Dave Varricchio had told us to meet in the lobby at 9 a.m., but like a bunch of kids on Christmas morning, I think the majority of us were up and ready by 6:30. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast at a soy milk restaurant. Jing’s mother had come to visit her and had brought a grocery sack full of hard boiled eggs from her farm to share. I witnessed one man dipping his egg into the sweet soymilk skillfully with his chopsticks. I tried to follow suit, but my chopstick finger muscles are not nearly strong enough yet. The egg plopped into the milk with great fanfare, and since napkins are rare at Chinese restaurants, I had to ask for extras to sheepishly clean it up.
The rest of the day was devoted to exploring Shanghai. In some ways it explored us as well. A group of Montanans tends to stand out against the Shanghai backdrop and it is very common for us to attract attention. Since several of the girls in our group are blonde and have the complexion that only a Montana winter can give you, they are often stopped for pictures. It usually starts with a couple embarrassed Chinese girls asking for a picture and quickly turns into a large crowd of full families and elderly people taking pictures.
When we were finally able to break them away, we set off to do a bit of shopping and visit the art museum. Stopping into what seemed like a candy shop, I blindly purchased about 20 yuan worth of small wrapped packages. Some of them were obviously candy and others obviously not. When I met up with Jing later in the day she was able to translate the labels for me. Duck liver, chicken feet, chick leg, and tofu were among a few of the items I had apparently purchased. China seems to offer so many different weird things that at a certain point nothing is weird. Tomorrow: The World Expo!