Sadly our 2018 winter trip comes to an end with its final blog being written on the plane back to Los Angeles.
Shanghai history, particularly Shanghai Jewish history is fascinating. My 140 word synopsis:
1842 – Britain wins the First Opium War and forces China to import its opium (from British India). Because it lost Shanghai was then opened to British free trade and was given Hong Kong for 150 years.
1845 – Britain established its “concession” where they were not subject to Chinese law. The US and others followed shortly.
Mid 1800s – Sephardic Jews from Bagdad and Bombay started immigrating because of commerce opportunities.
1920s – Poor Russian Jews came in the 1920s to escape the pogroms.
1933 -1941 Shanghai was unconditionally open to visa-less European Jews (primarily German and Austria).
1941 – The foreign concessions were occupied by Japan and Jews ghettoized in terrible conditions (as a favor to the Nazis)
1945 – Japan surrenders. China takes over and Jews left in droves to Israel, USA, Australia, and Hong Kong to escape Communism
Check out these photos taken just 26 years apart; the first taken in 1987. Shanghai was the fastest growing city in the world at the turn of the century and is now has about 25 million people projected to be 50 million by 2050. This is essentially the view from our room across the Huanpu River looking at the financial center. (I did not take these photos).
Our last night started with a cocktail at Pop Bar, having basically the same view as above and then a wonderful Cantonese dinner two floors down at at Canton Table. We were kindly attended to by the General Manager himself, Alan Chan, who was there eating with friends.
I had never seen two sets of chopsticks at one place setting. I learned that the light ones are used as serving utensils for common plates and the black was for us eating individually. That way we don’t dunk our eating chopsticks into the commn food.
A final nightcap was enjoyed at the jazz bar in the Waldorf Astoria.
Jessica was absolutely giddy with her first business class flight and was sorry it ended after only 15 hours. Allyn slept; I wrote.
It was a great trip. We already miss our cruise friends – old and new, and loved having so much time with Jessica. Believe it or not, the impetus to bring Jessica out for the final two weeks was to crystalize details of a business that the three of us have been working on. More on that later.