Monday, October 1, 2012

Where to begin?

Where to begin? I've been in Shanghai about a month and a half. It's been a crazy ride adjusting to life here. Let me state for the record China is NOTHING like South Korea. I live in Shanghai so I can't even speak for the REAL China. Since I got settled in my apartment, got into the groove at work, obtained reliable wifi , and explored my neighborhood Shanghai isn't half bad.
Now mind you my first two weeks here I was plotting ways to get back to Korea. Now that the dust has settled, I'm starting to enjoy Shanghai more. I enjoy the low cost living of China thats for sure. You can eat  a decent meal for under $4  and get a maid to clean your house for a few hrs a week for the same price. Can't beat that!  I haven't seen a Coke for less than $0.75 since the early 90's. I must admit  even though I was trying not to compare the two but  Korea left me with expectations of China that were sadly deflated my first week. Shanghai is truly where East meets West. Lets paint a picture shall we? I live in a very metropolitan area.  We'll say the equivalent of Manhattan. Porsche and Mazzarati dealerships 2 blocks from my building, and the side streets are littered with makeshift food carts,crates of turtles, bunnies, goldfish and ducks being sold for dinner, and an old man in a Speedo bathing out of a public sink on the street. I know it sounds unbelievable but this is China!
Shanghai being such an international hub for business, banking, engineering, it has become a stomping ground for a myriad of foreigners. Few of which are American. I can count the number of Americans I've met on one hand.  An every few are in the field of Education, because in Korea you were either a teacher or military. There are a number of professional growth opportunities for educated , well traveled expats here,which is a plus. I look forward to exploring the possibilities next summer.

Ok let's get SERIOUS for a moment: Those who know me, know I am a lover of ICE COLD BEVERAGES! There is NO cold drinking water to be had anywhere! It is believed to be bad for your digestion so you have a choice of warm or hot water from purified water dispensers. YUCK!  " Yes I would like more than 4 ice cubes in  my soft drink please!" At work theres a small fridge where I stock my cold water bottles. ICY COLD BEVERAGES are a MUST! And let me not even get started on the suspect ass lunch at work! Everyday is a GAMBLE!

The extreme pushing in public, utter rudeness, and lack of order and logic, I'm used to, having lived in Korea. China's lack of universal wifi is devastating.  China is KING when it comes to bootlegging. They can reverse engineer anything from an IPhone to an Egg. No seriously there are fake eggs here. Gucci, Prada, Berkin, Nike, Kraft, Nestle,YouTube ( also known as Youku here) Apple, Tyson. Nothing is SACRED! Let's not even talk about DVDs. I just bought the complete seasons of the Office, Modern Family, Fringe and Drop Dead Diva for under $20. You can get AMAZING bootlegs of current movies the day they premier sometimes the day before. You can get a DVD, drinks and dinner for 2 for under $10.
The over abundance of oil in the food is ridiculous. I can cook my meal, grease my scalp and moisturize my whole body from the amount of oil in one dish. EPIC FAIL! I absolutely LOVED Korean food. The same sentiments can not  be shared for Chinese cuisine. I can't get down with braised turtle legs, sea cucumbers, unidentifiable objects in some of their soups, chicken feet or duck tongue jerkied snack bags. China is not for the weak stomached!
However the food is not all bad! Some of the street noodles, random tomato flavored snacks,dumplings,   small Chinese Muslim restaurants and little iced tea stands have won my heart. I promise its not all bad. I just wanted to share some of the sheer ridiculousness of my first month. Just a bit more of an adjustment than Korea. Honestly there are some twilight zone-esque that go down here but Shanghai has its charms . I love wandering down some side street and stumbling upon a cute snack shop, a fabulous hidden shopping center, a chance to haggle on the street on everything from flowers to electronics, or just an opportunity to catch something ridiculous on film.
Over the next few weeks I will be taking you on a visual tour through Shanghai! Hold on to your lunch and beware of foul smells. I cant wait to share Shanghai with you. Until next time...


  1. I'm glad to hear that you're settling in well in Shanghai. :) I might be there, myself in March. I like your blog. :)

    1. Thanks! Sorry I've been M.I.A but I'm back now. I hope you continue to read and enjoy the blog xoox ~ SA