Real China & New China

Shanghai Travel Blog

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Just got back from a business trip on Sunday; a 10-day journey covered a few cities in China. I was once an Anti-China person; because the odd political issues in between Taiwan and China. Now I get excited about visiting this one of the most blooming countries in the world.
7:30pm in Zhong Shan (About hour and half from Hong Kong), the driver dropped me off at the hotel; I rushed into my room and got myself ready with comfy polo shirt, jeans and flip flops for an adventure. Though I am not with blonde hair and blue eyes, the local people knew I don’t belong to there. Looks of wonder in their eyes; curious why a non-local girl would dare to walk on the street by herself? (Note: My colleagues said I was crazy after they found out I walked one hour on the street by myself; a lady was rapped and killed a few months ago).
My parents told me they had to watch TV at someone's house when they were kids; and it was about 40 years ago. I was never able to picture it, because the average of two TVs in each Taiwanese family now. I passed by an electronic shop where had a TV outside showing an old American movie; it was surrounded by more than 20 people. Back to my hotel, I had a hugeous room; comes with separate living room, bedroom and two flat-screen TVs. The room was too big for me; I had to leave the lights on in the living room all night long. Compared to those people outside of electronic shop, I appreciate the life quality I have.
4pm in Weifang (A growing city about 2 hours away from Qing Dao); we were on the way back to Qing Dao (Familiar? Qing Dao Beer!) for next flight to Shanghai. At the gas station, I grabbed my comfy clothes heading toward to the toilets. Our supplier Vivian ran after me and said it is very dirty and I would need her help???!!! (I was wondering? For toilets? She thought I was a 4-year old kid or what?)
As soon as I walked into the toilets, I WAS MUM. There ARE NO DOORS!!! No proper toilets! It’s just A LONG DITCH with two short concrete walls divided it into “ 3 toilets ”; there was no flushing system, very dirty and smelly. I could turn around and leave, but I told myself “ In Weifang, you do what local people do “. (Note: I wish I had my camera with me. I took two pics of our supplier’s toilets, but it’s an upgraded version; has the doors and nicer).
5am in Shanghai City; though I’ve been to Shanghai twice and I could see the Oriental Pearl Tower from my hotel room, I wanted to get closer to it. Amazed by all the early birds in all age ranges, everyone had already started the day by exercising with their friends; some Gong Fu, dancing or jogging in the city. Standing in the pond area overlooking the Oriental Pearl Tower, I felt the power of China. A country which will be continuing to grow up more and becoming one of most powerful countries like how it was in many centuries ago.
From this China trip, I got the chance exploring more about it. To me, Shanghai and Beijing are not real China; too many foreign influences. But I guess Chris is right, Shanghai and Beijing are also real China; NEW & REAL CHINA WITH THE COMBINATION OF EAST AND WEST. (Chris knows better as he has been living in Shanghai more than 2 years).
But if you had time and money, I would like to encourage you to try other cities than Beijing and Shanghai; experience some places with only little influences by westerners.
I’ve downloaded my China trip pics on my webshots account, you may please click and look for China Trip.
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1,027 km (638 miles) traveled
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photo by: Chokk