I really like the fact that all Chinese hotels, even the cheapy ones, give you a toothbrush and toothpaste and a comb, besides the usual stuff. Everything is wrapped in plastic and then put into a box. If you use any of these things, they restock them immediately. The Chinese are a little wasteful in terms of their paper products--but didn't they invent paper to begin with? Seriously, if you go to China, you don't need to take your own toothbrush.
I had wanted to go to one of the canal towns today but had a failure to communicate with a travel agent so I settled on going to the Shanghai Aquarium and then up the Oriental Pearl Tower (290 meters). I guess I wanted one more encounter with the sea of humanity. I really like aquariums but I forgot about the 1 million Chinese who would be there, each of them taking a picture of their "angel" in front of every fish in the aquarium. The guidebook said the aquarium is considered one of the best in the world and it is truly spectacular. A highlight is going through the longest underwater aquarium tunnel in the world. You can run through it screaming like half the Chinese children who were there or take the travelator (moving sidewalk). Isn't that a great name?
I was surprised at the efficiency of going up the Pearl Tower--it has a number of elevators so the wait isn't too long. The views are spectacular although it was overcast today, as usual. It's like the Sears Tower except on one level, you can walk on the clear viewing corridor and look at the gardens and streets below. Everyone was getting their picture taken sitting on the corridor--I wouldn't even step onto it. I found it terrifying. The buildings in Shanghai are ultra-modern and beautiful so it was nice to see the skyline again. It occurred to me today that all these magnificent buildings are...banks.
I got my hair washed and styled here at my "fancy" hotel for the price of -gasp- $11, not the $2.75 I'm used to. Plus these guys weren't nearly as good as the ones in Wuhan. It wasn't a 40 minute hair wash either, but all the Chinese hairdressers have the good sense to wash your hair on a board--the sink is the usual salon sink but your neck and head are straight on a board, not hanging over the sink as we do in the States.
So I'll be traveling 24 hours tomorrow--leaving on the 1st, arriving on the 1st. It's too confusing for me to try to figure out how much sleep I'll need on the plane. Whatever the case, I'm sure I'll have major jet lag for the next month or so. See you all soon!