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Posts Tagged ‘Shanghai’

I’m going to break this post up. I didn’t post the Star Trek Expo photos so I’m going to try to do this. My next post will be from the tour to the Nanxi River area. Some breathtaking scenery there.

Shanghai appears to be a complex place, perhaps reflective of elsewhere in China. A juxtaposition of ultra new such as tech and the layers of old with the very traditional beneath. For example, in my country trip I could get 4G. I could get 4G in the tunnels beneath mountains. Internet and wifi are ubiquitous and used in ways we don’t even think about in Australia. We have QR codes for example but I’ve never used one. Here they are used all the time. But by contrast, if I go to Tharwa, just five minutes away by car from my home I can’t even get a signal, let alone 4G. We are way behind technologically. Maybe it’s our population level, maybe China has an advantage coming from behind and implementing tech and jumping ahead of us. The fact is our technical infrastructure is crap and our government is to blame. Look what they are doing with fibre optics in Australia. We have Turnbull saying copper wire is okay. Man, are we going to be left behind.

So what surprises me is not so much the electronic billboards in the metro with rapid refresh rates that allows you to see the image while travelling at fast speeds, or on the bus shelters or just about every shopping mall’s giant electronic billboards. That’s frosting. That’s a glimpse of a possible future in the West. Let’s take WeChat, China’s equivalent to Twitter/Facebook. Yes. I suppose it is monitored by the Chinese Government, but if you think Twitter and Facebook aren’t monitored by your own government then you are way wrong. There are apps that look for words and phrases. Nothing online is private. WeChat lets you create your own QR code. So you meet someone and you want to add them to your WeChat connections you can scan their code or they scan yours. You can link your WeChat to your bank and you can pay your bills, restaurant etc, just by using the QR codes. I haven’t linked that up because I’m not living here but I was thinking Wow. That’s awesome. On the tour there was a tour group WeChat so we got messages about breakfast and shared photos. You could pay for things to the tour company etc. Just wow. I mean WeChat is not useless like Twitter and Facebook, it’s like useful. I’m impressed.

So the Star Trek exhibition. We practically had that to ourselves. For this nine day public holiday people exodus the city and apparently the exhibition was in the ‘Ghost Mall’. The Ghost Mall is attached to the second airport (domestic?) and is linked via the metro. So we travelled on the metro to this place, then walked through empty corridors to the Ghost Mall where we found the Star Trek exhibition. It was like 80 RMB to enter. Cheaper on Weekdays. Apparently as Monday was a public holiday we paid 80RMB. Taamo used Alipay (I think that’s what he called it-The WeChat app.

Starting with Picard’s quarters and his uniform. You can’t see it but there is a wedding photo of Riker and Troi.

It wasn’t a huge  exhibition but wow. I loved the costumes. I’m trying to think which was my favourite. I’ve decided Kaiopaka and I’m going to cosplay it one day. I’m short and plump so it should work.

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Kai Opaka!

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A close up of Eric Bana’s coat, rogue Romulan?

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romulan-costume-close-upClose up detail of Romulan uniform

There was an amazing Enterprise on display.

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The transporter room was cool and covered in Tribbles.

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Lots of models of weapons and ships, like DS9.

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Then I stepped through a door and found the Bridge!!!! I was so excited I ran back to Taamo and said. There’s a bridge. While we were in there a bunch of Chinese fans dressed in uniform were mucking about in the other section. Then one walked in, saw the Bridge, and had the same reaction I did. She went squeeing back to the group and they all descended en masse and filmed themselves. It was cool to watch.

There was some VR consoles at the end of the exhibition, not Star Trek specific. We didn’t try them. There was, however, a poster for Star Trek, Beyond, 3D at the Imax. We were cool let’s do it, alas it wasn’t playing at the Imax so we consoled ourselves with a trip through the Ghost Mall and food.

This poster is up on billboards around the place. Taamo won’t take me because he said he won’t understand it. I have dubbed this movie, Chinese Elves. Maybe one day it will come out in the West.chinese-elves

We also went to a place called Qibao, a watertown. All the other tourists decided to go there too so it was my first taste of crowded in Shanghai. Again we took the metro. It was sunny and hot. I got sunburned.

Here are a few shots.

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This one will give you an idea of the crowds.

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This one of the river/canal.

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In Shanghai

Just a quick blog post from Shanghai. I don’t have a lot of photos to show you as my phone is having issues with my son’s computer.

Firstly, it is hot and muggy. As it is a week of public holidays it hasn’t been too crowded mostly. By mostly I mean when we go to tourist things like The Bund then it is crowded, but probably not normal crowded.

My son lives is a lovely little apartment in a tree lined suburb. Apparently it is is a trendy area. He has aircon. Grin!

Today we are going shopping. Tomorrow we are going on a tour for a couple of days to the coast about six hours drive away.

My grasp of the lingo is not good. I can barely manage xie xie (thank you). The food has been awesome. Yesterday we had Vietnamese and much nicer than the Australian version. We went to a poshy modern Chinese cuisine place called Lost Heaven and it was fab. So was their bakery, Lost  Bakery. We’ve also eaten at an American diner in the French concession-bloody awesome food. Yesterday we tried some street food. Yummy!

Also of interest is the amount of tech here. There is WeChat, the Chinese version of Twitter, and you can use that to pay for things using a QR code. Pretty amazeballs if you ask me.

Now for some photos.img_6828

People’s Square on the walk down to the Bund.

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An example of some of the architecture along the People’s Square

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The Peace Hotel, near the Bund.

 

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View from the Bund

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Electronic billboard. Can’t remember the name of this area.

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This mall was near the Bund and it blew our minds. It was huge. It is not even one of the largest malls  here. It had curved escalators and a roof motif that mimicked the sky and Iron Man.

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The only other photo I’ve managed to save to this pc is this pic of the Jinjian Temple which isn’t far from here.

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This morning I probably had a dose of culture shock. I blame this on the horror-type movies we watched last night. I’m not normally into the gruesome. Caught up with Horns (based on  Joe Hill’s novel, which I own but haven’t read). Daniel Radcliffe did an amazing job. A really unusual tale too. Pretty awesome movie. I don’t think it had a cinema release in Australia. The other was a pretty riveting watch called. He Never Died or something like that. Available on Netflix. I really should have watched something light before bed as the book I’m reading is a bit dark too. But I’m fine now. My son made crepes and coffee. Anyway I’m off to do  some shopping for some cooler tshirts for this trip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My son is working in Shanghai and I’m popping over for a visit. I’ll have to get up early, my least favourite part, but I’ll arrive tomorrow evening.

This will be my first visit to China. My son says it is still warm and muggy. Different from here which is rainy and chilly. I’m looking forward to chilling with my son. Apparently there is a number of public holidays this coming week so we will just hang out. He works in games development.

On the writing front, I had thought to get Oathbound off to my editor and Ungiven Land to beta readers but I was derailed by a piece of bureaucratic bullshit that gave me a nice dose of anxiety and the need to seek legal advice. I’m feeling better now, but I don’t think I’ve recovered my equilibrium. I’ve not touched my writing and have buried myself in Lois McMaster Bujold (Komarr and A Civil Campaign) for the last couple of days. This is probably a nice sanity space and Bujold writes to well and I love the series. I will learn something I hope.

I should get back to packing and try to decide whether I should take my laptop and work over there.

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