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3..2..1.... Now What?

Shanghai, China

Like a rocket, the Pudong TV Tower is poised to lift Shanghai into the future. With the recent  problems throughout Asia, however, the question becomes "When"?
And then, "How high"?

But these questions don't seem to bother Shanghai too much today. Everyone is too busy running, to see where they are going.

Old buildings are falling to make room for new, old laws are changing, and new social norms are sweeping the streets like there's no tomorrow.
Because who knows?

To be honest, I always find that kind of blind optimism to be attractive. And given the recent history of China and Shanghai, any optimism is - to some extent - blind optimism.

So let's forget the future of Shanghai. There's plenty of reasons to talk about today:

For example, the interesting architecture; ranging from the European influence that starts at the Bund and spreads across town, to the traditional Chinese architecture around Yu Yuan (including a 400 year old tea house and garden), to the Soviet inspired Exhibition Center.

There's the famous Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe, a must-see for every visitor to the city, and the incredible new high-tech Shanghai Museum.

We can't forget the death defying traffic - two people a day die here - which is frightening by foot, bike, bus, or car.
Communism means everyone has an equal opportunity to die, I guess.

Each and every time we were on the street, we felt that buzz that only comes from true adventure.

Juggling Communism and Capitalism

Have sum Dim Sum?

And then there's the excellent food; including some of the best dumplings I've ever eaten, at Meilongzhen.

There was an excellent food court near our hotel, where I got pork pancakes that contained some sort of magic ingredient that never failed to fill me with 'yang' energy.
I'm not sure what the deal was, but this energy would last me for about two hours.

China is famous for her gardens, but you can save the trip and just order a tea. Each cup has more flowers than you'll see at your corner florist.
I suspect there's a trick to drinking without grazing, but I never learned it.

Angie is pictured here eating a dim sum feast at Yuen Gardens (Clinton and Castro have both eaten here!).
There's no shortage of great food here.

And finally, there are the people of Shanghai.
Shanghai may be an international city, but her people are still quite shy around foreigners.
Shy, however, doesn't mean unfriendly.
Everywhere we went, we were greeted by smiling faces.

In this market, the sellers were happy to say hello, pose for pictures, and show us thier wares.
On The Bund, Shanghai's favorite hangout, we were the recipients of tons of friendly attention. People slowed to watch us, waved, said hello, and wanted pictures with us.

Like I said, the question in Shanghai isn't 'if', but rather 'when' and 'how high'.

Only time will tell.

Chinese Never Smile?