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Around the World in 80 Days

Day 47: 10 November

Michael Palin - Around the World in 80 DaysAn attractive and beguiling side of Shanghai exists only just off the main thoroughfares and the construction sites. There are narrow streets and squares of low buildings of some style, with louvred shutters and wrought iron balconies, on an enjoyably human scale, lively and thriving. There are rice kitchens and small electrical shops, where, if you buy a calculator, your bill will be added on an abacus, and the elegant Tong Han Chun Tang Chinese Medicine Store (established 1783) whose speciality is the Zhang Guang Brand 101 Hair Regenerating Extract (formerly the Baldish Hair Regenerating Tincture). 'The outstanding invention of Dr Zhang has brought the masses of sufferers from alopecia happiness and good tidings.'

This is traditional medicine and the ingredients are organic and not chemical. I ask for a tonic, something to relieve travel fatigue and generally rejuvenate me. Various roots and mosses and ginseng extracts are gathered from their jars, mixed together and handed to me in brown envelopes. To achieve full potency, I must pour boiling water on these dry bits of debris twice a day for the next three days, and drink the brew.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Around the World in 80 Days
  • Day: 47
  • Date: 10 November
  • Country/sea: China
  • Place: Shanghai
  • Book page no: 161

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