Ah the golden week for October 1st’s national day. Every October 1st we have a 7 day holiday to commemorate the founding of the People’s Republic of China ( current ruling party). We have October 1st to October 7th off. You may notice that there should be two more days the following Saturday and Sunday off. Oh I wish that were so. We do get 7 days off in a row but then we must “trade” 2 days and work the following weekend. Yes next Oct. 8&9 instead of my usual weekend time off it will be the start of a 7 day workweek. Great 7 days off then 7 days on. Grrrrr so silly(stupid!!!). Just give us the extra two days , please!
For this Golden week I don’t have enough cash to leave the country. If you don’t have enough cash to see another country for a few days then good luck traveling within China. Since almost everybody in China (1.3 billion) has this week off most return to their hometowns or take the opportunity to go sightseeing. My girl reported back that rest stops for the buses were insanely crowded and the sheer amount of people led some girls to peeing right on the floor in the middle of the restroom in the middle of the crowd. Hearing this affirmed my plan of not leaving Shanghai. Train tickets get sold out almost instantly from the second they go on sale and if you are lucky enough to grab a ticket I hope you booked your hotel months in advance and hope you plan on seeing more of the crowds than the actual sites you intend to see. This works out well enough for me just staying in Shanghai. Due to many people leaving to go back to their hometowns traffic in Shanghai is wayyy down. Rush hour during the week was barely even like “slow hour” in usual Shanghai schedule, awesome for me riding my bike around! I imagine the typical tourist spots in Shanghai are even busier than usual but seeing as how I’ve been to these a multitude of times it’s no problem for me. Another thing to notice is the amount of fireworks randomly set off for the celebrations. Chinese love fireworks and I always wake up to them blasting off right outside of my window. National Day golden week is nothing compared to Spring Festival but still everyday I manage to hear some fireworks going off in the city.
Right now it’s about halfway through the holiday and I haven’t really accomplished much but it’s okay. The first 3 days I kinda just stayed indoors (we did have a cold snap!!) and caught up on some reading , cleaning , and played a good amount of PS3 ( woo hoo Fallout New Vegas!). Today I rode my bike 10km(and then 10km back) to get to the Hongmei pedestrian street which is where the most awesome Shanghai Brewery is located. Spent the day drinking Shanghai made micro-brews and finishing some books I’ve working on for a while finished up. Three more days to go and I have a trip to Chongming Island planned , a revisit to the Hongmei Pedestrian street , and (sigh) getting kindergarten lessons for next week hashed out. Maybe I’ll even get some more writing on the blog whipped out too! Woo hooo!