Wednesday morning we woke up at 8:00 AM, walked to McDonalds for another authentic Chinese breakfast, and took a cab to the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Conference Center for the Hosiery Conference for Say it with a Sock (our sock of the month club). We spent seven hours walking around the conference learning everything you could possibly imagine (and then some) about all aspects of socks (thread, needles, materials, sublimation, digital printing, manufacturing, packaging, etc.). It was both fascinating and hilarious for many reasons. There were almost no westerners at the conference, not that it mattered, but it was not what we expected.
Fully socked out for the day, we headed back to our unnecessary suite at the Sheraton to work on Say it with a Sock and relax for a bit. We went to Time’s Square mall to go to a an all vegetarian Chinese restaurant for dinner. The place was awesome, however, no one spoke English. We were handed an iPad for a menu full of photos of different dishes accompanied by Chinese descriptions. A waiter from India came over to help us—he pushed a few buttons on the iPad after admitting in broken English that he also couldn’t read any of the Chinese descriptions on the iPad. We ended up with six delicious dishes (which was about four dishes too many), but the meal was amazing and this whole night was definitely an experience.
As we went to leave the mall we saw a line of people inside trying to wait out the pouring rain. We made a mad dash for the subway and navigated to a stop on the other side of town to go to a night market/bar. We weren’t quite sure which of the twenty four subway station exits to use so we guessed. Turns out we were very wrong, because we ended up walking about thirty minutes to Dada Bar (a cool dive bar with games and local artisans filled with expats). We ordered some beers, chatted with a few vendors and then left.
It took us about twenty minutes or so, in the pouring rain, to finally find a taxi that would take us back to the Sheraton—and when we got one, we were beyond relieved…. Shanghai is freezing!