It felt like the warmest day of my visit. I found an ideal location for eating
my main meal of the day - the Lotus Supercenter. This meal cost 7¥ and
was more than I could eat.
I found some of the most friendly occidental tourists yet encountered on
the sidewalk looking up at the Oriental Pearl Tower.
There have been a number of friendly ones including a few from Great Britain, Norway,
Holland and a few other countries but the majority I encounter still seem
to avoid any form of verbal or non verbal communication in public. I spoke
about this to a particularly friendly man from the Netherlands. He suggested
that many are employed here by foreign companies and are very unhappy to
be here but stay as a means of improving their career opportunities.
After eating I headed across the river by Metro and emerged on Nanjing Road,
the pedestrian street. This time I was more prepared for the encounter of
the young woman's approach. It is a subtle approach. I'm not sure as to what
moment I was noticed but she came on like a shadow. In order to ascertain
whether I was the object of her attention, I decided to cause an advertising
pillar to intervene between us and paused for a moment of reflection as she
continued around the other side. When I continued on around the pillar she
was gone from sight so I thought I had read her wrong; but no, at the next
corner she was once again very close beside me and she spoke softly asking
me if I live in Shanghai. She did not have the striking beauty of my former
encounter but did have a commonly nice appearance. I stated that I was just
visiting for a short period of time in order to study the opportunities for
business and to promote social relations. She suggested having a cup of coffee
at the nearby KFC. I recommended McDonalds as they server coffee with real
half and half and she agreed. As we were about to enter I wanted to ensure
that she was aware of my intentions so I politely told her that this would
only be coffee that I would be buying. As I headed down the stairs I looked
back and she had vanished so I decided to have the coffee later.
While I remember to remark upon it, my compliments to the Shanghai government
for clearing the public places of the aggressive vendors over the past days.
I saw them at work and the vendors scattered like quail running into the
underbrush of a nearby park. It makes the the experience of public places
very enjoyable indeed to be able to walk without being accosted every other
moment by the relentless throng of pushy sellers and allows one to move about
at a more leisurely pace.
Now it would ne nice to see uniquely uniformed public assistants who speak
english and were available to give directions and information for foreigners
at busy subway stations and other high traffic pedestrian
I decided this would be the day to begin the process of discovering what
legal requirements would be for doing business in Shanghai. I started by
going to the Shanghai Municipal Government building. It was not easy to find
the means for entry so I went to a gatehouse where there were Security personnel
on duty. Apparently they have experience dealing with foreigners. One of
the guards made a phone call and handed me the phone. There was a fluently
english speaking person on the line to answer my questions and she told me
where I could go for the information I was looking for. She told me to give
the phone back to the security man who would write the address for me. As
I was completing the process a young woman spoke to me and asked what I was
looking for. When I explained some of my needs she invited me into a nearby
room where we talked for nearly 30 minutes. She spoke english very well and
worked for the government. She said she was only there by chance but was
able to give me a lot of information on setting up training facilities for
advanced english services and some of the institutions that would need to
approve the activities and facilities. She said it was not a simple process
but it could be done and was very complimentary of the idea that I wanted
more to do it with the approval of the government people that with the mere
attempt to meet legal requirements. She gave me the address and phone number
of the bureau to call and visit next.
I then went to the Pizza Hut across from the Peoples Park for a coffee. I
was shown to a table and ignored for almost 20 minutes. I finally requested
service from a waitress passing by and eventually got a coffee. Two young
girls were seated at the table next to me and served immediately so I asked
to talk with the manager. When she came I clearly described how I had been
treated and told her that is was a very unpleasant experience. She understood
and said it was due to the employee bing new and asked it there was anything
she could get for me. I told her I only wanted the coffee and she insisted
that the coffee was free. It was delicious and the best I've tasted yet in
Shanghai. I gave my card to the cashier on the way out and said to give it
to the manager with my thanks.
I had an appointment with Jonathan at 5 PM to talk about his move with his
family to Canada. We had a nice supper together and talked for almost 6 hours.
When we finished it was 11 PM and the Metro was closed. This was the first
time I took a taxi since I arrived in Shanghai except for the trip from the
With yesterday so warm this one seems
like the coldest and most rainy. I even succumbed and bought an umbrella
(9.90¥). One of those little ones that fold up onto a small short bundle.
My main meal was another version of curried beef with rice served in a sizzling
hot metal bowl with salad, soup and tea. 10¥. It is such a miserable
day I decide to go back to the hotel and use the Internet, write and watch