After landing in Shanghai and clearing Chinese immigration (thank goodness for our multiple entry visas!), we hopped on the Maglev train to live out one of Jesse’s childhood dreams of taking a high speed train (this one went up to 430 km/hour!) and headed towards the city centre. We hadn’t really realized just how cold it was in Shanghai until we actually got outside. It was – 2C out, and despite wearing 3-4 layers each we still were not really prepared for the biting cold! We met Mingwei (Will’s former graduate student) at Lujiazui metro station, and immediately felt like old friends. She brought us to the famous Yang’s Fried Dumplings location nearby and treated us to some delicious pork soup dumplings and curried beef broth soup. As we stuffed ourselves with our incredible meal, we commented on how cold it was in Shanghai and Mingwei explained to us that most places in Shanghai do not have heating…including most houses, restaurants and even shopping malls. No heating!??!! How did these people survive??
After our meal, Mingwei took us for a beautiful walk along the Bund river waterfront, where we experienced views from both sides – the colonial-era buildings and the modern skyscrapers. The buildings and boats traveling on the Bund were all lit up with coloured lights to make for some gorgeous sights. The promenades were filled with locals and tourists, and we had a great time taking pictures and chatting with our new friend. The only problem was that we were both beginning to completely freeze because of the cold weather and biting winds. After a little while, we just couldn’t take it, so we popped into a Starbucks and got ourselves some super large hot teas to warm ourselves up. We chatted more with Mingwei about living in Shanghai and her time in Canada before we realized it was time to head back to the airport and catch our next flight. Despite this being only a short visit to Shanghai, we have already made plans to meet up again with Mingwei when we come back to China to visit…this time, though, we plan on coming in the Sping when it’s a bit warmer :)