My sketcher friend also took me to the historic Puxi area - a cobbled street with arches at each end. This was Mr Hong's house the 3rd most important person in the prewar Nationalist Kuomintang government - the Finance Minister. ie after Sun Yat Sen and Shiang Kai-shek. We had to assume 'umbrella sketching' to avoid blobs of water on our paper. A guy in a singlet and tartan pants up to his armpits appeared out of the front door and finished his cheroot.
In the same area was an unusual (for China) building. Traditional Chinese on the outside yet a handsome Western church within. When we showed the caretakers our sketches who kindly gave us a tour - explaining how under earlier Communist rule it had been many other things including a library, but was now a fully functioning church again.
One night I went across to 'The Brew' where Westerners hang out. A band began to play - they called for requests, and had a huge repertoire and were great to hear. At a break I discovered they were all (but the Canadian lead singer) from Hamilton NZ and call themselves 'Solidaz'. They've lived in the hotel with their families for 20 years, playing several hours a night as their job!