Monday morning July 14,
Just saw end of World Cup. My friend Walter from Germany must be thrilled! Its 5.00 AM hard to sleep and not happy about the weight I seem to be gaining thus far! I will recap the activities of yesterday along with some reflections.
We first visited the Shanghai Museum. Four floors situated in a circular forma level by level. Each one focused on an aspect of Chinese history and culture. I particularly liked the ancient jewelry some mosquito gold earrings dating from the Ming dynasty. I also liked the display of ancient currency. I learned the reason for the square hole was two fold. One was to carry the coins on a string or strap of some kind and the other more fitting with the culture represented that idea that the world was square surrounded by the heavens. It was clear that the Chinese celebrate their culture and have a sense of appreciation for their many achievements in art and culture
It was raining quite hard today as we continued to the famous Yuyuan Gardens. This garden was created many many years ago and was destroyed during the cultural revolution. It was then rebuilt. The ponds were filled with giant coy fish and the opulence of some of the Chinese was evident. It was explained that the level of a person was indicated by the size of their door opening and the step that led into the house. The wider and higher- the higher the rank. The beautiful gardens were surrounded by the poorer housing that exists within eye range.
We continued to a place I was very eager to visit: The Jewish Refugee museum. It is located at the site of what was the Jewish Ghetto and houses the Ohel Moshe synagogue. Our young guide, who spoke English quite well explained that about 2000 Jews still reside in Shanghai. From 1933-1941 Shanghai became a modern day “Noah’s Arc” taking in about 24,000 Jews from Germany, Poland, and other parts of Europe fleeing the Nazi’s reign of murder. Jews did not require a visa to enter Shanghai, as opposed to other countries who turned their back on the Jewish people trying to escape. It is a small museum that speaks volumes about the kindess of the Chinese people who took the Jews into their country and helped them survive the war. There are individual stories exhibited and artifacts as well.
We had lunch in a huge restaurant and then strolled the many shops being heckled and constantly pursued to make a purchase.
Our evening concluded with a spectacular Chinese acrobatic circus which included motorcycles in a cage miraculously riding over under and around each other with precision. Balancing acts, and visual effects that had us holding our breath! We all were very tired when we returned to the hotel.
Some things I noticed- or did not is that I do not see many pregnant women. I learned that the quota of one child has been somewhat lifted because of the lack of women now that was a result of people wanting male children. None the less I do not see amongst the 24 million people many pregnant women but I