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Wall Street of the East

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GSI China Trip – Day 10
Wall Street of the East
By Maria Vandervert

Yesterday we landed in Shanghai.  I haven’t had such big hair since the 80’s.  The humidity is very high.  Shanghai is known as the “Wall Street of the East,” and it’s truly a spectacle, an international metropolis – tall buildings, lights, giant advertisements, whistles, bikes, and people – lots of them.  Shanghai is the second largest City in China, and has a population of 20 million.  In May, Shanghai will hold the World Expo and will host more than 55 million in its city. April is a good time to be here.

After landing at the international airport, we got the chance to ride the Maglev Train.  The Maglev is currently in the Guiness Book of Records as “the fastest ground transport tool in the present world.”  The train travels approximately 300 miles an hour, and is magnetically levitated  above the tracks.  We sat on the right-hand side waiting for the other train to pass, and it came at us so fast, it startled everyone.

We also took a tour of the Huangpu River by boat to see the city lights, went shopping at the Bazaar, and visited the silk factory.  Shanghai and the city nearby, Suzhou is known for silk production.  Lili’s (our tour guide) grandmother raised silk worms.  Silk comes from the saliva of the silk worm.  Hold on, my other notes say: there are 48 different types of silk, the worms feed off of the mulberry tree, it takes 600 silk cocoons to make one tie, and silk poo-poo is good for the eyesight.  Yes. My notes say this.  Every part of the worm and the cocoon is used for medicinal purposes. 

After dinner, we went to the ERA show, which is like a Chinese Cirque du Solei, with contortionists, acrobatics, live music and entertainment.  It was spectacular and amazing.

More about Shanghai:
There are more than 5,000 (if my notes are correct) buildings
French and British influences can be seen in the architecture
2 airports – one international and one domestic
Extensive subway system and bus system (1,000 lines or routes)

On another subject, there are still many passengers stranded due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland.  I heard on the news that over 7 million passengers are affected.

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