i had no intention of visiting the shanghai zoo. i'd been to other zoos in china (kunming zoo comes to mind) so i've seen the way the locals mistreat the animals. but i woke up early to see if i could get my health exam certificate a day in advance, and after about an hour and a half of pure uncut shanghai subway rush hour traffic, the nurse at the front desk saw my receipt and said i can't collect my certificate until thursday, wouldn't even check to see if it was ready, and then wouldn't talk to me after that. i wanted to yell at her but all the curse words i know are in english so she wouldn't even understand. i glared at her for a second then left, calling mr.wu to let him know i won't be able to get the certificate until tomorrow, and to schedule a time we could meet thursday to get my work visa done.
a little bit annoyed that i wasted 2 hours coming here for nothing, i took a taxi (RMB$14) back to the metro station. i was about to go home when i realized this was a chance to turn a negative into a positive, and this was an opportunity to visit the shanghai zoo. so that's what i did. parts of the zoo was crowded at times as the local horde can in waves, but after they leave, the place gets quiet again. i imagine on weekends, when the weather isn't so deadly hot, this place can get packed with parents and kids.
i stayed at the zoo for a long time, and i felt like i was going to pass out a few times from dehydration. i kept buying bottles of cold water at exorbitant zoo rates (RMB$4-4.50, normally it's around RMB$2-3) to replenish the copious amounts of body fluids i was losing through sweating. most memorable thing about the zoo? golden-haired monkeys. they're one of my favorites. i went to the kunming zoo multiple times just to get a few good photos of these monkeys. here in shanghai, because people were feeding them, these golden-haired monkeys came right up to the cage begging for scraps.
i made it back to pudong avenue by 4:00. i stopped by a small supermarket to get some cold drinks, then went to the first beef noodle place (the one with the beef sprinkles). i ordered a large beef noodle this time (RMB$7), but added more beef (additional RMB$7). even with the beef addition, it still seemed like just bits and pieces. i can't expect too much with a meal that costs just a little over US$2. it was nice to finally eat again, and i could tell i'd probably lost a lot of weight just by sweating.
when i came back to the hotel, the doorman said it was pretty hot today. i had no words and just simply laughed. quite an understatement! back in the room, after washing my clothes and taking a shower, i weighed myself: 140 lbs. 5lbs. less than this past weekend. it helps that every day i go out it's like being trapped in a steam room.
i didn't go out the rest of the day. i finished the blueberries i stashed in the fridge and ate a bowl of spicy ramen (with bonus hotdog) for a late dinner.