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The Good Vibes of Shanghai

CHINA | Friday, 6 June 2014 | Views [513]

Shanghai was bustling and busy but had a beautifully frenetic vibe about it - the city was alive with people. A lot of people.  The expat culture was also youthful and vibrant. I could tell this was a place of abundant opportunity - people came from all corners of the globe to carve out a piece of Shanghai for themselves. My friends had friends living in Shanghai that were of so many different nationalities, I almost felt like I was traveling around again. 

 The restaurant and bar scene catered to the foodie and alcohol lovers - my kind of place.  There were so many different foods on offer - I only ate Chinese food once in my ten days there!  What I loved was my anonymity.  Unlike South-East Asia, Shanghai was less tourist-focussed and so attuned to ex pats that I simply melded in while walking alone throughout the bustling city streets. I wasn’t hassled or berated and I definitely didn’t fear for my safety when walking alone at night. It was a welcome type of security.

What I couldn’t handle was the air pollution. I love discovering a city by meandering throughout its streets, often for hours, often getting hopelessly but happily lost.  But on certain days, the pollution index was so high that this wasn’t an option.  Even if I didn’t want to, I had to find an indoor activity to keep myself occupied. I became slightly obsessed with the air pollution app on my iPhone, constantly checking it throughout the day. 

 The architecture of Shanghai is an interesting sight.  There were buildings which were clearly European-influenced - they looked beautiful and old and colonial.  If you had simply just seen those buildings with no background context you might assume you are in a European city.  However, turn around and you have futuristic sky scraping spaceship-like buildings of seemingly architectural-impossibility in odd shapes framed in glass.  One building looked like a bottle opener and is even called the ‘bottle opener’ building.

 My impression of Shanghai remains overwhelmingly positive - it is a city of good vibes that has  a lot of opportunity pulsing throughout it.

Tags: alcohol, architecture, big city, expats, restaurants, shanghai

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