View from The Bund
Shanghai is China’s second major city. It’s become embarassing conveying surprise to native Chinese. It’s a bit like saying, I heard you were ugly, but you’re not. But surprised is what I generally am. I thought Shanghai would be a commercial banker town. Instead it’s walkable, low-rise, and in a weird way almost French.
Flying kites downtown
I think you can measure the frigidity of a city by how much laundry you see drying. In Shanghai there’s a lot, and the place generally feels free. The town is associated with money and commerce, as you can see in the view above, but it’s actually a lot more chill. That is one side of the city, Pudong, but where we walked around the city is a lot more low-rise. There are one and two-story buildings, beautiful art deco houses, small working-class kades, wine bars, coffee houses.
Shanghai is a beautiful and unpretentious place, and only five hours from Beijing on a bullet train (which goes 300 km/hour). Today is my last full day in China so I’m going to go out, but there are also some charmingly weird things about Shanghai as well. I’ll post, hopefully, upon return.