Zai jien Shanghai!

在基恩 上海

It is time to say zai jien!

Dear Friends, I have to go, but I will be back….

“If there is a single way that my understanding has changed … or at least become fuller and more complicated, it is appreciating in a new way how big, varied, contradictory, sprawling, and impossible to describe in any simple terms ‘China’ is…”
James Fallows, The Atlantic’s foreign correspondent, Talk Shanghai August 2009

This guy put into words what I am thinking…

Well, ok, there are a couple of things I would never fully understand. I am still annoyed when it comes to

… spitting and body noises, pushing the close button first in the elevator, taxi driver stops in the middle of nowhere and admits that he don’t know where to go, people rush to get in, when you are still getting out … (either: … of a restaurant, of an elevator, of a taxi, …), people don’t say hello in the elevator, the enormous noise in typical Chinese restaurants…
This things might be funny, not so funny are topics like air-pollution and human rights… people got fined or even tortured for asking why so many village members have cancer (in a polluted area) or get the death-sentence for corruption. And unwanted female babies got thrown into the river…
Unfortunately, these awful things are preferably seen and reported in the West, a phenomenon known as “China bashing”. Of course there is no excuse for mistreating or killing people. In no country in the world! Sadly enough, I’ve heard it more than once that Chinese excuse deeds like that with similiar occurences in the U.S.

But there is another side aswell…

People are surprising friendly to Westerners. They try to make your life as nice as possible especially fellow co-workers or new friends you sure going to find here very quickly rush to your side to offer help and assistance. Chinese are good humored, funny, they love to laugh and sing (not only karaoke but in the open as well…).
Chinese are curious and mostly optimistic. Life in Shanghai is intense and fast pacing. There is always something to do… a new exhibition, a party, a new restaurant. Speaking of which: if you like to go out you will find a  myriad of restaurants, bars, clubs that suit your taste (and age group). If you love food and wine and going out, this is the place to be. I’ve been in dozens of places and there are still a lot I would like to try. And when you still feel a bit hungry after a long night there is always a street BBQ around the corner with delicious meat skewers for those in need. Friends call you in the middle of the night asking you which place you headed at. Or you meet them anyway in one of those many favourite places you visit a couple of almost every night. Taxi driving is very cheap, massage and beauty parlors are all over the place, strolling around the neighbourhoods is a delight… You can get a lot of nice hand-craftet stuff which is enormously cheap like clothes or glasses or for example.

Westerners I met here told me, that they don’t want to stay for ever, but after a while in Shanghai they got hooked and don’t want to leave either… because the question is: where to go next??? There are not that many cities in the world so intrigiung and captivating as Shanghai…

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1 Comment

  1. Meine liebe Assi,

    nun ist es Zeit “Auf Wiederseh’n” zu sagen. Gerade eben habe ich sehr interessiert deinen vermutlich letzten Eintrag hier gelesen und möchte dir auf diesem Wege danken für die netten Fotos und die tollen Berichte von deinen Erlebnissen in Shanghai. Ich fand es total interessant, und so konnte man auch als Außenstehender etwas Neues kennenlernen.

    Nun geht’s wieder ab ins vertraute Deutschland. Wir freuen uns jedenfalls schon auf’s Wiedersehen, auch wenn’s vermutlich jetzt im September nicht gleich klappt.

    Welcome back….sei herzlich umarmt von deiner Schwester Ute

    Like


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