Today was our first day on the town. Words will not express what we saw today. I thought New York and Chicago were big. They are nothing to compare. This is city has 2- of the tallest buildings in the world. It has 20-million people, it is modern, clean, and beautiful. Just a few years ago, 25% of all the construction cranes in the world were hear building sky scrapers. They have the arts, convention centers, culture. I see them being denied anything. My fellow representatives and I were speechless as we looked over the city and as far as we could see... all we could see were sky-scrapers.
On to our experience, we had an American breakfast but we had a very traditional lunch and dinner. Later, Garrett and I cut our group loose and went behind the local tourist shopping district. We wandered the alleys and visited the very "local" shopping sites. "Boy oh Boy" this was an experience. And last night as the rest of our group went to the room, Garrett and I stayed down town and walked the streets and visited a district known for and abundance of music stores. This city is weird, all stores with similar products group in the same shopping area. There were tons of music stores and hundreds of pianos, guitars, brass instruments and traditional Chinese instruments. We priced a tall acoustic bass for Garrett. I think it was $300 American dollars?? But it would not fit our suit-case.
We are still not adjusted to the time difference. The whole group is up at 5:00 A.M. Chinese time (or 4:00 A.M. the day before Kenton time) and dog tired by 9:00 P.M. Chinese time (or 8:00 A.M. Kenton time). I think it will take a few days before we are ready to do much hanging out at night!
There is something to say for this economy and this government. Things run very smooth and efficient. China is nothing like I expected. From standard American eating places and hotels to the "home-grown" Chinese business, they have taken what we do and are now doing it better. I see no repression or un-happiness. Shanghai is nothing like I could have imagined.