Staying in touch!
Mobile phones everywhere, everyone has one and they are all using them, as unlike NZ they are affordable to use for private use locally. My Nokia 6300 was purchased over two years ago in Shanghai, has MP3 for free music off the net and although i had to dowload some free programs for NZ use, this has been a great phone!
For some reason making a toll call from China is very expensive, so the most economical way to stay in touch with family and freinds back home is for them to phone you from a landline, we have NZ rates 17-19 cents per minute...lucky!
Shirley now tells me all local landline calls are pay as you use, not a monthly rental...ok this is why! We also use Skype webcam which is a great way to talk and really is best value!
Or Google gmail has a free webcam option if you are taking your laptop and into gmail?
Talking of computers, "facebook" is only available if you go through a proxy server "shush" lol..!!
Of all the dance halls Shanghai once had before the liberation in 1949, only the Paramount has survived all the demolition and infrastructure changes.
It was completed in 1932. The hall was designed by architect Yang Xiqiu in the art deco style. The first floor of the Paramount was the lobby, kitchen and shops, the second floor was the dance hall and banquet hall and the third floor was a hotel.
The colourful lights always flashed to the rhythm of the music, adding what then must have been a mysterious touch to the dance hall.
The Paramount was fully air-conditioned, a great luxury in the 1930s, so that the temperature on the dance floor remained at about 20 degrees in all seasons.
At the beginning, the dance hall was rented to a Frenchman to run. The Frenchman hired no escorts and all guests had to take their own partners. Also, the entrance fee was very expensive.
Due to its poor business, the Frenchman was dismissed. Later the dance hall hired a group of young and pretty women to work as escorts and the business began to improve. State-of-the-art facilities, glittering lights, pretty taxi-dancers and the Filipino jazz band combined to make the Paramount the most popular and most expensive dance hall in Shanghai.
During the Japanese occupation, the Paramount was reduced to a place where spies and traitors sought fun and caused trouble. In 1941, escort Chen Manli was shot to death in the hall by a hitman hired by the Japanese simply because the patriotic Chen refused to dance with a Japanese officer a few days before.
In 1954, the dance hall was changed into the Red Capital Cinema and the auxiliary buildings were altered into a department store. The Present
After long restoration, the Paramount Hall was once again opened to the public as a night club in January, 2002. The interior, designed by a Taiwanese architect, was abundant with bold adoptions of gold, red and white patterns and designs with some touches of Art Deco. The dance hall was where many middle-aged and senior people gathered to dance and relived the pre-liberation "Night Shanghai".
The best view in the world
My friend Chris who has lived in Shanghai for about 5 years (he is French) took Tracy and I here as a surprise, and it would be fair to say we were surprised and completely mesmerised. Chris knows the owner (guess that helps!) but as far as I could see, you dont have to actually pay to get in here, but I guess it would help to ring first and book a table. Bar Rouge is on the 7th floor and has completely unobstructed views of the night lights of Pudong, which was simply magic.
We did have one drink each here (Chris paid!) and only one as they were about 80rmb each. Chris and I had a cocktail each and Tracy had a glass of Chardonay. But it is worth paying that price for drinks when you consider the view that comes with it. Im assuming they also serve light snacks here.
Here, I was amazed by the amount of construction undergoing in this gigantic city! Major plans on commercial buildings as well as residential highrises are in the pipeline for the next few years. Great news to all the Chinese. Improvement in infrasturcture & luxurious condominiums are what the every Chinese hopes for, aside from getting good jobs.
Shanghai - 15 year for Pu Dong
The view cover up the Bund 'Old Shanghai' and Pudong 'New Shanghai'.
This photo is a combination of 7-8 shot from my digital cam to make it happen...great view???...Hope others VT can have a more wonderful picture to share out with me...
"View from Huang Pu River"