And I love Paris

Shanghai is my Paris.  I’m drawn to the architecture, the lights, the grand scale of everything, perfectly placed within a postage stamp piece of land.  There are large buildings all around the world, but these are larger than life. It’s hard to explain how a 50 story building in Seoul or LA, seem to be dwarfed by the magnitude of a 50 story building here.  I can only equate it to a football player.  I may be the same height as Antonio Gates, but we’re not the same size.  Does that make sense?

Today we visited the 2nd tallest building in the world, the Shanghai Tower.  Last time I was here, it was under construction and the Shanghai World Financial Tower was the big dog.  Not anymore.  The new Tower literally towers above the old WFC.  It’s an amazing feet of human engineering, vision and determination.

We walked over 10 miles today, all around the financial district and the Bund. The weather was in the mid 50’s and cloudy.  But a nice change from the sub-30˚’s in Seoul.  Laura and I later found ourselves at this cozy little bar, playing Yahtzee, eating dim sum and enjoying some classic blues from Taj Mahal.  I ❤️ Taj Mahal.  Who knew the Chinese did too?

Also, I would be remised if I didn’t inform everybody that Laura gave me a good old fashioned ass-whoopin today with her 2 Yahtzee’s.  (Yes Dear, you’re the best Yahtzee player in Asia).

Tonight, Maddie booked a wonderful dinner (about three months ago) at an Italian place called Mercato.  Gotta say, it was pretty darn good.  And we had the best table with the most beautiful views of Shanghai.   During a  short after-dinner walk, we just staggered around in awe of the beauty of this city.  Their knowledge of exterior illumination, puts Vegas to shame.  You just can’t take your eyes off of it.

On a side note, we rolled the dice and came into China without a visa.  They now have a policy where you can stay up to 144 hours, visa free (72 hours in Beijing).  All you do is show proof that you have a place to stay and a confirmed flight out.  Then bam, they let you in.  Unless that is, if your name is Madison Geist.  Guess who got pulled into secondary?  Yup.  It seems that she does not look like her passport photo.  All I could think of was that movie, Midnight Express (sorry Maddie 😂).

Well, being an expert now (at being pulled into secondary), I wasn’t concerned a bit.  I figured, since I didn’t bring a gun this time, we were OK, right?  The Chinese Immigration Officials were actually pretty cool about it all and very helpful.  It’s not the same Cold-War China that our parents grew up with.  As a matter of fact, we’ve never once felt threatened or endangered or unsafe (in any manner), at any time during our trip.   It’s all been pretty benign.