Shanghai slacker

I’m so close to finishing my posts about China, I can practically taste it. Before I can finish up, there’s one final destination to share about: Shanghai.

It’s over nine months since my first post about China. Over seven since we were actually in Shanghai. More than half a year ago that we had this time in the country that unexpectedly delighted, amazed and enchanted me. And I’ve already written 60 posts about the place. (60!! God, I’m verbose!)

Our time there was jam packed with so many awesome things, and by the time we reached Shanghai – one last destination before our visa expired and we had to leave the country (we only had two full days in the city and we literally left China on the last day of our visa) – I think I’d run out of steam. And I fear I’m about to do the same here in this blog. There’s things I still want to capture here about China… The thing is when I try to write about Shanghai, I feel like there’s nothing to say.

Not because of Shanghai. But because I was so flat out tired and a bit sick when we were there. And because I’m sure those two days were not long enough to even begin to get a feel for this world-renowned city.

We managed to take in some of the major sights – the Bund, the French Concession, the Shanghai Museum – plus other bits and pieces. But how much I actually was able to absorb… Well, what ever I did absorb, it doesn’t feel like enough to justify a proper blog post.

So, I am so sorry Shanghai for pooping out on you once more. I am sure you are totally awesome and fascinating and I know you are unlike any place else we visited in China, but I will just have to wait to find out more about you when I have a bit more energy!

I CAN say that I loved the Shanghai Museum – especially for its beautiful clothing displays (maybe you’ll remember how they soothed my sensibilities after my fashion compass was set askew) – and here are a few photos just to give you a wee peek of the place.

Chinese fashion update

Thanks to everyone who’s been voting on my Fashion forward/fashion fail post. I’m glad to say that I think I’m well on the way to recovering my fashion perspective, between your input and the fact that we are now in Shanghai.

This place is a whole other world from the rest of what we’ve seen in China, and there is a whole lot of fashion going on here, and not just fashion but all out great style! My bags are too full as it is so I’m really doing my best to resist the urge to go shopping! 🙂

Yesterday we went to the Shanghai Museum, which was just excellent: tons of wonderful, interesting and beautiful artifacts from Chinese history on display in a cool, modern, tasteful setting. Certainly the most sophisticated museum we’ve visited in all of China. I wish we had more time and could view all the exhibits, but I really enjoyed the ones we did fit in, especially the display on minority traditional clothing.

Just a quick explanation – ethnic minority is the turn that is widely used here to describe the groups of people who are not Han Chinese. While the Han are most definitely in the majority, still China has a wealth of other ethnic groups. We’ve been lucky enough to visit some of the areas some of these groups call home. Having a glimpse into these traditional ways of life has been a big highlight for me.

I have squirmy feelings about the term “ethnic minority” and even squirmier feelings about the commercialization of these cultures that we’ve seen in many places around China (i.e. the tendency to turn the some of the places they live into tourist attractions), but I’ll leave those thoughts for another post.

Anyway, one thing that I really love about all this is the absolutely fantastic traditional/folk costumes that are still worn in some of the areas. Ethnic minorities have got mad style! Check out just some of the amazing outfits on display at the Shanghai Museum:

Mongol ceremonial dress

Dress and headdress details

Lhoba women’s ensemble. Awesome color, I love the necklaces!

Miao ceremonial garment. What a dope cape!

A Yi woman’s garment

Yi detail. Love the patterns, the buttons, everything!

De’ang woman’s dress. Fashion forward, I’d say!