Bali, Indonesia Dumpling Stuffed With Ovary and Digestive Glands of Crab

They’re still running the Tommy Lee Jones ad campaign in Tokyo.

His face reminds me of the surface of Mars.

Cool building in Shinjuku.

The Japanese are always thinking of new ways to streamline bathroom visits.

Visited the site of the Tokyo dancing clip from the last video.

Aside from that we just did a lot of shopping and eating. Got to go to Mandarake and Tokyu Hands. Ate about a dozen of those triangular-shaped seaweed and rice things.

On to Shanghai. Would you like some gigantic fruit cake?

Every year Shanghai’s skyline looks more like a backdrop from the original Star Trek TV show.

11207a

It’s even crazier at night.

Their most recent addition is the Shanghai World Financial Center, which opened to the public about 6 weeks ago. At 470 meters, its observation deck is the highest of any building in the world (excluding towers like the CN in Toronto, and the Burj in Dubai which isn’t quite finished yet).

Tallest_buildings

It also has the distinction of being the world’s largest bottle opener.

This model shows the original concept, which included a giant alien bird thing at the top. They had to cut it for safety reasons.

The Financial Center towers over the adjacent Jin Mao, which was once the third tallest building in the world. It now looks diminished and bitter — the Jeb Bush of skyscrapers.

The top part of the bottle opener has glass floors so you can look down at the bottom part of the bottle opener. Likewise, from the bottom part, you can look up at the top.

This is all much more horrifying than it sounds. To illustrate, behold the abject terror of this bratty little kid.

World’s ballsiest window washers.

The area surrounding the Financial Center is littered with dozens of also-ran skyscrapers. They’re all very nice, and all practically invisible next to the bottle opener and the totally ridiculous, sphere-adorned Oriental Pearl tower.

Pudong is the little peninsula with all the skyscrapers on it. We took a ferry across for about $0.17. It was a mad rush of scooters amongst the constant stream of barges along the Huang Pu river.

To get back we took the "tourist tunnel," which is a tram that runs underneath the river. It costs 50 times more, but it includes a light show and inflatable creatures that bang against the carriage, so that’s some added value.

Visited the Yu Yuan gardens. Meh.

Smelled one of the worst odors I’ve ever come across in my life.

Melissa very nearly flash-vomited.

A stroll along the Bund.

The People’s Heroes Memorial celebrates the two founding principles of modern Shanghai: tallness and concreteness.

Here’s a tip: when naming your restaurant, avoid the word "waterborne".

Stayed at the Grand Hyatt. After an exhausting first day, we didn’t even leave the hotel for the second day and instead made the most of its fantastic gym/pool/spa facility.

This is a new kind of travel for me. I could get used to doing it on occasion.

Took the Mag Lev train to the airport — as in "magnetic levitation." It’s the first commercial mag lev train in the world. It can reach a top speed of about 430kph, but ours topped off at 301kph.

The train only runs 30 kilometers, so it’s a brisk 7 minute ride. You get up to speed, then you start slowing down. I can only assume it’s more of a "tech demo" than anything else. A few months ago they announced a new line connecting Shanghai to Hangzhou about 150 km’s away, so maybe that’ll feel a bit more purposeful.

That’s Nick, who we’re traveling with.

Stopover in Singapore, then a flight to Bali. Got cozy with some strange man on a bench.

The digs on this leg were the best yet. A 6 bedroom villa.

Visited a temple.

 

Had lunch at a barbequed ribs place with a strong political bias.

Obama spent several years living in Indonesia during his youth.

Sat on the beach for a while, then Melissa and I got massages.

Roadside ribs plus sun plus heavy-duty massage did what steamed Chinese crab rectums failed to: Melissa puked her guts out.

The next day we went up into the highlands to see the terraced rice paddies.

Did some foraging.

And there’s my staccato update. No rants, no ruminations. Just the facts…minus a few key details that I can’t get into right now.

30 Responses to Bali, Indonesia Dumpling Stuffed With Ovary and Digestive Glands of Crab

  1. Great photos – interesting that you get to see how the “other half” travels this time around!

    Hope you’ll be back in time for the election tomorrow…or at least remembered to do your absentee ballot!

  2. Amy

    That thing on top of the financial center would have looked like a giant golden snitch. Maybe there were copyright issues, too?

    Great photos and text. I just love your dry humor take on things!

  3. Jack downunder

    Congrats On the new President of the United States of America!

    I believe you will be able to travel the world more freely from prejudices and be proud of your American accent.

    The US will be the envy of the world once again.

  4. Rosemarie

    Thanks for the update, glad you are getting to travel differently than what you are accustomed to, nice. I find it odd though, to read about your travels without disucssion of the dancing part!

    Details, details, details!!!!! You’re up to something, I can feel it, you didn’t go on this trip just to enjoy yourself. Who is Nick and what has he got to do with this trip?

  5. Rosemarie

    Thanks for the update, glad you are getting to travel differently than what you are accustomed to, nice. I find it odd though, to read about your travels without disucssion of the dancing part!

    Details, details, details!!!!! You’re up to something, I can feel it, you didn’t go on this trip just to enjoy yourself. Who is Nick and what has he got to do with this trip?

  6. Lenny

    Loved seeing your video mixed in with people celebrating Obama’s win all over the world on The Daily Show last night. Classic and hilarious!
    For anyone who missed it, it’s on link to thedailyshow.com, November 6 episode; the segment is called International Male.

  7. Suz

    Hi Matt,

    Cool blog. I found your site on “Travels with Two”, and will be check in often. Happy Travels!

    Best,
    Suz (a.k.a. Lil’ Boozie)
    “3 Troopin’ Travelers”

  8. Stuart

    Howdy, love the moves you bust so well.
    Just FYI, that sign about the “ovaries and digestive glands of a crab” is really more poor engrish than disgusting fishy bits. The dumplings are just ordinary fish and crab dumblings… no weird parts like the english in the sign claims (that restaurant is famous). For some reason the original chinese is just very, very poorly translated.

  9. QU ZHONGLE

    Very nice blog. I’m so impressed with your video clip on YouTube. Hopefully we can see you in Mount Tai, the most majesty mountain in China. Good luck!

  10. Carmen Lee

    Hi, Matt, thank you for all the remarkable work.

    The dancing 2008 seriously is quite touching, make people feel that the world is such a wonderful, peaceful land….

    I`m now in Shanghai, and I do agree with you about the Bottle Opener. I thought I`m the first one to think that way:)

    Cheers! Bon voyage!!

  11. Cat

    Haha, you didn’t like the little buns with minced pork and crab roe? (Nope they are not crab rectum :-). I have never met a single person who dislikes them… anyway, each person has different tastes, I think cheeses are the most disgusting smelling rotten food in the world. Happy travels!

  12. aaulia

    Hi Matt, I’m from Indonesia. I shed tears watching your 2008 video, dunno why, maybe the song :). Anyway hope you can come to Jakarta, or Borneo, or Sumatra, well anywhere other than Bali, people need to know that Indonesia is not just Bali ^ _ ^. Cheers and have a safe trip around the world.
    – Jakarta, Indonesia –

  13. Hi, Matt, this is a hello from Ivy in China. Just watched “Dancing”, really moved. Wish you all the best in your trip and welcome to China!

  14. Feng

    it’s one kind of chinese snack that smells not good. of course many chinses don’t eat it but a lot of people like it very much that it tastes very good. (it’s one kind of fried fermented tofu made by soybean)

    haha, these days can see u on TV (Visa Go Ad.),u will have a lot more chinese fans.

  15. Hi Matt, just joined up for info on next time you are in Shanghai but looks like you’ve been there done that…
    However, it really is a city that is always changing and now 2 years after your last visit, you’d notice many differences with the bund, financial tower being completed and the Expo having forever changed the landscape.
    Happily the Grand Hyatt pool and spa area is exactly the same and has some great specials on right now!
    I love living in China!

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