Kids, travel, Us

Shaken and Stirred

Last weekend we went to Pudong…again! But this trip was a lot more fun and a lot more not-fun than the other two. “How come?”, you may ask.  Or, you may choose not to. No worries! I’ll tell you anyway.  

We took the metro for the first time and we loved it.  The train wasn’t very crowded. We got in and got out at our own free will as opposed to being carried in and out with the mob. Also, we were able to stand without being elbowed or being shoved. No black eyes. No bruises. No internal injuries or haemorrhages.  We had a comfortable trip minus Mr. M’s constant whining about the crowd. I had to remind him of the trains in Bombay at least 5 times within a span of 5 minutes.  What can I say? I am a very patient woman!  After a while I figured that the only way I could have him stop is by talking non-stop myself. So, I did. The rest of the way.  Now, I am patient and smart! What more could Mr. M ask for, right?

The Bund by the Huang Pu

Anyway, we got to Renmin Square (also known as People’s Square) and then walked all the way to the Bund (a good 4 point something kilometers).  We did stop on the way at a sprawling 8 storied bookstore to get mini-me some books and stationary but that didn’t really give our legs any rest.  But then again, walking is just so much fun.  It’s almost like re-discovering certain parts of your body (like your legs) after having used them only for walking from your home to the parking garage and back for about 5 years!   So, we walked uncomplainingly and got here.        

Pudong skyline from the Bund







 After taking pictures of the skyline and some with total strangers who wanted their pictures taken with mini-me, we took the ferry across the river and then took a ride in this…  

'funnest' mode of transport


And here begins my nightmare.  Now, there’s this very important thing about Mr. M.  He is the kind of person who is fascinated with tall buildings. He has to so much as lay eyes on one and then he will not rest till he gets to the top of it. He’s been to the observation deck of every tall building he has come across and he has loved them all.  Me on the other hand…well…let’s just say I am not crazy about anything that’s higher than a step stool. Not even the kitchen counter. And yet I have been on ski lifts and free fall rides in amusement parks (never understood what’s so amusing about those damn parks anyway) and on roller coasters and horrible suspension bridges! No, I am not a masochist.  Unfortunately for me, both my parents and my husband think that forcing me to do what I am scared of will help me get over my phobia. And I haven’t been able to make them see that they couldn’t be more wrong! Anyway, up we went to the 100th floor and I spent about 20 minutes standing by the elevator door, shaking with fear while Mr. M and Mini-me enjoyed the view.  I put that time to good use by trying to count the number of people on either side of the deck  to check if it was close to being balanced.  We wouldn’t want one side to get heavier now, would we?  My heart skipped a beat every time somebody leaned on the glass or stepped on one (yeah! this building was surely designed for freaks who get all excited about glass panels on the floor through which you can see all the way down to the streets!!!!). 

My heart also skipped many a beat every time mini-me played hopscotch on the glass panel floor.  There she was oblivious to the height or what she was putting me through with every little hop of hers.  Mini-me had no clue why  amma was behaving so strange.  She tried to help me by showing me how pretty the streets looked through the floor.  Needless to say that didn’t quite have the same effect she had expected it to.  She even tried to pass the entry ticket off as a ‘magical card that will make me brave’.  She constantly reminded me that I wasn’t even trying and how I always told her that it’s important to keep trying.  She offered to hold my hand and lead me across the entire length of the observation deck (which, to somebody like me, seemed never-ending).  She suggested I look at the ceiling instead of the floor.  Sigh!  Nothing worked.  Eventually she gave up.  After those 20 minutes that felt like eternity, much to my delight, mini-me and Mr. M were finally ready to go and I turned around to get in the elevator.  Not so fast, lady! You gotta go all the way across the deck to the other side to take the elevator down. That was it! The last straw that broke the camel’s back! I went pale and my knees were knocking so hard, I am sure I saw a few people looking for the source of that ‘percussion’. I broke down and cried like a baby.  The elevator operator, not knowing what else to do, let me go down the same way I came up. 
What a relief it was to finally have my feet back on hard ground.  And the building looked prettier from here too 🙂  All lit up and standing tall.
ShangHai World Financial Center

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