Sunday, 30 November 2014

Living the Dream

"Financial Bonus: Business owners attending BSSM needed financial breakthrough. Wife attended her mission trip meeting and trip leader said "If anyone needs financial breakthrough visualize the amount you need, reach up to Heaven, grab it and release it in your bank account." Wife did this visualizing the $2,000 they need.

In two days, business partner called husband and told him that even though it is only February the company is exceeding all profit forecasts. So much so, that partner is sending a bonus check and implementing salary increases. A week later business owners received a check MORE THAN $2,000 after taxes! Michelle B, Redding, CA"
Living the Dream, a series of true and verified stories of real people who have encountered God for themselves and have learnt to apply His principles in their normal everyday world, sourced from Heaven in Business

My World

Tide's out, Hardinge Rd, Ahuriri, Napier photograph
Tide's out
Hardinge Rd, Ahuriri, Napier
A 5x-weekly photograph from around Hawke's Bay J

Saturday, 29 November 2014

My World

Head-to-head at the cricket photograph
Head-to-head at the cricket
A 5x-weekly photograph from around Hawke's Bay J

Friday, 28 November 2014

My World

Made to last, Marseilles tiles from the early 1900's photograph
Made to last
Marseilles tiles from the early 1900's
A 5x-weekly photograph from around Hawke's Bay J

Thursday, 27 November 2014

My World

Gorse, a pretty pest on the Wairoa Rd photograph
Gorse, a pretty pest on the Wairoa Rd
A 5x-weekly photograph from around Hawke's Bay J

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

My World

Redundant rail at Raupunga?? Maybe not... photograph
Redundant rail at Raupunga??
A 5x-weekly photograph from around Hawke's Bay J

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Spice of Life

My choice from a week's work at Hawke's Bay Today J
(including at times, photos for the Napier Courier, the Hastings Leader
the Havelock North Village Press and/or The Link)

Stuart Duff, Hastings Golf Club, competing in the Greenwood Cup at Napier Golf Club, Waiohiki, Napier. photograph
Getting the lay of the land
Stuart Duff, Hastings Golf Club, competing in the Greenwood Cup at Napier Golf Club, Waiohiki, Napier.

Cedar Wairau, 13, Napier, has been hailed a heroine after a family fishing boat capsized off the Mahia Peninsula earlier this month. She swam 10m, walked along a reef and then ran along rocks for 2km to the nearest house to raise the alarm. photograph
Tough kid
Cedar Wairau, 13, Napier, has been hailed a heroine after a family fishing boat capsized off the Mahia Peninsula earlier this month. She swam 10m, walked along a reef and then ran along rocks for 2km to the nearest house to raise the alarm.

Mobility scooter trip from Awatoto to Ahuriri, Napier, and back for Heretaunga Seniors, Hastings, and The Chatham Club, Hastings. photograph
Age no barrier
Mobility scooter trip from Awatoto to Ahuriri, Napier, and back for Heretaunga Seniors, Hastings, and The Chatham Club, Hastings.

Police led away a dog tied onto a length of emergency tape, after Police, Napier Fire Service and St John Ambulance staff removed a woman's body from the breakwater by the boardwalk along the entrance to the Inner Harbour, along Nelson Quay, near Perfume Point, Napier. photograph
So sad, R.I.P
Police led away a dog tied onto a length of emergency tape, after Police, Napier Fire Service and St John Ambulance staff removed a woman's body from the breakwater by the boardwalk along the entrance to the Inner Harbour, along Nelson Quay, near Perfume Point, Napier.

L-R: Leslee Peterson, Hastings, Julie Smith-Clark, Napier, trying out the  Superfly, a new waterslide at Splash Planet, Hastings. Sarah van Der Kley and Martin Good, co-hosts on the radio breakfast show on The Hits rode the slide with 10 of their listeners the day before it opened to the public. photograph
Fun Fun Fun
L-R: Leslee Peterson, Hastings, Julie Smith-Clark, Napier, trying out the  Superfly, a new waterslide at Splash Planet, Hastings. Sarah van Der Kley and Martin Good, co-hosts on the radio breakfast show on The Hits rode the slide with 10 of their listeners the day before it opened to the public.

L-R: Lee Grace, treasurer, Taine Randell, trustee, U-Turn Charitable Trust, speaking to Bill English, the finance minister, National government, at Te Aranga Marae, Flaxmere, Hastings, at a meeting to discuss a community housing proposal. photograph
Faces of change
L-R: Lee Grace, treasurer, Taine Randell, trustee, U-Turn Charitable Trust, speaking to Bill English, the finance minister, National government, at Te Aranga Marae, Flaxmere, Hastings, at a meeting to discuss a community housing proposal.

Bill English, the finance minister, National government, at Te Aranga Marae, Flaxmere, Hastings, speaking at a meeting to discuss a community housing proposal. photograph
Purse strings
Bill English, the finance minister, National government, at Te Aranga Marae, Flaxmere, Hastings, speaking at a meeting to discuss a community housing proposal.

L-R: Henare O'Keefe, chairman, Te Aranga Marae; Bill English, finance minister, National government, at Te Aranga Marae, Flaxmere, Hastings, meeting to discuss a community housing proposal. photograph
Community's champion
L-R: Henare O'Keefe, chairman, Te Aranga Marae; Bill English, finance minister, National government, at Te Aranga Marae, Flaxmere, Hastings, meeting to discuss a community housing proposal.

L-R: Tyson Nicoll, Pearl Nicoll, Hastings, playing in the dirt after the official opening and blessing of PNS Pasifika garden, a new section of the community gardens at Te Aranga Marae, Flaxmere, Hastings. photograph
Ploughed for play
L-R: Tyson Nicoll, Pearl Nicoll, Hastings, playing in the dirt after the official opening and blessing of PNS Pasifika garden, a new section of the community gardens at Te Aranga Marae, Flaxmere, Hastings.

Hawke's Bay Today Photo Sales

Monday, 24 November 2014

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Living the Dream

"Dream Realized - Free Shop Lease in a Mall:

UK Dreamer wanted to setup a shop in a local (Gravesend) Mall where they could promote literacy and help parents to interact with their children (as well as do “Spiritual reading” etc). THREE times she was told that they could NOT have the shop in the mall. Not one to quit easy, she then asked a different, small, outdoor Mall if she could do story and song time outside. She got permission and started in January 2013.

The first session it was -1 degrees Celsius (30 deg.F)! The second session it was snowing! However during the second session a Mall executive HAPPENED to be visiting from London. He saw them outside and has offered a FREE LEASE ON A SHOP UNIT! Dream now advancing indoors! Kim Carter, UK"

Living the Dream, a series of true and verified stories of real people who have encountered God for themselves and have learnt to apply His principles in their normal everyday world, sourced from Dream Culture: Bringing your Dreams to Life

My World

Incy Wincy? photograph
Incy Wincy?
A 5x-weekly photograph from around Hawke's Bay J

Saturday, 22 November 2014

My World

Hi to all my friends, fans and followers. This is my 400th post since starting this series just over two years ago, and I'm still enjoying myself so I shall continue ;-)
Hawke's Bay is an amazing place when you take the time to stop and look J

Kiwi Christmas tree (and a honey bee) photograph
Kiwi Christmas tree (and a honey bee)
A 5x-weekly photograph from around Hawke's Bay J

Friday, 21 November 2014

My World

Sexy steelwork at Sculpt photograph
Sexy steelwork at Sculpt
A 5x-weekly photograph from around Hawke's Bay J

Thursday, 20 November 2014

My World

Some say it's lucky, some say it's a pest photograph
Panda food in Hastings
Some say it's lucky, others say it's a pest
A 5x-weekly photograph from around Hawke's Bay J

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

My World

Arty, crafty and practical, bike stands in Hastings photograph
Arty, crafty and practical, bike stands in Hastings
A 5x-weekly photograph from around Hawke's Bay J

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Spice of Life

My choice from a week's work at Hawke's Bay Today J
(including at times, photos for the Napier Courier, the Hastings Leader
the Havelock North Village Press and/or The Link)

A Hastings girl who successfully fought off an attacker when walking along Caroline Rd, Hastings. photograph
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu pays off
A Hastings girl who successfully fought off an attacker when walking along Caroline Rd, Hastings.

Christmas products at Adam'o, a retailer in Havelock North. photograph
Anatomically incorrect shepherd
Christmas products at Adam'o, a retailer in Havelock North.

Night photo of Ravensdown Fertiliser Co-operative, SH2, Awatoto, Napier. photograph
Night lights
Night photo of Ravensdown Fertiliser Co-operative, SH2, Awatoto, Napier.

Senior sergeant Greg Brown, Hastings police, pictured with a passive breath tester. The alcohol limit for drivers aged 20 and over lowers from 400mcg of alcohol per litre of breath to 250mcg, from 01 December, 2014. photograph
Lower limits
Senior sergeant Greg Brown, Hastings police, pictured with a passive breath tester. The alcohol limit for drivers aged 20 and over lowers from 400mcg of alcohol per litre of breath to 250mcg, from 01 December, 2014.

Simon Kale, an inspector at Hastings SPCA, pictured with L-R: Finn and Zinny, promo for next week's SPCA Glamourpuss Ball and Auction. photograph
Just needing some love
Simon Kale, an inspector at Hastings SPCA, pictured with L-R: Finn and Zinny, promo for next week's SPCA Glamourpuss Ball and Auction.

L-R: Senior firefighter Chris Milne; Barb Beach, Havelock North Business Association; firefighter Kirk Hine, Ross Boniface, operation support, Havelock North Volunteer Fire Brigade, Havelock North - playing with water at a Christmas function for the HNBA and fundraiser for the HNVFB. photograph
Big boys' toys
L-R: Senior firefighter Chris Milne; Barb Beach, Havelock North Business Association; firefighter Kirk Hine, Ross Boniface, operation support, Havelock North Volunteer Fire Brigade, Havelock North - playing with water at a Christmas function for the HNBA and fundraiser for the HNVFB.

Two of the trees which blew down in high winds on Heays Access Rd, a no exit road to the popular Boundary Stream and Shine Falls, Putorino, Northern Hawke's Bay. photograph
Like skittles
Two of the trees which blew down in high winds on Heays Access Rd, a no exit road to the popular Boundary Stream and Shine Falls, Putorino, Northern Hawke's Bay.

One of the trees which broke off  in high winds on Heays Access Rd, a no exit road to the popular Boundary Stream and Shine Falls, Putorino, Northern Hawke's Bay. photograph
Imagine the force
One of the trees which broke off  in high winds on Heays Access Rd, a no exit road to the popular Boundary Stream and Shine Falls, Putorino, Northern Hawke's Bay.

Local farmers and the Putorino Volunteer Rural Fire Force had to clear the road with chainsaws to allow ambulances to get through to a woman injured by a falling tree. Scores of trees were blown down in high winds on Heays Access Rd, a no exit road to the popular Boundary Stream and Shine Falls, Putorino, Northern Hawke's Bay. photograph
No small task
Local farmers and the Putorino Volunteer Rural Fire Force had to clear the road with chainsaws to allow ambulances to get through to a woman injured by a falling tree. Scores of trees were blown down in high winds on Heays Access Rd, a no exit road to the popular Boundary Stream and Shine Falls, Putorino, Northern Hawke's Bay.

Kamlesh Narayan, a faultman with Unison, working to restore power after lines were broken by trees blown down by high winds on Heays Access Rd, a no exit road to the poular Boundary Stream and Shine Falls, Putorino, Northern Hawke's Bay. photograph
Head for heights
Kamlesh Narayan, a faultman with Unison, working to restore power after lines were broken by trees blown down by high winds on Heays Access Rd, a no exit road to the poular Boundary Stream and Shine Falls, Putorino, Northern Hawke's Bay.

Hawke's Bay Today Photo Sales

Monday, 17 November 2014

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Living the Dream

"Gout healed on the job: Local Construction Contractor: “I asked one of my customers if I could pray for him as he had told me in the course of being at his house and doing work he had battled gout and had a weak ankle. When I asked him if I could pray for him several days later he said he had pain in his foot. I prayed and left with no visible signs of a reduction in pain.

I was back the next week or so doing some more work and his wife told me he had come to her the next day and said “you know what? I haven’t had pain in my foot since he prayed for me and he is going on several weeks now pain free!” Greg P, Redding"

Living the Dream, a series of true and verified stories of real people who have encountered God for themselves and have learnt to apply His principles in their normal everyday world, sourced from Heaven in Business

My World

You see so much when you walk places - Fish letterbox in Napier photograph
You see so much when you walk places
Fish letterbox in Napier
A 5x-weekly photograph from around Hawke's Bay J

Saturday, 15 November 2014

My World

Fresh water falls at White Pine Bush photograph
Fresh water falls at White Pine Bush
A 5x-weekly photograph from around Hawke's Bay J

Friday, 14 November 2014

My World

Light at the end of the tunnel in Central Hawke's Bay photograph
Light at the end of the tunnel in Central Hawke's Bay
A 5x-weekly photograph from around Hawke's Bay J

Thursday, 13 November 2014

My World

Modern-day Atlas, even has an aerial photograph
Modern-day Atlas, even has an aerial
A 5x-weekly photograph from around Hawke's Bay J

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

My World

Veronica Bay, on Marine Parade in Napier photograph
Veronica Bay, on Marine Parade in Napier
A 5x-weekly photograph from around Hawke's Bay J

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Spice of Life

My choice from a week's work at Hawke's Bay Today J
(including at times, photos for the Napier Courier, the Hastings Leader
the Havelock North Village Press and/or The Link)

 Zoe Rutherford, 8, Napier, with a BeadBug by Hastings artist Jill Norman, at the annual Haumoana Market Day, a fundraiser for Haumoana School, Haumoana. photograph
No bed bugs here
Zoe Rutherford, 8, Napier, with a BeadBug by Hastings artist Jill Norman, at the annual Haumoana Market Day, a fundraiser for Haumoana School, Haumoana.

Signs by Give Me A Sign, Coromandel,  at the annual Haumoana Market Day, a fundraiser for Haumoana School, Haumoana. photograph
Retro signage
Signs by Give Me A Sign, Coromandel,  at the annual Haumoana Market Day, a fundraiser for Haumoana School, Haumoana.

Paitin-Rose Sammons, Haumoana, eating candyfloss at the annual Haumoana Market Day, a fundraiser for Haumoana School, Haumoana. photograph
Gonna floss later
Paitin-Rose Sammons, Haumoana, eating candyfloss at the annual Haumoana Market Day, a fundraiser for Haumoana School, Haumoana.

One of the dishes at Locavores Lunch, a F.A.W.C! event hosted by celebrity chef Ray McVinnie, at the Hawke's Bay Farmers Market, Hawke's Bay Showgrounds, Hastings. photograph
Fine food
One of the dishes at Locavores Lunch, a F.A.W.C! event hosted by celebrity chef Ray McVinnie, at the Hawke's Bay Farmers Market, Hawke's Bay Showgrounds, Hastings.

L-R: Station officer Hayden Palmer, Ricky Walsh, 5, Hastings, taking his turn on the hose, at Harold’s Fun Day and Picnic At The Park, run by Hawkes Bay Life Education Trust, at Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park, Hastings. photograph
Big boys' toys
L-R: Station officer Hayden Palmer, Ricky Walsh, 5, Hastings, taking his turn on the hose, at Harold’s Fun Day and Picnic At The Park, run by Hawkes Bay Life Education Trust, at Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park, Hastings.

Charlie, a female shih tzu dog from Napier, going for a walk along the Ahuriri Estuary, Napier, wearing a yellow raincoat in the cold morning weather. photograph
Ready for rain
Charlie, a female shih tzu dog from Napier, going for a walk along the Ahuriri Estuary, Napier, wearing a yellow raincoat in the cold morning weather.

Five varieties of apples will be served with five courses prepared by Francky Godinho, owner and chef at St Georges Restauarant, Havelock North, at How's About Them Apples, a F.A.W.C! event. photograph
An apple a day
Five varieties of apples will be served with five courses prepared by Francky Godinho, owner and chef at St Georges Restauarant, Havelock North, at How's About Them Apples, a F.A.W.C! event.

A fantail, detail from Story Teller, a sculpture by James Wright, Auckland, which was unveiled at the entrance to the Hawke's Bay Hospital Soldiers' Memorial Garden at Hawke's Bay Hospital, Hastings, by Lady Deborah Holmes, widow of the late Sir Paul Holmes. photograph
In memory of Sir Paul
A fantail, detail from Story Teller, a sculpture by James Wright, Auckland, which was unveiled at the entrance to the Hawke's Bay Hospital Soldiers' Memorial Garden at Hawke's Bay Hospital, Hastings, by Lady Deborah Holmes, widow of the late Sir Paul Holmes.

The Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter arrives back at the Hawke's Bay Hospital, Hastings, after a mission to a boating incident near Mahia. photograph
Life saver
The Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter arrives back at the Hawke's Bay Hospital, Hastings, after a mission to a boating incident near Mahia.

Hawke's Bay Today Photo Sales

Monday, 10 November 2014

Quips & Quotes

Jim Stinton: People don't plan to fail - they fail to plan.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Living the Dream

"Undercover God: Revivalist was leading a secret bible school in a closed nation. After graduation all students went out on an evangelistic mission (prior to this they had only practiced healing pray etc on one another). Three of the students were praying about where to go and saw a vision of a particular sign over a door.

Students went out to unreached villages but four villages in one day rejected them, not allowing them to proclaim the gospel. Each time they left a village they happened to bump into a man (traveling salesman) from a different village who invited them to come speak, but because it was already a believing village the students refused saying they were sent to the unreached people.

At the end of the day, after the fourth rejection they are tired and hungry with no place to go. They bumped into believer again. This time they agree to go with him for the sake of food and shelter. As they enter his house they see the sign over his door that was what they initially saw in the vision!

Local man then asked them to pray for a man who had a stroke and hadn't spoken in three years. Instantly man started speaking saying "I've got a ringing in my ear." They pray for his ears and the ringing stopped. They then prayed for his withered arm and leg and he began moving his arm and walking properly.

Man walked off into village telling everyone what just happened. Within minutes there was a line of people at the door (under the sign) wanting prayer. The students lost count after 17 people in a row were fully healed! via Andy Mason"

Living the Dream, a series of true and verified stories of real people who have encountered God for themselves and have learnt to apply His principles in their normal everyday world, sourced from Dream Culture: Bringing your Dreams to Life

My World

Mandarins - Vitamin C au naturel
Vitamin C au naturel
A 5x-weekly photograph from around Hawke's Bay J

Saturday, 8 November 2014

My World

Baby swallows in Napier photograph
Baby swallows in Napier
A 5x-weekly photograph from around Hawke's Bay J

Friday, 7 November 2014

My World

Resurgence, a water sculpture in Hastings, by Peter Baker, William Jameson and Jacob Scott. photograph
Resurgence
A water sculpture in Hastings, by Peter Baker, William Jameson and Jacob Scott.
A 5x-weekly photograph from around Hawke's Bay J

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Shanghai, a city of surprises

Last month I visited Shanghai in China as a guest of Air New Zealand for an intense three days of tours, food and culture shock. This is my first story for Hawke's Bay Today

In the words of more than one long-time local, Shanghai is a city full of surprises.

In just three days, I was overwhelmed by cultural, social and architectural sights, normal to the Chinese, but to this Kiwi, curiosities and absurdities.

Washing hung out to dry on the walls of the local prison photograph

People hang their washing out to dry on the walls of the city’s prison, the first and the largest gaol in China.

Washing hangs on power-lines which may or may not be live photograph

Others happily – and publicly – hang their underwear on power lines,

Spaghetti-like power-lines which may or may not be live photograph

though I’m told many old wires on the spaghetti-like power poles are no longer live.

Some of the thousands of electric scooters photograph

A cop car zooms past, lights flashing and horn blaring, screeches to a halt obediently at the next red light, only to zoom off again as soon as it turns green.

Motorway bridge with opening windows photograph

There’s a motorway bridge with huge opening windows.

Sitting side-saddle on a scooter photograph

Women passengers on pushbikes and scooters sit side-saddle.

Texting on a scooter, with no helmet photograph

Motorcyclists and scooters don’t need helmets and share the footpath with pedestrians. Want to text and scoot? No problem,

A loaded up scooter photograph

and no-one’s going to limit how much you can carry; if you can tie it on, it’s allowed.

A scooter with a refrigerator on the back photograph

I even saw a scooter with a refrigerator strapped on.

Crossing the road is simple. Do it anytime, anywhere. Step out from the pavement, don’t stop, don’t change speed, and don’t run. Don’t wait for cars or scooters, they’ll avoid you, honest. And don’t bother finding a pedestrian crossing, they’re only there for decoration, just like the centre line. In the words and accent of a French tour guide, "Shanghai traffic, it is 'ectic."

Graffiti photograph

Unlike New Zealand, littering is cool and it’s seen as a potential for employment. In my part of the city there was a uniformed cleaner on every block, and very little graffiti.

China's Yellow Pages, tradesmen leave their advertising scribbles on houses once their work is finished photograph

That is, if you don’t count the hand-written scribblings of tradesmen advertising their services on the walls of a house they’ve just worked on. Locals tell me it’s the Chinese version of the Yellow Pages.

Public Notices on a chalkboard in a public park photograph

And although I saw very few newspapers, Public Notices are posted regularly on multi-coloured chalkboards in public parks.

My room at my hotel, Hyatt on the Bund photograph
My room at my hotel, Hyatt on the Bund

I wonder if it’s a reflection of the employment situation that I got room service three times a day. I found that a bit disconcerting, especially when they repacked and tidied my bags.

However, if you’re an ex-pat (non-Chinese) the government makes it easy to set up your own business, and surprisingly, it’s even easier for foreigners than for Chinese from other provinces. Some of the ex-pats we met had up to three jobs or self-employed enterprises on the go.

Scooting with a child, a dog and no helmets photograph
Scooting with a child, a dog and no helmets
Women swan around in the daytime, wearing pyjamas with high heels and handbag, maybe walking their dog, announcing to the world that they don’t need to work, or perhaps have gotten the day off. In a society which is only now easing its one child policy, I’m told that “dogs are the new children.”

A woman with her dog at the hairdressers photograph

In one street I saw a young woman in evening dress and high heels walking her dog, another woman with her dog on her knee at the hairdressers.

A woman with her hair in rollers and a crazy gadget at the hairdressers photograph

Another was having her hair done under a machine that looked like a medieval torture device. And no, it wasn’t just this man’s ignorance, the girls in our group had never seen anything like it.

Old people exercise in a public park photograph

“Old” people arrange their own flash mobs, dancing or doing exercises on the street or in public parks.

Old person stretches in a public park photograph

One group I saw were doing leg stretches my gymnast daughters would have been proud of, and many trees in the parks have been rubbed smooth by people bouncing their backs against the trunk, sorting out their back issues and ‘transferring the tree’s positive energies.’

Trees supported against the occasional typhoon photograph

Many of the plane trees are braced on four sides due to the occasional typhoon that blows through.

A man-made flower tree. disguising a cell tower photograph

A man-made tree with massive flowers disguises a cell-phone tower.

A spiky caterpillar photograph

I saw a crazy spiky green caterpillar, but sadly heard very few birds.

Crickets are one of China's favourite pets photograph

One of China’s favourite pets are crickets, sold from pet shops in big plastic pill bottles,

Mynahs are taught to speak and sold in cages photograph

and Mynahs are taught to talk and sold as caged birds. ‘Ni hao’ (hello) we called to them and they excitedly replied. We then tried ‘Kia ora’ and they just squawked angrily.

Everyone who arrives horse - gets a present! - Chinglish sign at a nightclub photograph

There were of course the amusing Chinglish (Chinese-English) signs. Seen at a local bar advertising a gypsy-themed fancy dress night: “Everyone who arrives horse – gets a present!”,

Declined Carrying Drinks - Chinglish for No BYO? photograph

and “Declined Carrying Drinks.” I guess that means ‘No BYO.’

No Striding Over, Chinglish on a sign protecting a tree in a public park photograph

On a tree-protecting fence in one of the public parks a sign proclaiming “No Striding Over” reminded me of Gulliver’s Travels.

A shopping bag declares “Welcome to Shanghai. Evaded affection. Pieces of pieces of the Heart.” And on our way to the night markets to sample Big Butt Lamb we came across a street called Twisted Tit Lane (in the transliterated Chinese.) I’d love to know its history. Not that language problems were restricted to the Chinese. An American tour guide once stopped to check on the group: “So, you’re all making out?” Ah, no.

Pouring tea with a teapot with a metre-long spout for Kelly Kilgour, corporate communications executive, Air New Zealand, our tour guide, at 1121, a restaurant photograph
Pouring tea for Kelly Kilgour, our tour guide, and
a corporate communications executive with 
Air New Zealand, at a restaurant called 1121.
I’ll talk about some of the amazing foods in a later story, but can you imagine being served green tea from a teapot with a metre-long spout? Talk about dexterity. Luckily we had a tour guide who taught us proper etiquette, so as we discovered with the soup dumplings, slurping is cool.

$100 for a NZ$14 bottle of wine photograph

Just as happily, we had a Kiwi wine aficionado in our group who saved us from buying a $14 bottle of New Zealand wine for an exorbitant NZ$98 (at a fixed-price restaurant.)

In most other shops however, bartering is the norm (actually it’s fun), and we were advised that “if you haven’t walked away at least once, you really haven’t tried hard enough.” I spoke to one guy who was nearly conned out of $500 for a tea party. Buyer beware.

Huge grapes photograph

Apples and grapes are enormous, 

Video advert for a Hairy Crab Feast, in the foyer of hotel, Hyatt on the Bund photograph

Hairy crabs are a delicacy,

Hairy Crabs photograph

Making noodles by hand photograph
   
and noodles are made by hand as you watch, with no kitchen appliance in sight.

Cooking on the street photograph

Streetside restaurants are BYO i.e. if you take your own food, they’ll cook it for you.

Fish flop around at a wet market photograph

Fish flop around in crowded plastic tubs amongst the green veges sold at the wet markets.

Fish at a wet market photograph

To the Chinese, if it’s not alive it’s not fresh.

Retailers eat in the aisles of a shopping mall, which is split up into hundreds of booths photograph

Fitted, lined and tailor-made trousers were a mere $50, sold in multi-boothed shopping malls where, not to miss a sale, retailers and their families cook and eat their dinner in the aisles.

Carpentry shop, with modern power saws and a pre-1950s hand plane photograph

Tradesmen ply their trade amongst the retailers, using a mix of traditional and modern styles. I peered into one carpenters shop and saw them using a pre-1950s hand plane alongside their power tools. Nothing goes to waste if it’s useful.

A street artist draws a portrait in one of the night markets photograph
A street artist draws a portrait in one of the night markets
A lot of business is done on the street.

Street food photograph

All kinds of food are laid out on uncovered tables, though thankfully I saw very few flies.

A doctor takes a patient's blood pressure at his streetside clinic photograph

Doctors take blood pressure

Gambling on the street photograph

and locals gamble openly, playing cards

Mahjong gambling photograph

or mahjong, a game which looks like a mix of scrabble and dominoes. I saw more than a little money change hands.

Surprisingly there are only a few street hawkers. I compare that to previous trips to Phnom Penh in Cambodia and Denpasar in Bali where you couldn’t walk out of your hotel without being accosted by hordes of hawkers flogging all manner of interesting junk.

Security camera protected from the weather by an umbrella photograph

Locals and ex-pats tell me that Shanghai is an extremely safe city to live in with a very low crime rate. They put it down to the high penalties, lots of police and the “millions of security cameras.”

I’m told the authorities have cracked down on street prostitution, but some pretty high-level stuff goes on in the upper floors of high end hotels.

That could be why I was only propositioned twice, once by an apparent lady-boy who caught my eye from across the street, and once by a curvaceous and painted young woman who ran down the steps to grab my arm and literally tried to drag me back to join her three young lady friends. Naturally I said no, but there must have been a language difficulty as I was given decidedly disapproving looks by two older Chinese women as they walked past.

American blonde poses with local kids photograph
American blonde poses with local kids
In contrast, locals love to be photographed with blonde kiwi women. One child just stared at me, as her dad and I exchanged amused smiles.

Art Deco foyer in The Peace Hotel photograph

I’ll talk about some of the architecture in a later story. Suffice to say for now, amongst the wall-to-wall housing and multi-international styles still standing from many eras, there are some incredible examples of Art Deco. Eat your heart out, Napier.

Evidence of previous Jewish residence in what is now often called "The Ghetto." photograph
Evidence of previous Jewish residence in what is now often called "The Ghetto."
And though ex-pats proudly tell me Shanghai is multi-cultured and cosmopolitan, I hadn’t expected it to have a significant Jewish history. Surprises everywhere.

Restored old town photograph

Some of the city’s old town has been restored

Dense housing and office blocks, also a vacant section from demolished buildings, probably for another skyscraper, view from my hotel, Hyatt on the Bund photograph
Dense housing and office blocks, also a vacant section
from demolished buildings, probably for another skyscraper.
but a lot has been demolished, making way for massive skyscrapers.

Old town demolished in favour of skyscrapers photograph
Old town demolished in favour of skyscrapers

Three storey foyer at my hotel, Hyatt on the Bund photograph

Size is everything; even the foyer in my hotel is three stories high.

Shanghai business district at night photograph
Shanghai business district at night
Shanghai boasts to having the tallest building in China, the Shanghai Tower, though I was told it was the tallest in the world. Note to self: check all ‘facts’, locals are prone to exaggerate…

Radical building styles in the business district photograph
Radical building styles in the business district
That said, the second tallest building in China is also in Shanghai, the Shanghai World Financial Center, affectionately known as The Bottle Opener due to the massive see-through hole through its top floors. And I’m told the latest skyscraper being built will revolve like a corkscrew.

Wall-to-wall apartments photograph
Wall-to-wall apartments
My biggest surprise? With a population of 24 million, Shanghai is the world’s most populous city, and I had expected wall-to-wall people.

Minimum crowds on National Day - two different architectures photographed from the same spot photograph
Two different architectures photographed from the same spot
Minimum crowds on National Day - two different architectures photographed from the same spot photograph

It turns out though that the city is very spread out, and even on National Day the crowds weren't a lot larger than I’ve seen on a mid-week lunchtime in Auckland’s Queen St.

Dense housing, view from my hotel, Hyatt on the Bund photograph

That’s not to say it’s not crowded in places. We visited one house which was home to three families, having just one communal living area the size of a small double bedroom. However, reflecting the notion that you can only take sharing so far, its one extremely small kitchen had three stoves, three taps with separate water meters and three separate lighting circuits.

As they say in Shanghai, one should expect the unexpected.

Air New Zealand flies daily to Shanghai from Auckland with connections available from Air New Zealand's 25 domestic ports.  Fares start from $865 one way inclusive of taxes.  Visit Air New Zealand for more details and to book.