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July 28, 2007 - Shanghai
If a bicycle is your primary means of transportation, on a very hot day you'll get pretty creative, if you need to move more than just yourself from one place to another.

The number of cars is rising with nearly exponential growth in Shanghai. While the world's most populous city struggles with automotive traffic, the ubiquitous bicycle is still the vehicle used by the majority of locals.

You can see that a couple uses one bike to go out shopping for a laptop and mom uses a bike to take her daughter out shopping. Delivery people seem to be using bikes to transport everything from empty plastic trays to huge bags of... something... and everything in between!

Sure, there are a few motorized scooters which appear equally overloaded, but bicycle traffic seems to rule the streets of Shanghai. Sometimes "playing it cool" is more a matter of practicality than glamour.

The Big Cover-up!
Here's an obvious cultural difference between Asian people and most westerners.

Throughout the US and Europe, a suntan is considered attractive. We think of it as a "healthy glow". Industries have grown around products which provide "instant tans" and salons which provide the ultraviolet death to skin cells.

Asian cultures (I've seen this in Vietnam as well as China) consider a tan to be an indicator of a peasant. If you have dark skin, you must spend your days working out in the sun. Lighter skin is considered more attractive.

I don't know exactly why I found this so fascinating. Some of the airy arm-and-shoulder coverings are very lacy and feminine. Some, like the last photo, seem to be a tad overdone.

We met one of Coral's friends from University, and his fiancé for lunch at a Greek restaurant. I must apologize that I have forgotten their names. I kept them stored for a good long while, but I've been so behind in keeping up the website that I have now forgotten. I do recall:

1. They were getting married in November, 2007 - so Congratulations!

2. They were delightful company for lunch.

I just wish the restaurant were a little more Greek. When I asked for Saganaki, they had no idea what I was talking about. I didn't know how to ask for it in Chinese, so I had to give up on the idea.