Observations from Shanghai
Here are some of my observations from Shanghai.
You can purchase numerous foods on sticks; sausages, a triad of mushrooms, deep fried potato spirals, broccoli branches, fish balls, fried tofu squares and whole small fish among others. Mini marts sell some of these skewer offerings which sit in a soup in a hot deep container. You pick your skewers, put them in a paper cup (like the ones hot chips come in), ladle some soup into the cup as well and you are on your way!
Weird English slogans are de rigeur on people’s tee shirts. So far the most random ones have been: “I love laundry”, or “Be happy like me. I’m happy”. This is under a drawing of a very happy cat. Or the tee shirt exclaiming “run away from boys with lips”
When getting onto the subway, stand on the marked lines either side of the door. This way you can push on via the sides while passengers leave through the middle. Of course, given daily experience, if you want to push on through the middle, people be damned, you can do that too.
One of Shanghai’s more random tourist destinations is this plain white building, otherwise known as Unit 61398.
The NY Times reports that elite PLA hackers working from this building have launched countless cyberattacks on US corporations, organisations and government agencies.
Children under 5 (or at least the ones I have seen on the subway), are cosseted like pampered family pets and very rarely do their own walking. In fact most of the time, they are in either their mothers/fathers/grandparents arms while any leftover family members then pat the child’s hair, or rub their arm, or search their skin for who knows what. These children are entirely passive, seeing as everything is done for them. They don’t grizzle or whine or act out, they just remain contentedly adored.
After spending 10 minutes holding onto a banana skin and searching for a rubbish bin to put it into, I was standing at a kerb when a lady tossed her 1/3 full bottle of water onto the ground at my feet as she got into a taxi. I asked about that later when I met up with MJ, my Shopping Tour guide, as I would have thought the city would be covered in rubbish from that example. MJ mentioned that each city block has it’s own cleaner – whose job it is to pick up after people all day long. There are also people who search through the rubbish for all the plastic water bottles for recycling. Everyone in China seems to have some way they fit into the bigger picture.
I am now so tired my eyes are hanging out on stalks and when I walked through a department store today, I had delighted cosmetic counter ladies chasing after me excitedly exclaiming they have a miracle cure for “your black circles and eye bags!”. Mental note to self to avoid mirrors and anywhere that sells cosmetics.