I’ve been in Shanghai for almost 10 days and I’m slowly getting used to the sunless skies, the humidity, the busy streets, and seeing people carry a bunch of 5 meter long bamboo sticks on their shoulders while maneuvering their bicycles through peak traffic. The place still looks the same as it did 5 years ago. The bicycle lane is still there, except that people have started converting their bicycles into little scooters by adding a tiny motor to the back. Some of them are too lazy to remove the pedals so I periodically spot a scooter with self rotating pedals. The subways have expanded quite rapidly, covering almost all the major districts in Shanghai. The public busses have gotten a lot better as well. People no longer have to push and shove to get into a tiny bus with 50 other sweaty Asians.
One of the things I find offputting about Shanghai (and China in general) is the lack of toilet-seats in most public arenas. The cubicles here have a trench like hole in the ground and I have to squat and aim, like a guy, and smell my own urine everytime I pee. I suppose that’s one point for gender equality in an extremely sexist society where doctors are forbidden to tell pregnant women the sex of their children. Oh, and all social networking sites are blocked by the great firewall. Even proxies don’t work… Perfect.
However, there are some notably awesome things in Shanghai: cheap electronics and delicious foods. I got myself a 2.5″ 640GB external for ~R600 and my cousin’s girlfriend got a Lenovo X201i Thinkpad for ~R6600. If I had the money, I definitely would’ve bought myself one of those too. Prescription glasses retail for about ~R150, but if you bargain, you can get one for ~R80.
I’m having turtle for dinner. :]