When we talk about China to people back home in Canada, and when they can be bothered to ask questions about the subject, they usually want to know about all the Chinese things we get to do, see or eat in Shanghai, that we can’t get back home.

Thing is, there’s a lot of Chinese things we can do here that we can’t do back home; but there’s also a certain number of things that are decidedly Western, but we simply can’t afford to do back home. We tend not to talk about it too much because they make us fit into the “decadent Western bastard” category; moreso that they tend to be extremely expensive when compared to local Chinese delicacies.

But you know what? There’s nothing like going decadent once in a while!

Last Sunday, for a friend’s birthday, said friend decided to have a Sunday brunch at the Westin Hotel in downtown Shanghai. It’s pretty damn expensive as far as brunches go (about $50 USD – yeowtch!!) but damn if it wasn’t worth it!

“For $50 USD, the buffet better be worth it!” I thought to myself. And boy, was it ever! Here’s a short list of all the things I got to enjoy throughout this extra-long brunch:

  • Free-flowing Veuve Clicquot champagne
  • Fresh salmon & tuna sashimi
  • Swiss, blue & Brie cheese
  • Fresh bread
  • foie gras “frais poêlé”
  • Caviar
  • Vodka martinis
  • 1 hand-rolled Cuban cigar (for an extra $20 USD)
  • Italian prosciutto

As if that wasn’t enough, around 3 PM, I headed out for a 2-hour massage extravaganza, at my favorite massage place in town.

Expensive? Yeah. But then again, I couldn’t afford all of this back in Canada. It would simply be impossibly expensive there.

Worth it? Hell yes. I just have to eat Chinese noodles for a week or two now, to take away the “Western decadent bastard” guilt!

About Daniel Roy

Daniel is a writer, backpack foodie, slow traveler, and endurance runner. He is the author of the upcoming book, "The Way of Slow Travel: A Hands-On Guide to the Best Travel of Your Life."

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