liked better.

and then directly on the back side is a mall like shopping street.

cop yelling at a foreigner on a motor bike.

papa john's.  bang yue han.  bang meaning awesome and yue han being how they say john.  go on, say yue han 3 times fast and you can kind of see.  and then you'll laugh.

yang's fried dumplings.  there's a tray of them on the right.  they fry the bottoms of these soup dumplings.

look at that!

yea buddy that's what we're all thinking.  

ok this was quite a day so i had to split it up into two posts.  here comes the night photos.

Shanghai Lost

The last day of lost photos, hopefully ever again.  Seriously dudes, it's 2012, everyone needs to back up their stuff in multiple places, it's like the responsible thing to do, comparable to keeping the oil in your model T ford clean for the modern world or something.  Don't let this happen to you.  I lost 400 GB of music, my entire collection ever!  I lost these priceless photos.  Every harddrive will fail eventually, it could be today or 10 years from now.  you never know.  What if there is a fire in your house and all of your back ups are in it?  I don't have an answer except leave backups at your parents house?  using the cloud isn't an option for me yet since i have like 6TB of data i need to backup (music, movies, photos, my artwork and photoshop files).  I am wagging my finger at you guys super hard right now.  everyone needs a proper and thorough backup plan, including myself.  I need to get on that.

Now on to Shanghai.  the first day of photos is lost forever.  at Shanghai north station i called a few hotels.  many of them were full and to my surprise a few of them said sorry no foreigners.  i finally found one jinjian inn on 1331 Lujiabang road .  I called kyou kaeri san and hyouyou san formerly from my japanese class in tokyo (don't know their real chinese names) and we went to Tian Zi Fang to look around.  we wandered around some more somewhere and at sichuan food.  Then wondered where to go for drinks and ended up going back to my hotel for snacks and drinks.  Missing photos include a bunch of nice photos of them including one of them kissing (they are nice looking shanghai girls), and photos around Tian Zi Fang.  Now on to some photos!

Lost Memories - Yichang, Wuhan, and Everything Inbetween

Another day of lost photos because one of my harddrives failed and it will cost over $1000 to get it back if they can even recover the data.  The end of the Yangtze river cruise came.  We took a bus to Yichang where I then got on another bus to go to Wuhan, another large chinese city.  I had to go there because there were no trains to Shanghai from Yichang.  When i got to the bus there were no more seats left.  I went to the back where there was one more seat but the guys were telling me it was some old dudes seat and laughing.  I was getting mad but then i saw this old dude from our boat that held everyone up all the time coming.  It was his seat.  Hate that guy.  I told the driver that there were no more seats and he was surprised.  when he saw there were no more he said that there is one more and pulled down this seat that goes over the bus stairs next to the driver.  I couldn't believe it.  I sat in it cuz I had no choice i had to get to Wuhan.  Chinese buses are notorious for fatal accidents.  I had a front row seat kissing the windshield next to the driver who honked at everything for 4.5 hours.  i couldn't even fall asleep or else i would fall out of my makeshift chair and roll out the door onto the highway.  to make the insult even worse they were showing "Flashpoint" and kick ass realistic modern fighting movie starring Donnie Yen that i've been dying to see for years on the screen but at my 87 degree angle i couldn't see anything.  i had some great photos of this so you could all laugh at me but now they are gone forever.  It gets better.  upon arriving in Wuhan I needed a hotel for the night.  I needed a phone card recharge first so i got one at a store and a the guy asked me where if i needed a hotel so i talked to this woman standing right next to him in the shop.  After I got her to agree to 100 rmb i followed her down this street near the station and immediately started to think "what the H am i doing".  it looked really ghetto even for china, shady characters, and a bunch of whore houses.  at the "hotel" i said i didn't want to pay any safety deposit and they said ok pretty easily and they didn't even ask for my passport (which is the law).  the key was just a piece of plastic you stick in the door (didnt appear to be magnetic or have any high tech security going on).  I asked to see the room first so the woman took me to it and shut the door and asked if i needed a xiao jie (girl).  My brain processed the word xiao jie for a minute and then it hit me and i said "ohhhh, wait, do you mean you"?  the woman was like 60 and she laughed and said no not me.  I was thinking if i said no maybe she would get some goons to come get me so i just said maybe, but if i do need a girl i will come and find you.  I knew i would be paranoid the whole night about goons coming to steal my camera and laptop so I thought about sliding the bed in front of the door.  but the front office was right below my room so i didn't want to alert them so i thought i would slide the mattress over then.  i miscalculated and the huge mattress didnt fit in the space btwn the wall and the bed frame so i ended up sleeping on a 2 foot wide area that wasn't sloping because of the squeeze.  I also didn't think the mattress was heavy enough to stop the door from opening so i put the tv and garbage can strategically wedged between the wall and mattress and door theoretically making it impossible for anyone to open the door.  paranoia and mosquitos made it so i only got 2 hrs of sleep before taking the train to shanghai in the morning.  why did i do this?  i was so tired.  the whole time i was thinking i just need to sleep for a few hours and then im out of here.  In the morning i went downstair and the guy was sleeping on a cot in the lobby in his PJs.  I said i'm leaving and he sleepily just said to leave the key on the desk.  No checking the room?  i could have murdered someone or shat all over the place.  I took some photos of the huge train waiting area and took the semi bullet train to shanghai.  on the way the air suddenly turned all white and you couldn't see anything out the windows, like we were in a cloud, or a cloud of asbestos or something.  it lasted for 10 minutes.  those pics and videos would be really cool to see right?  well they're gone now.  We passed through Nanjing and onto Shanghai north station which is far from the center of shanghai.  

The Mighty Yangtze - Part 3 - Lost forever

Crying time.  Somehow 3 days of this 2 month asia trip did not get backed up onto my two other drives and the one external harddrive that it may or may not be on broke.  I took it to a data recover center (werecoverdata.com) and they quoted me $1,850 because there is internal mechanical damage.  I will try another place but it looks like i will have to pay at least $1000 to get these 3 days of photos (they are good ones!) and my entire music collection that i have been collecting for the last 13 years back.  This was supposed to be the 3rd day on my Yangtze river cruise and now it is probably gone forever.  Highlights were:  stopping for a few hours at this little village and buying some kind of tea that all the old ladies on the boat were buying, photographing the boats and village in this gorgeous gorge, seeing the 3 gorges dam, getting some great photos of unsuspecting chinese tourists, and a 40 yr old daughter and her mom calling me shuai ge (suave, cool guy (prob because of the hair).  The sad part is you and I will never see these photos again probably.  Now onto the next gut wrenchingly lost day of photos!

The Mighty Yangtze - Part 2

morning came and I awoke on the river

oops looks like i forgot to edit this photo.

people drying their clothes on the upper deck.

just what i wanted to see, costo on the yangtze.

at one point auto focus went out of whack for the rest of the day

i couldn't believe it when i looked out my window and saw this.

goodbye strangely beautiful port town.

He is impressed neither by your "boat" nor your "clothes".  "They are not pajamas, and that is not a boat".

this is exactly what our boat looks like.  Not new, kinda gritty, but i like it.  It give it character.

time for tears.  The highlight of the trip ended up being the "Lesser 3 Gorges".  It had the best gorge action.  Only as soon as we got on the smaller boat to go upstream to check them out the bootleg Korean battery I bought crapped out.  this happened one night in beijing also, both times while i was filming video and then it crapped out leaving mirror locked up for hours, which was a little disturbing.  So i missed all the photos, here are a few crappy ones from my unacceptable HTC Wildfire S phone.

Right after I took this the battery crapped out.

river is more narrow getting us closer to the action.  gorge action

glass walkway

after a while we had to board an even smaller boat like this to continue into narrower gorges.

this tour guide guy was singing.  he later extorted us for 10 rmb by giving us all a crappy keychain and asking for money.  the guy on the left bottom corner with the nice nikon camera?  he looked at me every now and then with my $4000 hanging around my neck wondering why I wasn't taking any photos.  it's because I'm an a-hole who's battery died and now i have to carry around this heavy $4000 piece of garbage all day.

when every boat went by here a guy in this shack would play a little diddy on a gourd flute.  what a horrible job.  once our boat passed you could hear him doing it again 20 seconds later when the next boat and the next boat and the next boat etc... passed.

gettin' even narrower hence the need for us to get into these smaller boats.

this dumba$$ was hated by many people.  on the mid sized boat we were on before there were stairs leading up to the captains bridge on the front of the boat with a chain over them.  a bunch of people were sitting low enough on the forbidden access stairs so the captain couldn't see them and they could enjoy the sun and a view higher above everyone else's heads.  Only this dumba$$ comes along and goes too high on the stairs, gets into view of the captain who then sends out the signal to the boat crew to clear those peeps off the stairs thus ruining the sun and breeze and view and nice times that everyone was having.  His wife was mad at him too.  It might be easier to swallow if he just didn't have the face of a dumb@ss.  I mean look at him.  Oh and he's up there because they boat guy was letting people put this stuff on and take photos.  I like how it was just a chance for him to be on display at the front of the boat and have that stupid look on his face while receiving scornful looks and hatred from everyone including his wife.

after we got out of the gorges and headed back to the big ship the weather was awesome and there were many picture opportunities.  So mad that i missed the best part of the yangtze river cruise because of that battery.

back on the big boat with a real battery.

the smaller boats were trying to sell us crap but we were way up on the deck, how were they gonna get us anything if we even did want to buy it?  we were pulling out of the dock too.

the captain stuck his head out of the command center and shook his fist at the pest boats and said something but they kept right on with their little outboard motors maneuvering in and out for 30 seconds until we really did pull out and continue down the river and then they ran away.

more drying clothes