Nihao from Shanghai

I’m on my last evening in Shanghai and so far so good.  I have to say, after spending a week with Jenny and her family and five days with Joseph and the rest of the Omega’s and the world for that matter, I’m a little lonely.  Nothing to worry about, it’s just hard not to be talking to anyone for hours on end.  Those of you who know me know how difficult it is.
Now back to my trip.  I’ve been trying to figure out a way to paint a pretty picture of my trip and to go on and on about the attributes and beauty of Shanghai but I can’t.  Shanghai is a BIG, busy, city!  With a thousand sky scrapers and 10 million people.  It’s hot, hot and more hot.  It has monsooned for the past three days and I’m really ready to blow this pop stand for Hong Kong which is my next stop.  Perhaps my perspective is a little jaded, I am here alone, with no one really to talk to.  Although there was this friendly man who struck up a conversation with me at the heroes monument.  He was fluent in English and was giving me a history lesson of Shanghai, I was impressed and glad to have someone to talk to.  We began to walk down The Bund (a popular tourist attraction) when he suggested that we walk through Hangzhou Park, he was rather insistent.  I took a look down the ramp way that lead into the park and I didn’t see anyone else there, so of course my Central Park antennae popped up and I suggested that we walk on the main promenade where there were plenty of people.  I guess my antennae was justified, because my little escort didn’t want  to go that way and quickly left me alone.  Now, I’m not saying that he had any intention of doing harm — he probably wanted to sell me a fake bag, ipod or pair of eyeglasses, but then again I’ve got no desired to make my GMA debut as the next Natalie Holloway, y’all know what I mean.
As I kept walking down the Bund for the second time, I had to fight off street vendors selling everything from ice water; to hand bags, to a new version of heelies.  These vendors have an extensive English vocabulary. And an even more extensive inventory of PRAA-DA bags, GU-chi sunglasses. All I heard was Hey Lay-Dee, come check out my shop.  I didn’t see a shop, so I almost responded just to see where they stashed there inventory.  One persistent salesman even went so far as to tell me how beautiful I was.This is normally the truth however, I’m not doing pretty in this heat.  I haven’t seen Marvin in close to a month and my last touch up was two months ago.  I was sweaty and shiny, so beautiful I was not — so it was all a sales pitch and not a good one I may add. 
Now where Beijing got the memo about not launching oral excrement, Shanghai was not on the distribution list.  Everyone lets go of a loogy.  And the worst part is you hear it coming. It starts with that all to familiar wretch and then it flies.  It is quite disgusting.  YUK!    Also, Shanghai is still using the squat toilets and you really do have to bring your own toilet paper.  For all of you planning to visit BYOTP!.
In my pictures (once their uploaded) you’ll see some of the most interesting and fascinating buildings and sky scrapers.  If you’re into architecture you’ll have to visit Shanghai.  At the cent is the Pearl TV tower.  I can’t event begin to explain it but it’s magnificent in design.  The sky scrapers are sleek and silvery, and reach as far as the eye can see. I found it difficult to take a picture of one in it’s entirety, that’s how tall they are.  But on the flip side, once you look past the skyscrapers and into the residential neighborhoods, what you see is squalor and despair.  This is the underbelly of Shanghai.  It’s  dirty, dank, decrepit, and dilapidated.  Shanghai is portrayed to be such a glamorous and cutting edge city, yet most of the residents or at least the residential areas are the exact opposite of that image.  Some of the neighborhoods are so bad they make the worst New York projects look like luxury high rise apartments.
Oh, since I’m rattling off thoughts at random no less, there is a trend in China where babies — toddlers are wearing nothing but an apron.  The first time I saw it I thought the poor kid had an accident and that was all the parents had to offer.  But little toddler butts have been popping up all over the place.  It’s quite a sight.  I would have taken pics but I think that would have fallen somewhere in the child pornography ranks and I wouldn’t want to do that.
What else is the there to tell you?  Oh yes the people.  Unlike the Beijing people, who are enormously helpful to a fault. The Shanghaiese, couldn’t give a rats tail.  Even in my hotel the reception reps aren’t too friendly.  They’re almost intolerant of non-Chinese speaking guest, or maybe just to me, I can’t tell. But this has been my experience.
Oh, big shout out to the newest Danuser, Trenesa and Chris welcomed Romon to the world at 1am on August 16th. What a blessing.  Tre sent me a picture and he’s quite a handsome little guy.  Welcome Romon, glad to have you in the world!
Well this is my last entry in Shanghai. I’m off to Hong Kong.  Who knows what I’ll encounter.  Stay tuned and find out.
Peace out from Shanghai Sugar D 

~ by abroadnasia on August 16, 2008.

2 Responses to “Nihao from Shanghai”

  1. Be safe, I would say don’t talk to strangers but then you only have strangers to talk to!!

  2. love that don williams humor!

    anyway, you seem happy to leave shangai. i can’t say that i blame you, based on your description of the place. seems like the city’s most endearing quality is the naked toddler butts.

    well, feed my curiousity and get yours on to hong kong. maybe the people are nicer there. you know how i feel about not-nice host sites. (think bethany beach?)

    after hong kong, where to? i know you told me before but i need to be reminded. when are you going to osaka?

    let me know when you arrive. have fun and be safe!

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