We had a later start on our second to last day in China. So, naturally, I woke up super early. I was also sick most of the day, due to my earlier brush with death.
First up was a delightful conversation with Eric Li, the founder of the Chinese version of YouTube. He voiced his opinions on journalism in America as well as globalization in China.
Most of our group did not enjoy this meeting due to Eric’s views on journalism, particularly because he views journalists as often arrogant and liberally biased and full of their own role in the preservation of democracy that they’ve become too full of their own power. It was rather funny to watch several of the program participants trying to argue with him rather than listening, because their behavior was basically making his point for him.
Lunch was at a vegan/vegetarian (never got a clear answer) restaurant. The vegetarian in the group was extremely happy that she didn’t have to worry about eating everything. However, the one person with Celiac ended up eating dessert with flour in it and I basically didn’t eat anything but fruit, so I’m not sure I could call the restaurant a win-win.
I’m not opposed to meals without meat, but in China it was hard enough to figure out which dishes didn’t contain nuts and my safest options were often meat dishes. That being said, this restaurant was particularly bad because none of the foods were labeled with the allergens, like the buffets at the hotels.
Fruit wise, the meal was delicious. In China I discovered dragon fruit, which is a white or sometimes deep, dark pink fruit with a pink (non-edible) shell and little black seeds. It’s almost tasteless, but refreshing and a yummy addition to most meals. It was quite popular at all of the buffets we ate at.
Our next tour was at Partner X Robotics. So. Freaking. Cool.
Robots danced. Robots came in pink to encourage girls in STEM. And robots are made so that eight-year-olds can program them from their iPads.
My favorite part was when the guy explained they don’t call their drone robots drones, rather ‘flying robots’ because drones scare people and the title has a negative connotation. But the robots are still drones by definition. Love the rebranding.
I also liked that he answered me honestly when I asked why they’d made some of the robots pink. He had an entire spiel about encouraging girls in STEM. It was nice that he acknowledged they don’t have many women currently working in STEM in China right now and claims the company is working to teach girls that STEM and robots are for everyone. As a side note, he also explained that the robots come in pink and blue so that parents will buy more than one toy robot per family: one for the daughter and a different one for the son. Very clever, marketing department, very clever.
I definitely needed more time to recover from my earlier brush with death, because I dozed off during this meeting. I felt bad about it because the conversation was interesting, but apparently my body needed the rest.
Dinner with a View
Our final stop and dinner for the evening was at the Shanghai Pearl TV tower, which overlooks the Bund. (If you check my last blog post you can see the tower from across the river in the first picture). Again, we got the VIP treatment and drove past the main entrance and right up to the base of the tower.
We were greeted by official looking men and women in fancy red coats. They escorted us inside – bypassing security, metal detectors, bag searches and the long line; we rode to the top in our own private VIP elevator.
At the top, we first went through the Shanghai Museum and were given a brief history of the city. Next, they took us to the first look out point with a glass floor. Good thing I’m not afraid of heights!
The second view floor was next. My understanding was that this view floor was reserved for special guests; it was much less crowded.
Finally, we were taken to the most amazing dinner buffet with a spectacular view as dusk set in. The food was located in the non-spinning part of the tower while our tables slowly revolved. Every time you got up you had to walk farther and farther around to find your seat!
The meal was really good; I ate a lot of raw salmon. It was fun to eat and then look up and realized the view of the city had changed. It was a great way to end our last evening in Shanghai, our list evening in China.
Last Night in China
After retiring to the hotel, Japaira and I headed to the pool. For most of the evening I had the entire pool house to myself. It also came complete with a private Jacuzzi and sauna. I could get used to such luxury.
We stayed up late packing and showing each other the souvenirs we’d gotten our families for Christmas over glasses of wine. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my last night in China.
Last day in China: the Shanghai Propaganda Poster Museum
My name is Hunter and this the blog of my worldwide adventures. The purpose of this blog is to show that you can be a traveler, not just a tourist.