We’re headed to Japan tomorrow. Our time in China has been short, but you can travel here without a visa if you stay for 72 hours or less.
I was worried about traveling to China because I had read that other people thought the Chinese were abrupt and rude. I haven’t found that to be true at all, although we almost feel for the Shanghai Tea Ceremony Scam! Two young women approached my husband and I along Nanjing Road, where we were taking pictures. They asked if we could take pictures of them and they offered to take our picture. They said they lived in the country and were in Shanghai on vacation. That made sense to me since it is a national holiday and there are a lot of Chinese tourists in the city. They told us they always went to a special tea ceremony whenever they were in the city and asked if we’d like to go. We walked with them to a small tea shop. The women seemed to kind of separate us on the walk and talked non-stop about their jobs as teachers. Everyone at the tea shop was friendly and we were given a menu in English and Chinese, but no prices. At that point I got really suspicious and felt uncomfortable. I got up quickly and we left, while they kept asking what was wrong and why were we leaving. I had no idea what was going on, but I just felt weird. As soon as I got home, I Googled Shanghai Tea Scam and there were pages and pages of people’s experiences. Apparently these people serve you tea and ask what kind you’d like to take home and then hand you a huge bill. Don’t fall for it!
We walked along Nanjing Road to People’s Square today. There were hundreds of open umbrellas along the paths of the park. Some umbrellas had pictures and all of them had lists or specific details. At first I thought it was memorial to people who had died, but then I figured out it was parents looking for spouses for their children. The umbrellas had education, age, and some had height and weight. I asked the front desk clerk about it and she called it a Marriage Market. Apparently young people are too busy or don’t have interest in finding a spouse, so their parents “help” them.
I loved seeing old men play cards and mahjong in the park. There was also some crazy Flintstones-era workout equipment.