Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The China Diaries // Day 7 + Shanghai Science and Technology Museum

I don't believe it has been a week in China already. I've always gone on trips that lasted for a week or five days more to the week; but this stay is definitely not a 'trip', but a 'vacation'. It had been a fantastic first week here, with miscellaneous and spontaneous shopping, wearing shorts on Kurtas, and smiling at adorably cute babies.

After a week, we 'actually' went out, not for a walk in the malls, to pass the time or to buy groceries, but for visiting a science museum. As my dad's Saturday-Sunday holiday was postponed to Tuesday-Wednesday, due to a meeting of world leaders in China, we had decided to go out today itself.




A visit to Shanghai's Science and Technology Museum definitely was a perfect mark to the first week in China. I've got loads and loads to write. But as I'm not in the best of the 'writing' moods right now, maybe I'll cut it short.

Frankly speaking, when dad told me we had to visit a science and technology museum, I was not happy; I thought it would be a boring trip there. I was excited for the 'A.P. Market' which was nearby to this museum. A.P. Market is also known as the 'Underground Shopping Market' or 'Fake Market'. We get lots of items like clothes, shoes, bags, accessories, etc. to shop here, that can be bargained (sort of Chor Bazaar of Mumbai).




I desperately wanted to go there, and hence I agreed to go to the museum. Dad also said that there was an electronic gadgets' market in one of the malls nearby.
We left the house at 10:15, and it was great to have dad with us, unlike other days. I wore a white floral tunic of Lee Cooper, a Levi's jeans, white shoes, and tried to leave my hair down. I didn't wear a typical touristic outfit, because I thought there was no need to wear one, as I was going to a museum and not for sight-seeing. We carried a blue Reebok bag, and packed few biscuits, cookies, snacks, and water inside it. I carried my camera along, and assured myself that it was fully charged yesterday night.

We left the society premises, and got a taxi immediately. We drove to the JuFeng Road metro station. I shot videos along the small road journey towards the station. It was my first time to travel in a Metro, though I wasn't excited. After we got down the taxi, we saw the station, and reached the ticket machines via an escalator. After reaching there, dad bought two tickets to the station 'Shanghai Science and Technology Museum'. He did not buy for himself because he had a pass with him already. We passed the strange entrance by pressing our ticket against a detector, to get inside the actual station. It was a total different experience.

We waited on the platform for the train. The train arrived, and we got in. Thankfully the train wasn't crowded because it was a holiday. We changed our train on the Century Avenue station

The crowd was mind-blowing throughout the journey! How stylish these people are! Especially women! It's tough to figure out whether the girl is of my age, married, or having kids. They're all so pretty. And above all, they're so stylish! I love their clothes and bags and shoes! Perfect. I've observed that they don't apply makeup like westerners, but dress elegantly to show off. Such pretty clothes they wear! And not a single lady had an ugly handbag. I wonder how the middle class ladies afford bags worth Rs. 1000.
On the Century Avenue, it was a classy view everywhere. It also was beyond the Century Avenue. Rather, I'm seeing these stylish girls since this station. Alright, even in my area in Shanghai there are really stylish girls; but the girls we saw today were stylish, classy and seemed rich! (I guess I am repeating the same lines again and again.)

After we got down at Century Avenue, we changed our train, and got down at the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum station. There was not a single person other than us in the subway; we were worried that the museum was not closed. However, after we searched the museum, we learnt that the Line we chose was 4, however, we had to exit through Line 6 in order to reach museum faster. It was as if we came out of the wrong hole.




We searched for the museum. It was a lavish area. If this museum would've been in India, we would've known the directions immediately, especially on a nonworking day like today. Because on holidays, many people in India gather around places like museums, beaches, historical places, etc. But it was nothing like that here in China. Everything was so calm; it was as if there was no museum anywhere nearby.
At last after finding directions by showing the locals and guards our phones which had the name written in Chinese, we finally got near the museum. The road to the museum was beautiful--greenery around, and hardly any people on the road; no cheap couples sitting on the quiet benches, or families having bhel and throwing papers around the garden. There was no sight of people there.




The museum was HUGE. Sadly I didn't click pictures, because I thought I would click while leaving the museum, but forgot it that time too. However, I have clicked many photos of the interiors; so many photos that my camera was on low memory space. We first decided whether we wanted to watch a show (about science or technology), or no. As mom and I had forgotten our glasses at home, we rejected the show. My dad wanted to watch one. Later, when he asked the man at the counter for show details, my dad learnt that the show was only in Chinese. We all laughed, and entered the huge museum's door.

We went inside the museum, and entered a big room, which looked something like below.




I asked dad whether this was THE museum! And I got more excited when he told me that the animal bodies were real, and the internal organs were removed and chemically treated! I was surprised! All the animals that were in front of us were real. I know that you would say I had already seen elephants and tigers in front of me in the zoos and safaris, but giraffe? I had never seen a giraffe. I actually saw how tall the giraffe was! There was a rhino, a yak...I had never seen them. There were lot of animals that I had never seen, yet I could see their skin and their size. These were the African animals.




There were Australian animals like the kangaroo and ostrich as well.




These were the American animals. I could actually see a polar bear, seal, dolphin, walrus, mountain lion and reindeer. I was surprised to see the size of a walrus!! A walrus is so huge.




Then there were Asia-Euro animals. I felt happy after seeing them, especially the mighty tiger! I even saw pandas! (Panda is China's National Animal.)




After the ground floor animals, we entered another door, and it was a fantasy land.




We saw rare birds.




We saw different fishes. The blue mirrored path that you see has real fishes beneath it. And there were more fishes too.




Just as we were about to leave the fish zone, these school-kids came there, in the pairs of two. It was their school educational trip here! So cute.


 


The section of the butterflies was pretty.




The section of reptiles and amphibians was awesome, but creepy.




There were bacteria, algae, fungi, etc. Doesn't the above picture look like a Gulabjaam?




The rain forest was magnificent! They had decreased the temperature here, so it felt like we were actually in a rain forest.
There also was a stone forest.




There were plant species. This photo having different species of a cactus. (And that is me, with my new hand pose.)




This is a deformed cow. There was a deformed goat and a hen next to it too.

Apart from animals, insects, reptiles, amphibians and plants, there was more to the museum--the technology.




This was a room for kids. There were several games and exercises telling them how gravity works, what is acceleration, and other scientific activities. There were iPads kept near each board to play games.

Then there was human body, technology, space, and other things. I sat on a device that showed me how crazily a spaceship moves in the space. It was round-and-round.




This was a mini ride; a ride inside a human body explaining our digestive system; and of course it was meant for kids. We sat in a strawberry shaped car, and then went inside a big mouth, and then they explained something in Chinese as and when we went to a next step. Finally we came out in a toilet! It was fun. We'd worn 3D glasses.




After the museum, we went back to the metro station for the A.P. Market. Before that we rested at an underground Starbucks. I ordered a chocolate muffin (the only vegetarian eatable) and an orange juice. After that, my dad inquired from the Starbuck's waiter about the direction to the A.P. Market. However, sadly, they told us that it was closed today! All my dreams crashed in a minute (LOL).

Anyway, we went to a different station by metro, and got down there for Metro City Mall. We roamed in the mall, and didn't buy clothes seeing their price tags. At one store, a small diary was for Rs. 280; and I guess it was the cheapest item in the entire mall!




After realizing it was getting late, we went to a Pizza Hut, which was in the mall itself. We ordered two Farmer's Garden pizzas (I don't remember the exact name), and a bowl of salad. We finished the dinner, and sat in a taxi for home.





I clicked few photos of Shanghai's nightlife while reaching home--bright lights, clean roads and a good crowd.


After reaching home, we changed and saw today's photos. Later I wrote half of Day 7's blog, but got tired after that.

Such a long post; I'd told you. Goodnight!