So now, here I am, 1:31 AM my time on a Thursday - nearly a week has gone by since my last post, so there's a lot to say:
Thursday - registered at gym close by to where I'm staying. Just a one-month membership - but pretty nice for what I am used to; I guess not so much for the gym & equipment itself, but rather for the other stuff offered; there's a lot of spa-like amenities. Anyway, not the sort of thing I'd normally join, but given proximity and other factors this made the best sense for right now.
Friday - After work, met up with an old friend that I've known since I was an exchange student as well as someone who I knew through mutual friends back in my Shenzhen days. Had dinner, then ended up running around town to a few different bars. Shanghai, as long as I've known it, was always more expensive than other places in China; during this trip it's clear that at some establishments prices are on par with that of the US or Europe, if not more expensive.
Did not go to a neighborhood or area with a super-clear bar street, it's more like you have to find parts of town that have bars and then shuttle between them or walk for 10+ minutes between locations. Certainly manageable.
Timing was a bit off, however - most of the places we found were closing up just as we entered.
Notable, the bar "People's No. 6" (may have been People's No. 7...apparently the owner just adds locations in a sequential order) - the entrance has two sealed doors, one needs to find and press a hidden button in a faux entry area in order to gain access to the main club. However, we made it there just as the bar was shutting down.
Perhaps things are more regulated here than I remember; it seemed that a lot of bars were closing at 1 am or earlier.
Found another place, it seemed dead but we encountered someone on the way out. She wore a very revealing/low-cut top, and introduced herself as "Juggalicious".
She informed us that the party upstairs was private, and a combination birthday/farewell/debauchery event for a few people together.
Although she had to leave, she & friends was happy to pass their wristbands onto us.
We went upstairs, and were suprised for:
1. The 95% amount of foreigners there
2. The "discounted" beer price offered with wrist band - 35 RMB per bottle. I guess that's ~5.41 USD - not crazy, but not exactly a screaming deal either.
After the bar, went back to my place;, with friends in tow.
Told stories, shared beer, ate yangrouchuanr and fired rice/noodles from local vendor where we had stopped along the way
Had been hitting a jet-lag wall that evening, but somehow broke through and was raring to go at 6 am the next day.
Had intended to post more but am passing out