Went to a fabric market
today. There were about 200 stalls, each selling fabrics and custom tailoring services. You could buy a custom-made leather jacket for about $25 US. Got a costume made for a Halloween party next Saturday. Gonna be good.
Went to the Bund today--The Strip that runs along the western side of the Huangpu river, which divides the city into West and East. It is supposed to be spectacular when lit up at night, but we were there too early today--it was quite unspectacular. Met an Aussie who works at M on the Bund, who will indulge our casual attire and secure us a table tomorrow. Supposedly has a great patio with a killer view of the Huangpu river.
The area just west of the Bund is very commercial, with many Western franchises--I've seen seven KFCs in the past two days here. We were going to eat at an Uyghur (Central Asian Muslim) restaurant near the Bund, but it had been replaced by a McDonald's. Boo.
On the plus side, I saw the Shanghai Museum, Peace Hotel, and some other cool-looking buildings that I will explore tomorrow, weather permitting.
I must clarify: the architecture here is a mishmash--there are some really cool buildings, but none in the style that you would think of when you think of buildings in China. The buildings are largely utilitarian, with a smattering of Western-influenced design. Indeed, some locals don't think of Shanghai as part of China, but as an independent entity--people here even speak Shanghaiese, a local dialect of Mandarin that is largely incomprehensible to Mandarin-speakers.
Second day in a row the sun is rising and I have yet to go to sleep.
Also, bought six more DVDs: Spygame, The Scorpion King, Ocean's Eleven, xXx (yesterday's copy was NOT xXx), Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and The Professional. Total: $6 USD. Rowat bought The Ring for $1 US, which looks to be an excellent copy of the movie that has just been released in the U.S. Ridiculous.