Settling Down – Cheap Glasses – Tailored Shirts – Delicious BBQ

It is hard to believe that today marked the beginning of my fourth week in Shanghai. How time flies. The past week has been a week of really settling into life here, of really understanding how this city works, and where and how to fully enjoy and appreciate all that Shanghai has to offer.

Beginning with what I did last weekend, I went to the famous Shanghai Glasses Market. It is two full floors of glasses, sunglasses, and contacts of all kinds. I have never seen any place like this before. Prescription glasses and sunglasses go for about 30-100 Yuan ($5-$15) depending on your bargaining skills and. From crazy colored plastic frames to cool vintage ones, this place has every eye accessory you could imagine. I personally picked up a pair of wooden sunglasses for about 70 Yuan. In addition to the glasses market that occupies the top two floors of this massive building, there are also two full floors are camera shops selling every type of camera and accessory imaginable, from used point and shoots to $10,000 professional video cameras. But that’s not all, there is also a full floor of wedding and bridal stores where you can go and pick up everything you would need for your wedding. Tuxes, dresses, fake flowers, and much much more. So if you are a nearsighted bride or groom to be with a penchant for photography this is the place for you.

Shanghai is full of markets. There is the glasses market I described above, there are multiple “fake” markets (which I have yet to visit), antique markets, pet and flower markets, wet (aka Food) markets, and perhaps most famously fabric markets. I had the chance to visit the South Bund Fabric Market. To quote my Shanghai Bible, the folks at smartshanghai.com describe the place as “home to hundreds of tailors and seamstresses, and is the city’s prime destination for bespoke clothing garments. If it can be stitched and sewn, they can do it for you at the South Bund Fabric Market.” I took part in supporting this famous market and bought myself a few tailored dress shirts – they came out great. On my return yesterday to pick my shirts up, they were so good I decided to buy a custom tailored suit and a “bespoke” pair of shirts. While I am skeptical of the quality, the ridiculously low prices make buying clothes from the fabric market well worth it.

No post about Shanghai is complete without at least mentioning one great new (to me at least) restaurant. This weekend my buddies and I went to Bubba’s BBQ for a taste of home. Famous for the classic American bar food of burgers, onion rings, and nachos this place did not disappoint.

Check out my “high quality” pictures from my trusty Blackberry for a visual depiction of all I have done this week.

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