This morning we walked through the French Concession in Shanghai. The first floor of basically all of the colonial-style buildings have turned into stores in this specific area we were in. There were boutiques and studios and cafes of all sort, it was almost like New York City.
Maybe like 10 New York Cities! Except for the traffic is managed a lot better here in Shanghai. The only way to obtain a license plate is to enter in a monthly lottery for one. 9,000 license plates are given out monthly and if you are one of those, you still have to pay roughly $11,000 USD for one. If you have and out of town license plate, you will be denied access on highways around rush hour and will not be able to get downtown. A lot of people resort to riding their bikes or public transportation.
The one child policy has also been revisited lately. Since April, the policy was changed so that if you are an only child in your family, you are allowed a second child of your own. The current penalty for having a second child is about a $32,000 USD minimum and if you are wealthy or famous your fine can be as high as $320,000 USD. Farmers get away with having more children because they are basically the ones who will run the farm once the parents become incapable. The more farmhands, the more product is produced.
I've been to my fair share of temples on this trip but it just never gets old. I love how serene and welcoming this Buddhist temple was. The architecture and the overall layout was so beautiful, it's worth spending hours here.
Tonight we went to the Shanghai Circus, or Shanghai Acrobatic Show, whichever works. It was incredible and the talent was definitely up to par with shows like Cirque du Soleil. While there was no story line, each act was very entertaining. This young man was my favorite, I love the simplicity of his outfit and his movements. He flowed from one position to the next, bending his body into the most beautiful forms. Apparently, being an acrobat is considered a government job and kids are put into the trade as young as 5 years old. Parents have to make a decision for their future basically because going to acrobatic school ensures the child will get fed and educated and will have a roof over his/her head every night. If the child ends up not being as talented at the trade as hoped, it can be very bad for the family.
It was a late night and tomorrow my last full day in China!