What a day we had. Our 2 days in Shanghai has turned into 23 hours because of government officials and the tides. The Chinese government once again has decided that they were once again going to take forever to clear the ship for immigration and the process took over four hours. We didn’t get off the ship until 1:00 p.m. The other negative was that the ship is now leaving Shanghai at 10:30 a.m. today. This basically leaves us with no second day to explore the city.
On the positive side; yesterday after we got off the ship we stopped to have some tea and of course, Betty began conversing with a man. We told him about our plans for the day and he offered to be our guide and interpreter for the day. After about 20 more minutes of Mike interrogation I agreed. It was the best decision. Hom was wonderful he took us to the Jade Buddah and all the main sites but also to some of the real back street sites plus a place that Trip would have loved. Betty initially was worried because he called first and a young lady met us at the front of the alley. I walked with Hom and entered the back of building and up some stairs to knock off and real product heaven. Once I had scoped out the place I went back and got Betty. Ray, I got the Mont Blanc pens, a Prada purse, a Baume Mercier watch (real or so dam good I couldn’t tell and that was with popping the back) plus a Dunhill briefcase. All for $215. I don’t recommend doing this for people because things could have turned out different and you really have to watch yourself. I also would not have done it if I had been dressed in anything other than the slob mode that I was. After that it was a trip to another local market. I picked up a couple of Polo cashmere sweaters and golf shirts for around $25. Then it was off to the New Market and the Tea House and a wonderful dinner. We could have seen much more but the old brain was getting weary and we had to call it a day at 9:00 p.m. We loaded our loot back into a cab and headed to the ship. We gave Hom the $30 we agreed to plus $30 more because of all his help and knowledge (he was a wealth of historical knowledge) but he returned it but I insisted he take it or I would be insulted because he had carried all of our purchases all day.
It was a good day.