One silly memory – but because it is one of my pet peeves – I am sure I won’t forget it. Of the many spa treatments I’ve had, I can count on one hand the number of therapists who have washed their hands in front of me before starting the treatment. Here at the Chi spa in Shanghai, at the Pudong Shangri-La Shanghai hotel, my therapist made it a point to say between each part of my treatment, “I will go and wash my hands now.” She must have said it 3 times. Kudos then to my first spa therapist in China. And kudos to the Chi spa training program.
A thought. After our first Shanghai spa experience, Nicholas and I had dinner before heading to the Bund to see a bit of the nightlife. When we returned later in the evening, our cab driver dropped us off at the side entrance to the hotel amongst quite a bit of traffic. After we got out of the cab (thankfully) our cab driver got into a fist fight with someone from another vehicle because both vehicles wouldn’t budge to alleviate a traffic jam. This was frightening.
I thought later about how I am seeing two aspects of China here….one is the very modern face with skyscrapers, western style restaurants, and plenty of contemporary glitz. The other is a backwardness which is very foreign to an American. The fight was one example; another was a woman helping her young child, about four, squat down to go the bathroom right in front of me on a ferry ride, like a dog going to the bathroom in the street. Then there were the sounds, and sights, of older men clearing their throats and spitting on the sidewalk. It’s a bit of a yin and yang experience and I look forward to learning more about the dichotomy while I am here. I wonder if the shift from the dark ages of the cultural revolution to the modernizing influence of the west on this communist country is at the root. It certainly hasn’t been a gradual evolution of change for them.
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