I can't seem to bring words and pictures together. I think I managed to post a picture I took of Shanghai as we were coming into harbour. It was a bright, cool day and we had a fabulous view of incredible buildings as we were tugged into a mooring. An Asian American next to me said he had first come to Shanghai in 1983 when it was all rice paddies. I was here in 1996 and came in by boat coming in from a three-day cruise on the Yangzte River. Shanghai wasn't nearly the city then that Hong Kong was. In the last ten years it has become the financial hub of Asia, with a population of 23 to 27 million (the figure varies according to the guide you talk to).
I took a Shanghai-by-night excursion and it was dazzling. The architecture is stunning and brilliantly illuminated. We walked around to see a pedestrian street. The lights and the crowd made me think of Blade Runner - remember that movie? I was afraid to stray far from the guide and I asked bus-mates to notice if I was missing (I'm still slow with my bad foot). The mass intelligence of a group of tourists is only slightly higher than that of a sulky four-year-old, resistant to suggestions. They should be supplied with a long leash with handles on either side so they can go two-by-two and never get lost.
The heart of the financial district is studded with skyscrapers, monuments to the world's banks. We stopped at an 88-story building for viewing and photo-ops. My foot was not up to it, nor my head (vertigo), so I stayed in the bus, but my caregivers shared their pix with me: several of a view down through the central cone of the building which caused curly feelings in the balls of my feet just looking at it. I also saw pictures of the night lights of the city taken from up there. A fellow shipmate with whom I usually have dinner took the day tour. She said that when she was looking aroiund and down, she found herself looking UP at a 128-story building and two window washers suspended above her, busy polishing.
This morning I'm going on the Maglev train to the airport, a speed trip of 8 minutes one way. I am told that the 88-story view is on the itinerary. I'm sorry, but I can't go up there.
I'm going more lightly this trip, saving fewer souvenirs, trying to absorb and layer new impressions over old ones. That sounds as if I am orderly. Not. I'm as jumbled as ever but I find I can remember only so much and it has to fit in with my scheme of things. It's easier this way. It's probably because I'm so old.