I had a really fun day in Shanghai today. We walked along the waterfront area called "the bund" before grabbing pizza for lunch (sometimes you need to break for Western food). Steve, Steph, Carlien, and I went over to a market area afterwards where they sell all of the Chinese 'knock-off' versions of designer clothing, jewelry, etc. It was wild!
As soon as we got out of the taxi, we were swarmed by eight or nine guys trying to direct us towards a building where they had "watch, purse, Gucci, DVD movie". I actually thought that this must be what a celebrity feels like, completely attacked by fans. This 'entourage' followed us as we tried to figure out where to go shopping. I split off and went to the bank for cash. When I came out, three of them were waiting for me. In a wonderfully coordinated effort, they reunited me with the other three. It's a bit annoying to have eight guys follow you around a shopping center. The girls weren't enjoying our escorts so I pleaded with them to give us some space, assuring them that we'd check out their wares later. They agreed to go away but they left us with one guy to follow us around. All in all, it was pretty amusing and we found some nice items. I was really tempted to buy some $10 Puma sneakers but I resisted.
In the evening I went to a couple of clubs with a group of the girls. It was pretty weird. Every place we went to provided us with cups of dice (I was smacking myself for not remembering the rules to 'Liar's Dice'). In one club called M-Factor, guys dressed up as Spiderman and Venom wandered around, occasionally poking their heads into our booth. We couldn't figure out why. We sat on the patio of another club for a moment until we glanced over and noticed girls dancing on poles inside. The girls decided it was too expensive anyway so we moved on. Not a bad night I'd have to say.