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Saturday 13th April 1985
Congee and dumplings at the Pujiang. Stroll down the Bund, a pleasant enthusiastic well spoken postgraduate business student joins me, we talk about China, England, travel, the blackmarket etc. I have difficulty getting him in to the Dongjeng, the old Shanghai club. Moderately interesting interior.
The Premier recently extolled the people not to waste their time, as time is money. This piece of dogma was previously despised as capitalism. My student friend is telling me all this with some amusement. He compares Shanghai and the Huangpo to London’s river front on the Thames, there is a distinct resemblance. He regards Shanghai traffic as appalling, I tell him he should come to London were the traffic as much worse.
He recently embarked on a little private enterprise and a college project. He got some girls in his year to sew some simple calico bags with a draw string. He paid them 4Fen per bag, with other costs of about 20 Fen. He sold them around the College for 30 Fen. They are for the students to carry their bowls and chopsticks in. He sold 200 in one week and made 20 yuan. He is very well informed on world affairs and international politics, he knows more about European industrial output is than I do. After the club we walk around enchanting back streets in the older part of town. We watch a rice crispie man dry roasting rice in a heavy black iron pressure cooker mounted on a trolley with a small charcoal stove. It opens with a loud bang and a puff of smoke. This noise is his traders call. We eventually say goodbye in the Yuyuan gardens.
Yuyuan gardens

Yuyuan gardens

Tour the museum. Beautiful collection of Chinese paintings on the top floor. Get another shave. Razor not as sharp as the first barbers I visited, but he still has a great routine.
Spends the evening with Chris, Don, Melia and Amanda in Shanghai’s liveliest night spot. The bar of the Peace hotel where some old musicians from the 1930s have been resurrected from their previous, and premature, cultural retirement. Great atmosphere, restrained Japanese tourists, loud mouthed Texans adding vocals, rowdy Yugoslav sailors, and gawping Chinese in the doorway. Expensive coffee and beer, and admission 8 yuan, argued and paid in Remninbees.

Posted by 1985 trip 16:00 Archived in China

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