Lesson on Shanghai: Have an expense account

We headed to Shanghai to catch the last few days of the World Expo. For anyone that has lived, visited or even read about China you might have said to us: “Perhaps heading to the most populous city in the world, during the last week of their largest event when they’re trying to break the world record for attendance, is not the very best of ideas.”

You would be right.

Blurry pic of the Bund

Shanghai is clearly a city for business people. I’m pretty sure the more money you have to throw at it, the more you would get out of Shanghai. For foreigners this is a serious MBA crowd.

Shanghai-Vinnie and a million Chinese

In the fancy area of Shanghai we were surrounded by hundreds of off duty middle-aged white finance guys in belted khaki pants and button downs. Titty bars. Mercedes that run you over at the crosswalk. $10 beer. Whaaaaa this is China?

Shanghai has the culture of mid-town Manhattan and the skyline of Vegas.

The fun thing for people who don’t have expense reports (aka: chinese people) is to take a walk along the Bund, head to the river or check out the Yuyuan Garden (formerly private garden, now an incredibly commercial shopping area). Unfortunately there were a million people visiting Shanghai without expense accounts, so all of this required a Jesus-like ability to walk through crowds.

And the CPC was born

But in some respects Shanghai also gave us the best insight into modern day China – 5 blocks from the birthplace of the Communist Party is Jaguar dealership.

We were lucky – super lucky – to have a local friend, Jialin, show us around. Without him we would never have experienced the world famous Yang fried dumplings.  We wouldn’t have ordered the best food we’ve had in China – sweet bean soup, crispy fried rice with seaweed, and a delicious rice and fruit desert.  They don’t offer this food on the English menu (that’s a joke, there is no English menu).

Rice Desert
What are you going to order?
Rice Desert

Don’t head to Shanghai expecting 1,000 year old cultural relics or even a mad crazy fun nightlife (unless you’re really willing to shell out some dough). Shanghai all about sky scrapers, lame business chatter and hordes of chinese tourists.

Check it:

10 thoughts on “Lesson on Shanghai: Have an expense account

  1. I love the picture of Vin in the crowd! One of those ladies barely comes up to his elbow!

    Was cleaning out the closet this afternoon – came across one of Milo’s tennis balls. Miss you guys!

    1. :p We miss milo too.

      Yeah, I was actually picturing what you would look like here on the subway, you’d be able to see end to end on the car. However, I hit my head on the cross bar every few times on the subway, for some reason, they decided to put a bar down the middle of the subway at 6’1″ so the top of my head always gets a nice reminder.

      Also, sometimes signs are hung across sidewalks with rope that are just about mouth height – which is scary when you’re on a bike, it’s dark, and they took down the sign but left the rope up…..

      1. Milo misses you too 🙂 He’s great with Madeline…we think he’s jealous, just HAS to be the center of attention! He’s great, getting loads of exersize, and we’re not feeding him too many scraps.

    2. There was a big string of white girls at the beginning of that video, but the rest of Shanghai doesn’t look that way. I too noticed you looked like a giant in that photo! I’m moving to China!

      1. If yellow fever be your scurvy, then Korea would do you good in bounty! Lots of Asian pop stars come from Korea and they absolutely adore white folk.

          1. Methinks we’d still be short there, David. Just a hunch.

            Shanghai sounds exactly like I’d pictured it. Which wasn’t really a pretty picture. I’ve been validated.

            Okay then! Where to next?

          2. How could you know? I had no idea! Well, we’re outta there and I’ll let you know where to next. Suffice to say it was the wrong choice – again!

      2. D – I noticed that too! The Expo and Yuyuan gardens was the only place where I saw fellow white people who weren’t fabulously rich. I took that pic of Vinnie – those little women are unusually small, which is why I took the picture. Most of the time Vinnie hovers only 5 inches above folks. -K

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