Today visit the Lakeland Motor Museum. Lots of vintage oldies, I was struck by the Amphicar the most.
It is not among the most widely advertised attractions of this megacity, but it is well worth looking for in the Science and Technology Museum in Pudong.
music box museum we'd been told in Singapore, similar size but the experience is not as good. the young lady doing hourly tours does not know much, looks bored and cuts corners in her presentation. Here is a video of our visit.
We can also admire a 1750 "first": a singing birdcage, where an air pump pushes air through a flute to imitate a bird's singing. The bird has been constructed accurately, 250 parts in all, and covered in real feathers!
Some drawings and projects of music boxes complete the collection.
Too bad the museum is left in the hands of a bored and boring girl who makes a dull presentation, what a contrast with the enthusiastic older man who showed us the Singapore museum!
Today's lunch is at the "Ark" restaurant 2nd floor of a grey concrete building, like many others. Restaurants in China are often not at the ground level, like in Europe, but higher up. Someone told me it is because Chinese patrons like having their own private room, only for themselves and their friends, away from the prying eyes of others. And of course no windows on the streetside!
(On the other hand, doctors’ and dentists’ practices are often at the ground level, with large windows so that anyone passing by can almost literally look straight into the mouth of a patient while a tooth is being drilled.)
Large samples of Shanghainese cuisine, meat, and seafood, not spicy but intense flavors.
The Chinese planners are pretty good at building lots of cement, steel, and glass structures in their new cities but also much green space, and plant many trees all over the place.
Quite a few dogs without a leash, the Chinese are picking up a bad western habit.
Evening at the hotel's spa, we are not hungry after Qinglong's huge lunch and so skip dinner. In the pool, a child is learning to swim, still unusual in China, where most people, including divers, do not know how to swim.
Then we go to the famos Peace Hotel jazz bar and drink a good Belgian beer ! It is an old group made up of old players. They have been playing for 38 years, ie ever since they were allowed to play again after the death of Mao in 1978!
They play tunes from 1920 and 1930s, with a female vocalist for most of the program. Their sax player is the best, the others look tired, even bored. Some of the music we hear still got energy to it, some less. The bass player is 87 years-old. I am thinking: on one hand it's great he's still got energy but he's really just pinching one or two strings, not moving either hand, his notes are almost imperceptible. Maybe it's time he gave room to a younger player
It contains about 45 pieces, mostly Swiss machines but also German and American ones.
Our guide is a part time employee, an elderly man, maybe about 70 years old, who gives a private tour for two of us. He loves the boxes, knows everything, and treats them, literally, with white gloves. He knows in great details the inner workings of each machine and his meticulousness and enthusiasm for this technology is apparent at every step of the presentation. He plays several of the instruments for us as well.
The ticket is 12 very well-spent dollars.
He also recommends a bigger museum that apparently the same Japanese collector opened in Shanghai. It does sound strange that a Japanese would open a museum in China and one in Singapore, instead of Japan, I will have to research this.
After we order and sit down they close the restaurant, it is not yet 9 in the evening but they said they ran out of food. Victims of their own success. I am very grateful to CK for having taken us there, of course, he is always generous when we meet in Singapore.
He is a remarkable man. His grandparents immigrated from China, they were farmers. he studied hard, went to university and became a researcher in the engineering department. He then won a scholarship to get his master's degree at MIT, where we met, and returned to a brilliant career in Singapore, crowned with his appointment to head the engineering school at the National University.
But the rice chicken was good, not great, I am not sure it was worth a Michelin star. And I have eaten at quite a few multi-starred venues over the years.
As we walk back to our hotel after dinner we noticed lots of workers getting the lights and lanterns ready for the upcoming Chinese mid-Autumn festival. Lifang talks to some of them and we find out they are temporary workers, mostly from Sichuan province, who come for a few months to make some money and then go home.
Apparently many Chinese come here for work on a tourist visa, they do not have a work permit but the government leaves them alone as long as they don't stir up trouble.
The day ends at the famous night safari, for which Singapore is famous. There is a long line, I think we waited almost an hour to get in, but it is worth the wait. After paying for the ticket you are driven on a small train to the zoo itself and start walking along the cages. All kinds of animals from around the world are shown here. It is my first (and probably last) time to see a leopard up close!
We were the last ones out, the guards politely waited for us and escorted us to see the last exhibits on the way to the exit.
|Peranakan Museum in Singapore|
|National Palace Museum|
|Moving fast in 101 elevator|
|tuned mass damper in 101|
|Italian warship Puglia|
|Kremlin and Saint Basil|
|Unknown soldier's monument|
|Long line to see Lenin|
|Church in the Kremlin|