Vivi’s Visit: The Bund and Nanjing Road, Shanghai Museum and Parks

Here in Shanghai, we are good.  The Chinese young woman who helped us last June in the Shanghai Train Station when we were on our way to Beijing, came a recent weekend for a visit.

Although Vivi has been living and working (and struggling alone, she reports) about an hour-and-a-half from Shanghai for the last two years, this was the first time she has been anywhere in the city besides the train station.

Vivi and Barry in People’s Square

So we got to introduce her to the Shanghai Metro, People’s Park, the wonderful Shanghai Museum (where we saw among many other things, an 8,000 year old ceramic pot!), the high-end shops of Nanjing Road, and the always colorful Bund.

Little frogs, fish, and ducks “swim” inside this water vessel from Early Spring & Autumn of Zi Zhong Jiang (770-7th c. B.C.)  at the Shanghai Museum

Bells of Marquis Su of Jin (mid 9th c. B.C.)

Blue-and-white vase with scenes of West Lake, Hangzhou, Jingdezhen Ware, KANGXI Reign (1662-1722 A.D.) Qing

The four floors of the Shanghai Museum contain galleries for ancient Chinese bronzes, sculptures, paintings, calligraphy, ceramics, furniture, coins, minority nationalities’  art, and more.     Going there is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

Go to <> for more information.

After the museum closed at 5 pm, we wandered down the packed with people and shops Nanjing Road.

To advertise its PowerShot camera and other products, Canon sponsored a free concert that Saturday night on Nanjing Road.

Scene from Nanjing Road

Then, of course, we walked on the Bund.

Lights on the Bund

We stopped for a great dinner and wandered more.  Before we headed to the Metro, we stopped at a McDonald’s on Nanjing.  I had a tea, but then it must have been really strong since I didn’t go to sleep until about 2 am.   I did get to finish reading a book.

On Sunday, we took Vivi to two lovely Shanghai parks, Kangjian Garden, where the first flowers are starting to bloom, and to Guilin Park, near our SNU campus.

People gather in the park to play music and sing.

An accordion and drum accompanied the singers of a rousting song they were practicing.   Vivi told us the song was about how glorious it was that the Chinese government was building a railroad, a song that must be from the 1960’s. They sounded professional!

Other people danced, flew kites, or did tai chi.

This park, Kangjian Garden, near our apartment has a water canal too

A few flowers are blooming

Signs encourage people to exercise, but we don’t really understand this one: “You can talk during walking, but can not sing. It is nice that your walking were accompanied with a little perspiration or light tired rather than nausea or dizziness.

Then we went to Guilin Park near SNU.

A beautiful cat in Guilin Park

Now how many cats do you see? China too has a feral cat challenge.

What used to be a temple is now a tea house

That afternoon, Vivi needed to catch the train back to her six-days-a-week job.     She is 22,  has a bachelor’s degree, two years of working experience, and her English is really good.  Like the other Chinese students, she spent all her early years studying.  She competed to get into college where she spent her freshman year in class 46 hours a week, and then she needed to study.  She got an internship through a teacher’s recommendation, and has been working at PCV companies in marketing and sales (without a commission) for two years.  She is outside the city and lonely.  In her field now, this situation is likely not to change. Long-distance trucks pass in front of her factory all day long.  She now  wants to  change careers to become a teacher.  She will need to study on her own to pass the teacher’s test since she is too old to get into a university.  She wants to move back to her village, which is close to Xian (where the Terra Cotta soldiers are), to be near her family and friends.  Even if she passes the teacher’s test, she will probably be placed in a rural school far from her home, but her  brother-in-law works for the government, so she has a good chance to end up near home.

Vivi is the youngest child of four (two are twins) .  Her parents are farmers.  They have been selling off their land to developers.  They have one piece of property left.  None of the children want to be farmers, but they will keep the one piece for the one son, so he will have property; however he is in the army.  The farmers here, much like around the world, are giving up their land to developers and hope their children will do well in the new growing economy.  Vivi says she knows that she must struggle.

We  wish Vivi  much luck and a good future.

With our wandering and being tour guides, Barry is perfecting his walking tour itinerary of Shanghai.  It’s been raining and in the 30’s and 40’s, but perfect for walking as long as you have boots and an umbrella, which we do.  Come join us.

Aloha and zaì jiàn, Renée

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About reneeriley

Our blog was begun as a way to share our experiences in China. From August 2010 to July 2011, my husband, Barry Kristel, and I were at our University of Hawaii Maui College sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University in Lin'an, China, a city considered rural because it has only 500,000 people! We had a wonderful time. Then in February 2012, we returned to teach this time at our other sister school, Shanghai Normal University, in a city of over 21 million people. We've made many discoveries. Did you know that now Chinese girls, at least the ones who go to university, for the most part feel they are luckier than the Chinese boys? Did you know that Shanghai saved over 20,000 European Jews during WWII? Do you know how Chinese university students would deal with problems that come up in Dear Abby letters? What's it like to be on the Great Wall of China? Do you know how many Chinese girls had their feet bound and why? And we have recipes from many of the places we've visited. Among others, you can find instructions on how to fry cicadas from one of my ZAFU students and how to make chocolate-Kahlua waffles from my brother Mike in Gainesville. You can also look back to our earliest entry to see what we experienced in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006 during the mainly peaceful six months of protest until the Mexican government sent in the troops. Between our stays in China, Barry and I have been on the Mainland U.S. visiting family, friends and Servas hosts as we traveled home to Maui. We share those experiences too. Welcome to our blog! Aloha and Zài Jiàn, Renée and Barry

4 responses to “Vivi’s Visit: The Bund and Nanjing Road, Shanghai Museum and Parks”

  1. rsheffer says :

    Excellent post as usual Renee, we miss you guys and hope to see you soon.First beautiful sunny day today,walked home from class with no coat on!
    I enjoy your pictures…Love Ruth and Danny

    • reneeriley says :

      It’s getting warmer here too. I stayed inside yesterday fighting the sniffles, but Barry enjoyed the sun. We’ll see you soon. Aloha and zai jian, Renee

  2. elaine woodall says :

    rene’….It is almost St. Patrick’s Day….and has been in the high 70’s and ’80’s the last few days. I too have sniffles…allergies, such a warm winter everything is blooming here…and I have been doing extensive spring my bones and
    muscles are yelling at me….still looking for a job…

    Enjoyed the blog with my coffee at Panera’s this morning…H off to the park to take care of his tree…the mulch needs to be pulled back from the trunk. Went to the new Supreme Buffet for dinner one night this week….It is really good food and the decor is upscale..
    wOw know you would like it…but I did not check for snap peas…next time I will….

    stoppedd at the cemetry in TH and wished grandpa a happy birthday. everything looked so much better there.

    • reneeriley says :

      Hi Elaine: Tonight I had to keep my coat on in class because of the cold, so I’m still making good use of the long underwear and red vest you gave me–and am thankful I have them. We are looking forward to the Supreme Buffet and to seeing you. You’ll be happy to know that I did have snow peas here tonight. Don’t clean too much. Spending time at Panera’s sounds much more fun. Good luck with the job search. “Hi” to Howard. Feel better. Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Aloha, Renee

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