Clothes, pearls, bags ...
There are different markets in Shanghai. I went to the cloths, pears, bags and rackshaks, shoes .... and I came back to Spain with a new suitcase full of gifts for family and friends! In Shanghai you should not miss that ... Huaihai Lu.
Best Sichuan Food in Shanghai
I used to live in a funky apartment behind this restaurant and went their often. It is located at the corner of Siping Lu and Guoding Lu in the Wujiaochang Area near Fudan University in the Northern part of town. You won't find much in the way of ambience or an English menu but they have the best Sichuan food that I have found so far in China (I haven't actually been to Sichuan Province yet) . True Sichuan food is very different from what we normally find here in the U.S. It is much, much, hotter and they use a spice called ma that actually numbs your tongue and lips. My favorite was the shui zhu niu rou (boiled beef). This is a dish of thin beef slices and Chinese lettuce in a fiery broth. To help cool your mouth try the da ma bing (big sesame cake). This is a delicioues fried bread/cake covered in toasted sesame seeds. Don't be afraid to try different things and enjoy.
The “Face Off” the clash of...
The “Face Off” the clash of generation of the old verus the New. The co-existence of past, present and future of the Shanghai.
On the original shanghai side, situates the 19th colonial control old shanghai bound, filled with classical British architectures, an immediate sense of the glorious past. The Pu Dong side is the modern Shanghai, which spawned up almost over night. It includes much future-realistic architecture such as “Don Fang Tower” and World’s 3rd highest building “Jin Mao Tower”. The old and new are positioned face to face in a show down of history and architecture brilliance. This scenery is best experienced at night, as the climatically point after a walk on something road.
Below the Sea
We moved to Shanghai from Singapore in 1997. I chose Shanghai over Beijing because it seemed like a more interesting to me at the time and, although I don't really remember it, it probably had something to do with the slightly more desirable climate here.
After only a year and a half, my dad's work could no longer function with him living in Singapore and virtually commuting to China. I'm sure he didn't want to do it either. I was getting into trouble in school and partying with him gone all the time, and my sister had just graduated from high school. The move was easy enough. We did own the furniture we used in Singapore nor would we own the furniture we used in Shanghai.
I toured the school. I asked about how easy it was to buy pot (I was told that it was easy, but that was a flat lie) and that, as I found out later, got me in with the party crowd there. But the group of kids I went to school with were so warm and accepting that I could have been much more uptight and have gotten by with plenty of friends. It was really a great place to go to school.
We moved in to a housing complex on the far southeast side of Shanghai. Unlike other foreign housing complexes, this one was not surrounded by others of the type. I think that, at one point, there was an idea that this area would have plenty of these housing developments, but it never happened, and it was instead surrounded by a mix of low-end public housing and light industrial spaces. This mix though made it so that, from my third story window, I had a very interesting street scene to view. I would sit there all the time, just watching the crowds: people walking, biking, pulling carts, navigating scooters, honking their horns in cars and taxis and trucks.
Outside the wall, it was bustling, to say the least, and people on the streets would stop dead in their tracks if they saw me. With reddish hair and a very white-looking face, they may have thought me to be someone really important, and never really said anything to me. They just stared.
But so many other little cultural differences, such as the lack of a staring taboo, would come up in China, and this was often the source of discussions and jokes amongst my peers. We understood it but, at the same time, we really didn't.
The majority of real experiences in my high school life, as well as the high school lives of my peers there, revolved around drinking. The stated drinking age in China is, I believe, 18. However, if they do check the age of people, they certainly do not do so with foreigners. Foreigners have money and why would a Chinese business refuse money?
Tsingtao, not a bad beer, was one of my favorites at roughly $0.25 for a 22oz. bottle. The American version of this beer is actually slightly better. I would also buy plenty of the locally-produced Reeb ("Beer" backwards), which was only - but widely - available at bars on tap. Budweiser, Heineken, Carlsberg and a variety of other beers were available, but were more expensive and were all actually produced in either China (Budweiser is brewed in Wuhan) or Hong Kong.
We had free reign over the city it seemed. Puking in a bar seemed to be absolutely acceptable (they had mops). Drunken make-outs with light nudity on nightclub couches seemed to be tolerated. Harassment of the innocent public was forgiven. Breaking of private property was okay, as long as you paid for it. It's hard not to become a jerk in an environment like that.
It spilled out of the bars and into the courtyards of housing complexes.
"Tian Qi Bu Hao"
Shanghai had a desirable climate for Chinese standards but, in all reality, it was really pretty awful. In the winters, a perpetual gray cloud enveloped the city with a biting wind and temperatures in the lower 40's. Summers brought rain. Lots of rain. The summer I left it rained for a week straight. Not a drizzle either, but a straight, full-on rain, 24 hours per day. And it was hot. The silly sort of hot that makes you want to get off the streets. After all, Shanghai is at the same latitude as New Orleans and located in a strikingly similar position relative to a large river and a sea.
I mainly remember it being either cold or raining or both. There didn't seem to be much middle ground. I rode my moped for the first year there, and would do so diligently. I would ride to the bars through the rain, I would ride to school in the hellish cold, I would ride at night in my inadequate jacket. I liked riding my moped, and it allowed me to explore a lot of the region that I otherwise never would have possibly seen.