Shanghai Day 6
The final two days in Shanghai were spent in cultural and shopping tours in the city. Since the career development delegation meetings were done they joined the guests in the touring. On Saturday we made for the Shanghai Library, a truly world-class city museum of over 120,000 pieces of ancient Chinese art and artifacts from ceramics, calligraphy, to coins, sculpture, seals, and jade. The museum is state-of-the-art with exhibit lights that brightened and dimmed automatically as viewers approached and receded from the exhibit. A profusion of staff of every stripe was always visible and doing something througout our China tour: from bathroom attendants to custodians polishing the rich, dark wood in the exhibit rooms, I felt at times that there is 0% unemployment in China--the official figure is more like 3%. (At our hotel I counted 9 clerks behind the service desk--and this was at 10:00 PM one evening!)
After the museum we were taken to a silk carpet factory and show room. After a tour of the factory with weavers working on various carpets we were ushered into the showroom. The weavers were all young women who worked for 15-20 years but usually had to retire sooner due to failing eye sight. Depending on the size and pattern intricacies the carpets would take 6 months with the large ones taking a year or longer. Kathy purchased a small silk wall hanging while most delegates bought something, and one of the delegates purchased a rather large 5 X 8 carpet for his house in San Francisco.
Next we headed to Shanghai's old city and the classic Yu Yuan Garden, meaning garden of peace and harmony, of over 40 buildings of ponds, bridges, and sculpture, including an over 400 year old tree. After the tour and shopping at tea and silk shops we went on to the foot massage for everyone. Photos are here