The Science of Shopping

Today I got up early and let Sue have a lie in while I had breakfast and trotted over to the Crowne to read the Newspaper, when I got back Sue was having breakfast and chatting to the other guests. We decided to catch the shuttle bus to the Market and then visit the Science Museum, it was a lovely warm and sunny morning. The bus was very full and the journey to the Market took quite a long time. We had lots of fun wandering around the various outlets, negotiating for a few presents. We have a good guy/bad guy routine when cutting the price down. I keep all the money and Sue chooses what she wants and asks for the price. I usually wander around outside and Sue calls me in to tell me the price and I tell her I am not paying that, we will go somewhere else and go to leave. The price then halves. I say no and Sue then goes to leave with me and we get  further reduction and lots of whimpering. You know you are paying the best price when they swear at you (after you have given them the cash). After shopping we had a pizza at something called Mary’s Kitchen. Afterwards we walked over to the Shanghai Museum of Science. A very Hi-tech, huge and very impressive building. I was interrogated as to my age by a police man outside and told that if I was over 70 I could get in free. I resisted the temptation to hit him and decided to get my (now rather long) beard shaved tomorrow, as not expecting to be there that long I had not brought my electric razor and of course scissors are not allowed on planes anymore. At the ticket kiosk the girl inquired as to my age and pointed out that if I was over 70 I would go in free (Sue was very amused!!!). I told her I was 57 and could still probably out run her over 100m. She looked shocked but gave me a ticket. I resolved to use some anti-ageing cream when I get home. Despite being insulted by the whole of the Chinese Nation, I did wonder why whenever I got on a bus or the Metro, old ladies would stand up and and offer me their seat for me to sit down. I assumed it was because I obviously looked like a very important European diplomat or film star, I suspect differently now. If you go to Shanghai I recommend a visit to the Science Museum. We stayed there until they threw us out at 5.30pm. We didn’t get to see all the exhibits and it was absolutely fascinating. For £5 entrance (NOT the Senior Cit’s concession rate!) it was brilliant. Unfortunately, we were too late to catch a 4D film at the imax cinema there and would have loved to have seen what it was like, but the rest of the exhibits and shows (that we did see) certainly made up for it. We caught the shuttle back to the hotel at 6.20pm. On the bus my mobile phone went off. It was Virgin and they asked us to go to the airport tomorrow at 6.30am for a standby flight to London. When we got back to our room we both confessed to being disappointed. We now wanted to stay until the 5th of May and had planned all the places we were going to visit. My mobile rang again and this time Virgin informed us that we now had a confirmed flight tomorrow and didn’t need to get to the airport until 7.00am, but that we were going via Hongkong. Now we were very disappointed, we knew you can’t refuse a confirmed flight without giving up the right to a flight back. We chatted with our fellow passengers in the Foye before going out for dinner. On our return we again sat in the Foye and chatted. An rather unpleasant Scot and his wife (nicer) who always shouted, complained and bullied his way through life came and joined us. He also had been offered a standby slot for tomorrow but had refused it because he didn’t want to go all the way to the airport with a possibility of not getting away (I suspect he just loved complaining) and had been given a confirmed flight on the 30th. The next day we got up early, checked out, got a taxi and was at the airport by 6.30am. The Virgin staff their took our details. We joined a queue and were told that we were now standby to Heathrow direct, and could we come back at 8.00am to see if we were flying. We duly went and had a coffee and returned at 7.45am. One of the Virgin staff (Chinese) came up and whispered to Sue that they had put us on priority, because (looking at me) they didn’t think we/I could cope with the transfer at Hongkong, as there was a 9 hour transit time. We were then processed, given our boarding cards and told they had given us a nice window seat together. We flew out an hour later. It is a sad fact that the Chinese cannot gauge the age of European men at all accurately, I suspect that it is a flaw in their thinking that will one day bring down their whole society and bid for world domination. When we send all our excess Senior Cit’s on Freebie holidays to China, they will make the mistake and treat them kindly and look after them for us, hence saving a fortune for the British taxpayer! We are now home.

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