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Where are you going next?

 Africa86 votes
76.11%
 South America3 votes
2.65%
 Europe3 votes
2.65%
 Eastern Asia5 votes
4.42%
 Carribean9 votes
7.96%
 Safeway5 votes
4.42%
 Australia2 votes
1.77%
total votes: 113
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WheresCherie.COM Quote
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in ideways, champagne in one hand--strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, "Woo-Hoo,What a Ride !" " -- Unknown

268--China: Shanghai
@ CherieSpotting     Jan 05 2005 - 15:55 PST
cherie writes: The traffic is crazy in Shanghai, but not with cars—with people. Scott, a friend I’ve known for over half my life, traveled through China together for two weeks. The first time we walked across the street we were shocked—only because we really didn’t have to walk. The street was so crowded that if we picked up our feet, we would have been carried across the road by the shoulders of strangers. The traffic lights in Shanghai take forever to change. “It’s going to be the Chinese New Year before this light changes,” Scott said.

It’s cold in Shanghai in December. Wrapped up in every item of clothing we owned, Scott and I walked down the waterfront Bund. If the traffic lights never changed, at least the lights in the night sky did. At midnight on Christmas Eve the sky lit up with fireworks while Chinese danced around with sparklers. We watched the spectacle of lights, shivered and were thankful that we had bought matching North Face Jackets for $25 each.

It’s the Shanghai parks where you meet the most interesting people. We saw grandfathers doing Tai Chi, young guys singing their lungs out, and middle-age men beating their heads in. “If you did theses exercises in the USA, they would lock you up,” Scott said. The lunch menu at a local restaurant was full of interesting choices like: Jellyfish-head mixed with sesame sauce, Rabbit meat with special flavor, toad in coconut juice, and Deer-hoof with unique ingredients. And if you have ever wondered: “Why don’t Chinese tea-cups have handles?” I know the answer: If it’s too hot to hold, then it’s too hot to drink.

Then we walked to the Jade Buddha, an amazing work of art surrounded by a beautiful temple. We watched the monks file in and pay homage to the Buddha while believers lit hundreds of candles at once. Soon, there was an inferno of pungent incense. We were so stricken by the beauty of the Jade Buddha, we had to see it twice.

Then it was time for Christmas dinner. I liked the look of one restaurant, but finicky Scott said: “I am not eating anywhere where the waiters wear masks.” Fair enough. Luckily, we stumbled upon a great restaurant. “Do you feel like Chinese tonight,” Scott joked.

At first we were the only patrons, but by the time we were munching on our dumplings an hour later, the restaurant was crammed with Chinese people. Here were some of the menu items that we had to choose from: Congee with solid pig blood, Poached pig kidney, Chicken feet with fermented bean sauce, Spiced goose giblets, Old duck soup with dried tangerine peels, Fried gross crab with black beans, or Snakehead mullet soup with watercress. I wondered…if you get the crab that isn’t gross, or the duck that isn’t old…is it more expensive?

Then I merely glanced at a pair of long-underwear and the seller chased me down the street, lowering the price a few Yuan every step I took. He was screaming at me in Chinese and Scott translated for me: “If you go to Beijing without this long-underwear, you are going to come back without legs.” He was right, it was snowing in Beijing.

We finished the night in Shanghai at the Peace Hotel listening to live Chinese jazz. When we picked up our over-night train tickets to Beijing from the concierge my mind relaxed at the familiar sound of English. It was the only thing I had understood in a day filled with charades, pictionary, and sign-language. The concierge told Scott: “Merry Christmas.” I had to laugh. A Chinese Buddhist had just told an American Jew: “Merry Christmas.”

Click on each picture to see it full size.

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Cherie and Scott (friends since age 16) in Shanghai, China.

Cherie and Scott (friends since age 16) in Shanghai, China.

The view of Shanghai from "The Bund."

The view of Shanghai from "The Bund."

Walking down a Shanghai street.

Walking down a Shanghai street.

Cherie in Shanghai.

Cherie in Shanghai.

The market-place.

The market-place.

Cherie and Scott in Shanghai.

Cherie and Scott in Shanghai.

Does that mean Starbucks?

Does that mean Starbucks?

Flowers and statues.

Flowers and statues.

Getting around.

Getting around.

Coke...it's everywhere.

Coke...it's everywhere.

Shanghai.

Shanghai.

Musicians...like the old days.

Musicians...like the old days.

The familiar Golden Arches.

The familiar Golden Arches.

KFC looks a bit Chinese, eh?

KFC looks a bit Chinese, eh?

Singing in the park.

Singing in the park.

Bicylces are the transportation of choice.

Bicylces are the transportation of choice.

Apartments in Shanghai.

Apartments in Shanghai.

Making dumplings.

Making dumplings.

Coffee and curry, the natural way to start a morning.

Coffee and curry, the natural way to start a morning.

A park in the city.

A park in the city.

Horse statue?

Horse statue?

Scott with Goldie Hawn.

Scott with Goldie Hawn.

What's he doing with all those boxes?

What's he doing with all those boxes?

Don't get blown away!

Don't get blown away!

Confucious say: Don't kiss others butt.

Confucious say: Don't kiss others butt.

Santa in Shanghai.

Santa in Shanghai.

Scott with the light of his life.

Scott with the light of his life.

The Old Jazz Band at the Peace Hotel.

The Old Jazz Band at the Peace Hotel.

Jazz...Chinese style.

Jazz...Chinese style.

At the Captain's Hostel, the staff dress like sailors.

At the Captain's Hostel, the staff dress like sailors.

One more reason that Scott is a vegetarian.

One more reason that Scott is a vegetarian.

Kids.

Kids.

Here's my advice.

Here's my advice.

Some of the buildings in Shanghai are out of this world.

Some of the buildings in Shanghai are out of this world.

An axe or a sucker?

An axe or a sucker?

In the park.

In the park.

Love knows no age.

Love knows no age.

Tai Chi in the park.

Tai Chi in the park.

Scott.

Scott.

The fisherman.

The fisherman.

Fishing in the pond.

Fishing in the pond.

Reading in the park.

Reading in the park.

Can you explain the rules one more time?

Can you explain the rules one more time?

Playing Chinese Chess.

Playing Chinese Chess.

Architecture in Shanghai.

Architecture in Shanghai.

Cherie and Scott.

Cherie and Scott.

Thousands of Buddhas.

Thousands of Buddhas.

Mad mask.

Mad mask.

The long march.

The long march.

Lucky duck!

Lucky duck!

She's got a little color in her cheeks.

She's got a little color in her cheeks.

The Buddha.

The Buddha.

It's not what you smoke...it's how you smoke it.

It's not what you smoke...it's how you smoke it.

Warrior standing on an infant?  What's up with that?

Warrior standing on an infant? What's up with that?

The Buddha.

The Buddha.

Shanghai.

Shanghai.

What's wrong with those trees?

What's wrong with those trees?

The shoe-repair guy.

The shoe-repair guy.

Burning incense at the Jade Buddha temple.

Burning incense at the Jade Buddha temple.

Fire, smoke and lanterns.

Fire, smoke and lanterns.

This Jade Buddha is one of the most magnificent (and breath-taking) sculptures in the world.

This Jade Buddha is one of the most magnificent (and breath-taking) sculptures in the world.

Image of the Buddha.

Image of the Buddha.

Monks walk into the temple.

Monks walk into the temple.

A place of peace, worship and fire.

A place of peace, worship and fire.

Preparing for the service, the monks enter in a parade of saffron.

Preparing for the service, the monks enter in a parade of saffron.

Everyone waits while the monks arrive.

Everyone waits while the monks arrive.

The monks fill the room one by one.

The monks fill the room one by one.

The room is packed with monks and Buddhist followers.

The room is packed with monks and Buddhist followers.

After the service, we have time for tea.

After the service, we have time for tea.

A reclining Buddha.

A reclining Buddha.

I wonder what this Chinese ad is trying to say?

I wonder what this Chinese ad is trying to say?