For three days in a row, we've had stunning spring weather. Mild temperatures with lots and lots of sunshine and clear blue skies.
Unfortunately, in a city like Shanghai, there aren't too many places where you can go to really enjoy the sunshine. Not all cafes and restaurants have outdoor seating and then you have to also choose wisely as those with ground floor outdoor areas end up being in the shadows of the surrounding skyscrapers. Parks are, as expected, crowded on the weekends and not too pleasant as public singing (with microphone and speakers) is common practice.
I had a given myself an entire free day to explore the city a little more and wanted to try to go to places that I don't normally frequent. Here's what happened on Friday.
I wanted to be in some sort of park. Somewhere green to just soak in the sun. Christoph and I had strolled around a park called Taipingqiao a few weeks ago. It's small but has a nice man-made water feature in the centre and I thought 'Yes, that would be nice and blue and pretty to enjoy.' Below is what I got instead.
I had bought myself a coffee and had my Kindle in hand all excited to sit and read for a couple of hours. Hmm. After 30 minutes of staring at the drained feature and having dust blow into my eyes and up my nose, I had to abandon the idea.
So then I thought 'Ok. I'll go to a restuarant I know that has a roof top terrace.' I can easily walk there and it's a little after the lunch rush and so it should be easy to get a table.
At the restuarant I ask for a table outside - and you have to understand that it was a really beautiful day. The hostess says 'Sorry the outside area is closed.' WTF! I asked why, she shrugged, said 'I don't know' and pretended to go to the kitchen. I should tell you that I've been here before and the girl recognized me. I'm not very sympathetic to her style of work and I think she knows, hence the running away.
Ok, calm down and let's think where else can I go? I walk to their other branch which I know has outdoor seating as well - I should also mention that so far, each of my walks are between 30-45 minutes. I get there, get a table outside and am so happy... until the table next to me arrives and wants an umbrella for their table because it's too sunny!!!!!!????? I wanted to cry because they blocked all of my precious sunshine.
All other tables were taken and so I sat there and had my lunch while trying to be really happy because I was outdoors... Om...