Shanghai Business Trip & Weekend

Not even recovered from my jetlag, after two weeks being in China as an Expat I had already to travel to 上海 Shànghǎi to visit a major Asian car maker to review technical data for a new hybrid application.

Far from feeling tired (but still was) I packed my bags to visit excitedly this incredibly modern and powerful metropol “above the sea”. That’s what the city’s name 上shàng=above, 海 hǎi=sea means.

With constructing the currently 2nd highes building of the world, it was clear where I wanted to head to on the first free night I had after work: Shanghai Tower. It is going to rise 650m high (see right hand side on pic below with construction cranes on the op), far lower than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (828 Meter) but still astonishing when looking at its top from below  –  right next to the Shanghai World Financial Center = Bottle Opener (blue, bottom tower, 492m) and the Jin Mao Tower (yellow, up left, 420m).

The Tower construction was climbed up by two russian climbers during the night just 6 days ago before I came to Shanghai. 🙂 They scrambled up the top, and even further to the far thin needle tip of the lower left construction crane. Do not miss to see that video along with this picture (shudder…):

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View of Shanghai downtown from across Huangpu river (pic taken from my colleague and expat predecessor Jean-Marc just before the construction of the Shanghai tower started):IMG_5776

In the week-end I visited Johan, my Ghibellinia fraternity brother, who lives currently in Shanghai for an internship, and we checked out the “marriage market” on People’s Square. Since my beloved one did not yet arrive in China, I pretended to evaluate possible replacements in case she sticks to Europe and leaves me alone in the far East 🙂 haha, okay just kidding. :o)

Anyway, on this famous market about 2000 (!) parents gather every week-end from across China to “promote” their son’s and daughter’s to other potential parents-in-law. A hilarious and absolutely serious social event!

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Rough personal data is hand-written or printed on some paper which they hang on this one square kilometer big place along hundreds of washing lines from lantern to lantern.

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Along with a picture (seldom) the add contains gender, weight, body height, work position and salary. Car and apartment possessions are highlighted! So, just the most important things… or not? It seems that in Europe we may have just for short this unusual trend in mankind’s history, that marriage may have to do something with love and character match or other such lousy things. Probably just a trendy glimpse in the timeline of the earthlings. Anyway, here for instance a possible candidate for a successful Chinese boy:

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There are much less women in China than men, thus the girlz can keep their personal summary concise. She will have either case enough applicants to choose from. A man owning at least one apartment, a car and a decent job are the minimum requirements for many beauties. IMG_5886

Okay let’s have a walk in the city, let’s see some traditional typical restaurants…IMG_5892

…and some lousy bar in 56th floor of Jin Mao Tower atrium – one like you probably can find today in any prospering Chinese village – to have a coffee, Long Island Ice Tea, caviar snack or something with a view on the inner building skeleton. Somehow they didn’t have the money to complete the floors and left it empty for some 30 floors above the tables….

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Hm, let’s see what we can find more of hidden corners here within the labyrinth of the 91 floors…

…ah some sort of skyline view Sauna and whirl pool in 58th floor. Let’s have a rest!

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And then we’re ready for Shanghai night clubbin’…:IMG_5953

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Final walk again along the big three:IMG_5946

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After enough city high-life we decided to go to Shanghai’s “countryside”, some 1.5h south with the train where is an awesome Safari like animal park. A zoo, clearly, but just much more space for the animals compared to a normal zoo.

You have to go on board of a protected bus in order to drive through many of the animal zones. Kinda’ reminds me to “Jurassic Park” 🙂IMG_5972

Some food ready for both vegetarians and meat-lovers:IMG_5973

Clearly vegetarians:IMG_5974

As-salaam alaikum!IMG_5977

Who painted all these ponies into piano keyboards?

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“Hey mom’, can I take this teddy home?”

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Now the meat lovers! But those don’t get our tapas. These cats actually get life food…

I saw some small pigs running around. First come first serve, hehe 🙂 hm, where is it..?

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Then, the beautiful queen of all cats….IMG_6018

..oh they are much bigger than I thought…IMG_6032

¡Hola compañero! Un besito, vale?

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And… uh oh.. my first pandas…

…so lazy these fellows.. get up and eat some bamboo!

Actually, the info says that these pandas (in total 8) are here in the Shanghai Wild Animal Park only for “vacation”. Due to an earthquake in famous Sichuan’s Panda National Park near Chengdu, the main residence of the worldwide panda population, and unstable slopes with landslide risks, hundreds of precious pandas were evacuated and distributed to zoos all over the world for the mean time.

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Never saw so many hippos, too…IMG_6065

Bonjour, ma chère…IMG_6084

Okay, food time for the sweet lemurs…IMG_6118

…ayyyyy, leave my hat on my head… 🙂IMG_6125

…just the sweetest creatures on earth…IMG_6234

…okay, sweeties, we gotta’ go. Bisou and we’ll be back soon, promised!!

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Good bye, crazy and amazing Shanghai!!!

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