I've been getting a few videos from Netflix about areas where we will be visiting in China. The two videos on the Three Gorges Dam were really very good and made the trip down the Yangtze look very exciting.
Today I played a video about Shanghai to get kind of a feel where we would be landing when get arrive in China.
What a weird video!
It begins with a shot of the JinMao Tower, at the time the film was made, the tallest building in Shanghai, at 93 floors (now its trade center, at 101 floors is taller).
It's an interesting looking building, but the coverage of it must go on for 15 minutes. The first fifty-something floors are offices and the upper flors are the hotel, so that the "lobby" of the hotel is on floor 54.
It goes on to show room after room, restaurant after restaurant. It tells the price for a room (something like $900 American dollars a night, unless you want the best view suite, which is nearly $2,000...and then tell you many times which room number you want to request if you want to stay in this special suite. The main thing I took away from this very, very long section of the video was how thick the pollution was. If this film had been taken in any major city in the United States they would have rushed a film crew out on the one clear day of the year to give people the feeling that the air would be clean. In this case, that wonderful view suite was up so high that you could just barely make out the lower buildings through the smog.
By this point the video was beginning to feel like an infomercial, but eventually they did leave the hotel and moved to a section of Shanghai which contained houses which had been built after WWII by Europeans who immigrated to Shanghai. The houses represent European architecture, but the homes are now inhabited by "very wealthy" Chinese people.
It examined several homes in detail, especially those which were now museums.
I was getting a little glassy eyed by this time but the film now switched to restaurants. Restaurant after restaurant, showing chefs making wonderful cuisine and serving it to people in beautiful settings.
The problem was that it never gave the names of the restaurants or where they were located. We saw lots and lots of crab and heard wonderful endorsements about how delicious it was, but never really found out where you were to go. I saw lots of dim sum being made, but no indication of where the restaurant was. I did learn that apparently "the" thing to have in Shanghai are the little steamed buns.
Quickly it went through neighborhood after neighborhood which was a lovely blur of neon, but I couldn't tell you where any of them were located.
Suddenly the video ended. And then just as suddenly another video started, showing a lot of the same things from different angles, but getting back to the unnamed restaurants, the delicious food you could never find and a few brief glimpses of streets that could be anywhere.
The one restaurant that looked really nice, and which I felt I might be able to find -- in fact, I did find it through Google. It is a restaurant built in an old Russian Orthodox church. The decor was interesting, since they kept the upper dome the same, with all the orthodox icons, frescoes of Mary and Jesus and then, farther down on the next floor, some interesting nudes that had nothing to do with religion. The narrator raved about the French food and its wonderful presentation...but then said that meals started at about $100 American, so that took me back to thinking of the small steamed buns from sidewalk vendors for dinner!
I finally gave up on the video about halfway through it. It obviously was not going to show any of the major attractions in Shanghai and, with only 3 days to spend there (2 of which will be with our tour), it's not likely we are going to do any restaurant hopping.
Walt was going to watch the video later, but I told him not to bother.
The doctor made me promise to go back on my meds when I saw her yesterday, so I took the first batch of pills tonight. I'd forgotten what made me go off in the first place. I was just in a state of mild nausea all the time. That's what I'm feeling right now. Hopefully it will fade as my body adjusts again, but the very last thing I want is to be nauseated when I'm about to get on a boat and head down the river!