Pots, Bronzes and Washing

Friday, March 28, 2014
Shanghai, Shanghai, China
One of the features of long holidays is that you cannot bring enough clothes or even underwear to last the duration so you have to have "wash days" planned in the schedule. Either two days in a hotel which has a reliable laundry service or a reasonable amount of space in the bathroom in which to do the washing. Apart from being a bit mean I am also adverse to hotel laundries after a three month stint in the Grande Bretagne Hotel in Athens many years ago. The laundry there boiled everything and then ironed it to within an inch of it's life. It took years to get the creases out of my Levi's and all my shirts shrank two sizes, so now we try to do it ourselves. This didn't work in Xian, the lady cleaning our room noticed our dirty washing bag and without prompting took it all away and washed it, fortunately gently. Yesterday was deemed washing day so after I had a bath I collected together all the dirty laundry and washed it, hung it all up to dry and then started to get dressed to go out for dinner. I suspect you have already guessed what is coming, I had washed every pair of underpants that I have with me! I think the term is "going commando" and dinner last night was taken without the benefit of support in the right places. Clearly I should have left such a responsible job to Gill and I will in future.

Today was spent doing the Shanghai Museum . It is a wonderful place, so good I even bought the tee shirt. It is a very large museum and houses all the artefacts associated with the larger monuments we have visited previously during this part of the holiday.

As you can imagine there were a lot of Chinese vases but not many that were blue and white. The bronzes were fantastic, some were huge and when you consider when they were cast show just how much further advanced the Chinese were than the Europeans (by which I mean Greeks and Romans, we were still in mud huts).

But best of all was the Ming furniture (1500 /1600's), very simple designs, elegant and practical.

There was also a large display of coins and currency including a printing plate for bank notes from 1200, about 400 years before we "invented" printing.

By the way I hope these blog entries are readable. I am using an iPad which over the past year I have come to hate, it seems to try and guess what you intend to write and fill it in for you, above I wrote "imagine" probably with a mistyped letter, when I came to review the sentence it said "I'm ageing". I dread to think what nonsense has crept through. I will be going back to an eeepc when we get home.

Tonight we are dining in a very posh and trendy French restaurant, then tomorrow we fly off to Guilin, that is after we do a bit of magnetic levitation...... You will have to look out for the next instalment of Gill and John Go East to find out more.
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