Monday, June 13, 2011


Suzhou - Friday

It rained a ridiculous amount. 

Time to travel from Shanghai railway station to suzhou is approximately 22-24 minutes. The speed also depends on the time of day. Trains depart from 4am until 11:30 at night.
It was really difficult to get around in the rain. Suzhou does not have that many native speakers anymore.

Visited silk factory #2 and saw the worms. It is just a museum, not actual silk manufacturing. That is done in outer western provinces where it is cheaper.and also the printing.  After we left the silk museum, we went to the Temple across the street that had 8 floors and a  garden. There were buddist monks playing chinese chess and we joined them for a round.  The rules of chinese chess are slightly different from the kind we play in the west. There is a king, no queen, which can only move in a small range of squares. There is also a "bomb" piece that can hop over other pieces in a vertical or horizontal path. Some of the pieces have different movement restrictions.

High speed train from Shanghai to Suzhou hits about 300km/hr at max. Brand new Hong Qiao rail way station. train parts come from austria, and possibly french? company. Station is brand new, within the last year. There is a new Beijing to Shanghai train that is opening up this month, it will take about 4 hrs, and will compete with the flights , which have long delays at the airports between the two airports.

Joe says that they can't cover the cost of the new line that was built. also a lot of the existing railway traffic was cleared out to allow for the high speed rail . something about the selling of the bonds isn't going to be enough to cover?

The transit subway within the city is horrifically slow if you compare the distance and speed . It only takes about 25 minutes to go from Shanghai Hong Qiao station to Suzhou. At the suzhou train station we bump into a couple of americans who are on their way to go see the temple. They tell us that the 5 bus is the way to get around and also the 9.

Alex thinks the people who live in suzhou are happier than in the city.  It is pouring rain. we ride the 5 bus up and down the street so that we can get a glimpse of the town without getting wet.

I'm noticing that a lot of the people who now live in suzhou don't actually speak Shanghainese. There are a lot of putonghua only speakers.

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