Back to Shanghai

It was sad to leave Lishui and our amazing group of photographers and curators. To blow it out on the last night, a group of us decided to check out The Armani Club (we decided the karaoke lyrics would have been in Chinese and therefore quite a challenge).

The Armani Club

The Armani Club was all it’s neon signage promised it would be and more. Young guys in all white St. Pepper type outfits greeted us at the door and escorted us through the satin, silver duvet cover curtain to the back bar, which was dripping in crystal chandeliers and tables to dance on. The mostly male patrons were thrilled to have us join the party, passing out beers and pulling us up on tables to dance. Later in the night the real table dancers came out to get the crowd even more excited. Everyone had a blast.

The next morning everyone took buses to their next destination – ours involved a bus to the Hangzhou train station where we caught a bullet train to Shanghai. This train was unbelievable. So fast, but super smooth and quiet. We had hardly pulled out of the station before we were arriving in Shanghai. We splurged for the first class cabin with super plush seats and well-coiffed attendants in lavender uniforms with matching bags. The whole scene was like something out of a James Bond movie.

Bullet Train

On the bullet train

The return to Shanghai meant Starbucks and Diet Coke. A caffeinated group is a happy one. We’ve done some more exploring, including the Shanghai Museum and the gallery district on Moganshan Road. We walked along the Bund (elevated walkway by the water) and feasted in Peking Duck for dinner.

Diet Coke, oh how I missed you

View from the Bund

Melanie McWhorter and me outside M97 photography gallery

Don't eat the artist

One of my most favorite happy moments happened after dinner when we were walking back to the metro station. We walked past a beautiful park where tree branches created almost a canopy over a wide path, and dozens of couples were waltzing to music being played. It must have been some sort of ballroom dancing class or club, but Melanie and I jumped in and joined the party. We had more than a little trouble figuring out who would lead and how, but we laughed the whole way through and curtsied like the Southern ladies we are.

Feet are tired, but excited to start another day of exploring.

Zai Jian,


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