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Shanghai, Day 15

Shanghai, China

Our last day in China.
Free time in the morning went quick. Some of us walked along the Bund, others went to visit the Jade Buddha temple and the tea shop there. There wasn't much time since we had to leave at noon. If you weren't tired when you woke up, you were now.

As we were checking out we said good bye to the memebers who are traveling longer. We said good bye to Robert who was also staying a few days longer.

And finally we had to say goodbye to our national guide Sunny. He was our hero and our support, we were sad to say goodbye.

permalink written by  Benjamin Satterfield on September 29, 2005 from Shanghai, China
from the travel blog: China Tour Fall 2005
tagged China, Jade, Temple, Buddha, Buddhism, Pirated, Bund, Shanhai, JadeBuddhaTemple and Shopping

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BNU Campus, Olympic park, Noodles, and more McDonald's

Beijing, China

So yesterday I had exams and afterwards our whole class went to eat with our teachers! It was cool.

After lunch I went with a bunch of EAP kids to xi dan 西單, where I spent too much moneys and walked around for about forever. and later that night, we had an interesting clubbing adventure. Today I went to the Olympic park and a shopping place called 五道口. ...Walked way too much and tomorrow I'm going to 王府井商業街。



permalink written by  jlu on July 19, 2008 from Beijing, China
from the travel blog: Study Abroad in China
tagged Shopping and OlympicPark

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First Day in London Town

London, United Kingdom

It's now late at night, around 12:30 AM, but it's only 6:30 PM back in the states. I'm so very tired. Jet lag is a beast, but I've stayed up all day, and am ready to fall into bed and rearrange my internal clock. The only reason I'm still up writing this is that when Carly went to Belgium she said that she barely remembers anything she did the first day because she was in such a fog of sleep deprivation, so I want to get some memories down before they fly out of my head.

After I wrote my earlier entry, we went to a nearby convenience store called the Signsbury Central. It must be so easy to eat healthy in the UK if that store was any indication. The whole family stocked up on some great snacks. I now declare my new favorite food to be real brie cheese with raspberry jam on crackers. Absolutely divine. I made everyone in the family try some Malomite (an English all-vitamin sandwich spread that is very popular and similar to Australia's Vegemite) because I had tried some at camp. Mom was so disgusted that she spit it out in the sink. Carly wrinkled her nose. I nibbled on a bit of cracker with a thin layer spread over it. But Dad LOVED it. It's very salty and pungent, but extremely good for you, and apparently most kids over here grow up eating it.

To pass the time before Peter Pan, we stole away to Portobello Road, a Market road packed with bargain stores. If you've seen "Notting Hill" with Julia Roberts, you've seen Portobello Road. Carly bought a lovely bag, but I have yet to spend a pound! The exchange rate isn't the best. It's about 1.61 dollars = 1 pound. In Dublin it's a bit better. I think it's around 1.42 dollars = 1 euro. I saw a monument to the Fallen Animals that died along with British soldiers near Hyde Park (which kind of bleeds into Kensington Gardens) that was very dear.

(Hyde Park. At one end is "Speaker's Corner" which is kind of like London's Capitol Hill)

The fashion here is great. I had been really worrying about what to pack/wear when I got here, but it's not as haute couture as I was nervous it was going to be. There are skinny jeans, but they are not the only kind of jeans worn (I heard somewhere that if you wore bootcut or flares, you were automatically a tourist which false I see now). There is a general lack of graphic tees on girls, though they're pretty common for men. Guys have fashion sense here! It's a beautiful thing. As we were returning from the play tonight, we saw a lot of the young people dressed for the clubs which was mostly dresses with the occasional dressy top and skinny jeans.

Yes, we went to Peter Pan. It was a very decent performance. I am slipping into my dramatic critique mode, so the following four paragraphs are more for my benefit than for yours:

The play itself was a beautiful piece of art. The images created by the costumes, the unique theatre experience, and all the other technical elements combined made for a very visually pleasing show, but this particular production fell short in many areas. First, it completely missed pleasing it's target audience, children. The play was way too long and subtle for anyone under 11 (most parents were talking to their children during the performance to keep them occupied which created a sort of buzz of noise heard behind most of the dialogue). Also, Tiger Lily had a seduction dance that was extremely uncomfortable for the parents of little kids sitting around me. The thrusting, hip revolving number really didn't add anything to the show, and was danced with mediocre skill to a soundtrack of Tiger Lily's heavy breathing... in a word: awkward. It was completely out of character for a family oriented piece.

I'm a huge Pan Fan, so I know the book inside and out, and this performance followed J.M. Barrie's original to the letter-- which made for a very long, very slow show. I am honestly not a purist. I will not get up in arms about changes. I'm all for intelligently making cuts or alterations to a good thing to adapt it to a new medium, and that's exactly what this show lacked. The adaptation was spotty at best. Key points were missed, and I'm sure there was some things lost in translation. In the beginning of the book, Peter says that he's "never been touched and never will." Well this is complete nonsense, and it's obviously something he's made up, since he had just claimed he's never cried in his life after Wendy found him bawling on the floor about his shadow. Yet, the fact that Peter is never touched was brought up again and again in this adaptation which made for a very standoff Peter (unwarrantably so!). In addition, not once is Captain Hook called by his real name, James, it's always the abbreviation, Jas. Hook. This makes me think the adapter actually thought that Jas. was Hook's real name...

I'm thankful Peter was played by a boy, but there were no children in this performance. Some of the actor's went over the top in playing young which came off as contrived stupidity instead of trusting innocence. Michael did a very good job at acting like a little boy though body language and inflection. I really liked Wendy because she was sympathetic, motherly, but still acted like a little girl. Smee was spot on. He even had some ditties to sing. Hook and Peter were disappointments. Their performances fell flat, since their motivations were very unclear and weak. In the tradition of the play, Hook and Mr. Darling are portrayed by the same actor, and this was no exception. Unfortunately, there was no magic or love created by the Darlings to bring their children back to them from the wonder of Neverland. Despite those lackluster performances, real deliveries were given by the actress who played Tink and the puppeteer who animated Nana. Tink had dreadlocks, wore combat boots and a smudgy, grimy-looking pink tutu. And she was perfect. Whether flying, making rude gestures, or reacting to Peter or Wendy, Tink really lit up the stage. She was kind of the cross-over point between the acting and the special effects... which were absolutely breathtaking.

The play was staged in arena style, the action going on in the middle while the audience sat in an almost complete circle around it, but behind the audience and extending above their heads to complete a globelike performance space was an IMAX theatre screen. The simulation of flight in this production was unlike anything I'd ever seen. This kind of theatre was able to take us soaring over London, up to the rigging of the Jolly Rodger where Peter and Hook did battle, and then down to the depths of the Mermaid's Lagoon where a rope-artist mermaid suspended at least 15 ft. from the ground performed an acrobatic dance (similar to AMEOBA to all those Knox folks reading this). There was a spectacular score composed solely for this production. The costumes were golden. But the most fun were the puppets. Performed by the same puppeteer, there was Nana the dog, the Tick-Tock Crocodile, and a new addition to the Lost Boys, an Ostrich (Ha!). The crocodile was probably 20 ft. long. It was all on rollers, controlled by a bicycle like contraption, and it was able to reach it's huge head out into the audience, and bellow a primeval roar that shook our seats. Even though the acting left something to be desired, the technical aspects of this play simply stole the show!!! It's not a must see, but if you have (a lot of) time, I'd still suggest it just to see the amazing effects.

(I had to)

What I'm looking forward to: Tour of London Bridge tomorrow as well as a performance of STOMP!!

Thanks for reading! Comment, please!

permalink written by  Kelsey Ingle on August 15, 2009 from London, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: A Rover in the Clover
tagged Shopping, Fashion, PeterPan and Malomite

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The town of meeting people and shopping!

Ubud, Indonesia

After Lovina and all the rain we arrived in Ubud, a small cultural shopping city north of Denpassar, Bali. On the bus we met a couple of French guys, a couple of Dutch girls and a German guy, Sirko. Together with Sirko we checked into a guesthouse with a swimming pool on the main street [Monkey Forest Road] and then started to discover some of the best food had on the trip so far! After the delicious curry in Permeturan i thought it would be difficult to find better on the island, however over the three days in Ubud i can't recall eating or drinking one bad thing! Gorgeous food and lots of coffee milkshakes and really fresh juices!

On the first day we did a bit of shopping in the famous tourist market there and then in the evening we went for a meal together with some Dutch people we had met in the guesthouse in Yogyakarta. We also started to spend a lot of time sorting laundry [after the rain] and the next part of our trip, leaving Bali and reaching somewhere in Flores [...and somehow more importantly!].

Apres Lovina, Ubud! La ville des rencontres! Dans le bus nous avons rencontres des francais, des hollandaises et surtout Sirko, un allemand. Nous sommes reste dans le meme homestay, proche de la foret aux singes, et avons passe nos 2 jours a profiter ensemble de la bonne nourriture et des fantastiques cocktails pur jus a tomber par terre. Le premier jour, nous sommes alle au marche (pour les touristes hein) faire quelques emplettes. Dur dur les negociations! Sinon Ubud est une ville tres agreable ou il fait bon se promener. On s'y sent bien. Et vu que c'est la ville des rencontres, nous sommes tombes par hasard sur 2 couples de hollandais qu'on avait rencontre a Yogjakarta!

On the second day of our stay, we rented a scooter and headed off into the country surrounding Ubud and in truth it didn't start that well. We went to a place called the elephant cave and neither did we see any elephants or enjoy it. It just felt like on big tourist trap with people on every corner asking you either to pay them to be their guide or to enter their 'different' temple! There wasn't anything that special about it and the most amusing part was watching a couple of europeans doing some yoga/meditation by a pool as their master had a shifty cigarette while sitting on a stone and giving the odd chant. Why would you do that in a place like that? Serenity i think not. However the afternoon got much better, plane ticket confirmed to Maumere [Flores] for the next day and the discovery of the places where they make much of the stuff for sale on the market and stalls.

While asking for directions we were invited in by a lovely lady who made plates like we had bought at GitGit waterfalls [70Rph]. She showed us the processing and even let me break a few things trying, then at a very reasonable price she sold us four coasters that we appreciate greatly. The real price of the plate was revealed as 15Rph and the starting price of the stall seller had been 150Rph! On the way home we stopped off at a sublime cafe overlooking a rice field and as the rain came and the rainbows formed, we sat back and enjoyed a few drinks!

Then on the way home i reaslied that i had lost my wallet, that sinking natural feeling that is confirmed on opening the bag! We went back as night fell and the rain fell - thankfully after another scare and breaking their toilet door - Lenaic discovered the wallet, saved me and landed me a sarong from a lady who had helped for 40Rph!!! Thankfully a good end to the day was completed with more great food in Sirko's company and in the morning we had a flight to catch...

"Le deuxieme jour, nous avons loue un scooter pour nous balader autour d'Ubud, decouvrir l'elephant cave (bof-bof sauf pour voir des europeens en pleine seance de yoga/meditation avec un maitre et tout...dans un lieu tres touristique), un vieux chaudron (qu'on a jamais trouve), et les fameuses rizieres en terrasses (magnifiques). De petites routes en petites routes, on s'est un peu perdu. Et c'est en demandant notre chemin qu'on est tombe sur une dame tres gentille qui tenaient un atelier de fabrication d'assiettes au decor de mozaique, justement les meme qu'on avait achete quelques jours plus tot ( beaucoup plus cher que son prix de vente, degoutes!). Elle nous invite a venir voir le processus de fabrication, Brian s'essaie a couper une plaque de verre pour en faire des petits bouts, pas facile, c'est un coup de main a prendre!

Une fois notre chemin retrouve, nous nous sommes arrete boire un milkshake (encore!) dans un endroit avec vue panoramique sur des rizieres. Jusque la tout allait bien mais alors qu'on rentrait sur Ubud, Brian se demande ou est son portefeuille....aie aie aie, il ne l'a pas! Et hop de retour a l'endroit du milkshake...qui entre temps avait ferme! On alerte un voisin qui gentillement nous aide. Il verifie dans les toilettes en demontant la serrure...rien. Par chance, il etait la ou on s'etait assis... ouf!"La femme du voisin n'a cependant pas perdue le nord, elle est arrivee avec ses sarongs a vendre! Brian lui en a pris un histoire de remercier.

permalink written by  Lenameets50 on January 13, 2010 from Ubud, Indonesia
from the travel blog: Indonesia & Malaysia et al 2010
tagged Shopping, Bali, Indonesia, Ubud and Scooter

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Singapore: The bit we missed!

Singapore, Singapore

So after the fabulous adventure that was 'Borneo' we find ourselves back in Singapore and back to our hostel between Little India and Bugis. We sit here after two days catching up on the things that we missed last time we were in the city and making sure we got those bus tickets to our last stop before Kuala Lumpur and the flight back to Europe. Not even two days and absolutely tired out! Cream-crackered! Sapped of our energy, new things to do and more significantly - Singaporean dollars, money!

Apres notre fabuleux periple a Borneo, nous voila de retour a Singapour au meme endroit que la derniere fois. Nous avons pu decouvrir les quartiers que nous n'avions pas eu le temps de faire. 2 jours epuisants a depenser notre energie... et nos dollars singapouriens!!!

After we arrived yesterday morning, we went across to the Islamic part of the city and found several good places to eat and a few roads that resembled the city of old. However the skyscrapers and huge commercial centers were never far away and made the back-drop to our walk quite picturesque. It was hot, real hot and the hustle and bustle of the streets we took the MRT [Metro] to Clarke Quay and found solace by the side of the river. We watched others eating and drinking, the boats passing-by and then a little reminder of Borneo - two eagles flying from a telecommunications mast. It was quite incredible to see nature there in such an urban theatre! Before the evening ended and the shops closed Lena managed to grab herself a bargain, giving her much enthusiasm for the following day, more shopping!

Nous avons tout d'abord decouvert le quartier islamique, ou l'on trouve toujours les meilleurs endroits pour manger. Cette fois-ci, notre trouvaille etait un sublime restaurant... indien!C'est tres bizarre car a Singapour il y a le quartier indien, little india. Cela reflete bien la mixite rencontree dans cette ville avec les communautes chinoise, musulmane, indienne et tous les expatries. Ensuite nous sommes alles a Clark Quay, l'endroit ou tout le monde sort pour boire un verre le long des quais. C'est tres agreable. Nous nous sommes poses la, le long du canal a profiter de l'ambiance tranquille et animee a la fois. Et surprise, nous avons pu apercevoir 2 aigles qui avaient fait leur nid en haut d'une tour de telecommunication! Borneo n'etait soudainement plus tres loin!

Did i say 'more shopping'? ...Singapore has more shopping centres, arcades, underground passages, kiosks, stands, markets and luxury department stores than you can imagine. Then just as you think that you can imagine it, you have to double, treble and add to the picture you have, it's incredible! Days, weeks and small holidays could be spent browsing, wandering and spending! There is an enchanting amount of choice while customer service and the general shopping environment is something far beyond what we are used to in Europe! It's safe to say we loved it! But WARNING - it will leave you in need of a good Indian meal, some iced coffee and an early night - and that's exactly where we are going, so goodnight from us and goodbye Singapore!

Bon nous sommes encore tombes dans le panneau et n'avons pu resister a la tentation du shopping. C'est tout simplement impossible! Cette fois-ci nous avons mesure un peu plus a quel point Orchard Road est une rue demente : des centres commerciaux a ne plus savoir ou donner de la tete, qui sont quasiment tous interconnectes! On pourrait passer une semaine dans cette rue sans voir le jour! Singapour c'est bien, mais c'est la ruine!

permalink written by  Lenameets50 on February 25, 2010 from Singapore, Singapore
from the travel blog: Indonesia & Malaysia et al 2010
tagged Shopping and Singapore

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Quaint shopping mall

Shuhe, China

Shuhe is touted as the quieter Lijiang. I suppose it is but as I don't wander Lijiang's Old Town in the afternoon or evening I don't see the crowds that are so dense, passage is difficult. Shuhe is one of three remaining cities that dotted the Tea Horse Road [I think also called the southern Silk Road]. I was disappointed to find that it was a touristy open air shopping mall, buildings still lovely if they could be seen behind the signs, lights, banners and products. I suppose it's better than it being torn down in the quest for modernization.

permalink written by  prrrrl on March 3, 2012 from Shuhe, China
from the travel blog: Beijing, 2010 or Liaoning, 2013. They are appear to be mixed up!
tagged Shopping, Mall, Signs, Lijiang, SilkRoad and TeaHorseRoad

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Heading South?

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