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things I have seen in shanghai

April 5, 2006

Man drying tea, Yuyuan Ming gardens, Shanghai

  • Chinese acrobats – possibly the actual most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. Imagine being able to do a backflip ten feet into the air and land perfectly on the upraised feet of someone else who’s standing on their head! You would surely be tempted to do it in public just to startle people.
  • Whole skyscrapers used as TV screens.
  • A number of Germans in medieval costume, including a man in full chain mail, trying to hail a taxi.
  • A man putting his jumper on the pavement in front of a bus stop and setting fire to it, for no clear reason I could make out.
  • Toilets with no cubicles. Shock! After two years in Japan, with its onsens and rotenburos (hot baths), I can now do public nudity, but public shitting (even by other people) is still frankly too avant-garde for me.
  • Beautiful Yuyuan Ming gardens. Apparently designed for hide and seek – full of winding paths between (and over, and under) big rocks, hidden passages and crevices, little wooden follies, and dividing walls, not to mention tiny ponds and bridges.

Hmm, I wonder how I can put up the photos I’m taking…
postscript: I can’t.
post-postscript: now I’m back in the UK I can…

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