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Archive for August 2012

Shanghai Day One: Pudong & Pearl TV Tower

Let me just say that Pudong is so much like Hong Kong Island- it is full of skyscrapers! Loads of tourists milling about too.

As you step out of the Metro stop, an overpass will greet you. It's for pedestrians only and you need to pass through it if you want To go to the Pearl Tv Tower or the Super Brand Mall.

The first stop on our iti was the Pearl Tv Tower. The entrance fee to go in is fairly steep: the higher up you go, the more expensive you pay. It's basically measured in the height of the three pink ball type things. The first level will set you back 130, second is 150 and the highest is 180. You could also opt to take a cruise for 100. Bought the tickets for the second level and up we went!

The selling point of the tv tower was the view of Shanghai from the second ball, plus the observation deck has see through panes that you'll walk on. They aren't that clear (it's full of scratches) so it didn't really give me the feeling that i'm about to fall to my death.

That's pretty much about it. If you're done taking photos of the view or of yourself lying down on the glass panes, you board the elevator to go down to the first ball. The first thing you will see is an arcade (full of games and a kiddy rollercoaster which you could ride for 5yuan). The windows are psychedelically purple in colour. Not much of a view there but a flight of stairs down and you'll be on an open air observation deck. The view is slightly obstucted by the wires but it's cool nevertheless. It shows a different perspective of the buildings around the One of the highlights of the tower was the glass elevator ride down from the first ball- it made me feel like I was falling down! It was soo quick too!

At the bottom most part of the tower is a museum which is part of the entrance fee you paid for the ticket. Go to the second floor where there are models of what Shanghai was like in the old times, complete with mannequins. There's also models of prominent houses and gardens around the area.

It was definitely something that I needed to experience albeit the ticket price was a bit expensive but overall worth it!

[Book review] The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight - Jennifer E Smith

Summary from Goodreads:
Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A. 

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it

I've never been one to buy books full price, but just imagine my surprise when I saw this book available at a local bookstore. It is quite expensive, given that the copy is a hard cover, and it took me several minutes in trying to decide if I should get it or not, but I finally did in the end.

I really wanted this book for like, forever, after the reviews that I've read on the internet, and also the premise of the book struck me. The story revolves around Hadley and Oliver, who both met at the airport and after a series of events, had them both in the same row on the same plane bound for London. Oh, and did I mention that Oliver is British? Just the mere fact hooked me on the book ;)

It reminded me of the feeling I had when I was reading Anna & the French Kiss: the unmistakeable tingly feeling you get in the pit of your stomach as you are reading the events that are unfolding between the two characters, and you feel the way they are feeling too. It's also very believable given that the dialogue is so real and true to what these Brit guys normally say!

It was easy reading for me at first, but then there were some parts that disappointed me (mainly parts that revolved around Hadley and there was no sight or mention of Oliver at all!) and of course, I was also at a point in my life where I didn't really like to read anything mushy so I had to put down the book and stare at it, not wanting to know what would happen to Hadley and Oliver as I was feeling a bit depressed.

I finally finished, and the ending was everything that I was expecting. The book is a bit short, to be honest. I'm not sure I feel so happy about it given the price I paid for this book. However, it is a feel good and uplifting tale that makes you wonder: "What if?" and would make you believe in things like fate, srendipity and other whatnot. Of course, in reality, each and everyone of us would be connected at one point in time given these random occurences and meetings in life, anywhere in the world.

As one friend of mine said, the people you meet are given a purpose for you. You just have to figure out what that particular purpose is to your life. I totally agree with that line. I have met a few people in my life who have inspired me to take a leap, travel, and just enjoy whatever life has to give to me and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to getting to know these people.

So, would I recommend this book? Definitely - but do not pay full price for it much like I did! LOL. I do hope that there would be another installment to Hadley & Oliver's tale (like, what happens after) but that's only wishful thinking!

Overall - 4/5

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