Sunday, August 15, 2004

Shanghai day I

As very few will ever admit, I am a man of many strengths. Writing travelogues is not one of them. So while you may expect that I am going shove in a lot of stuff in the way of introduction, building it up as it were, throw in a bit of history to spice things up & leave you gasping, finally, with precise, insightful observations, you are going to have none of it. Like everybody knows, I am very busy & I need to finish writing this blog before my next smoke which is due in about ten minutes time.

Shanghai is so un- Chinese. I am sure most of us think of China with certain kind of a faraway look in our eyes. Shanghai dazzles. Huge skyscrapers, shopping malls, big wide roads, regulated traffic, big signboards in English, wonderful variety of cuisine, discotheques, karaoke bars (which I am told are very popular) and lissom people walking or cycling around. Its humid & a few of the Chinese here drive the point home by making public appearances in their innerware. Quite a few can be seen with shirts completely unbuttoned.

The roads are flooded with Volkswagens. And ofcourse, the rest of them fancy things on wheels are either fakes of big automobile brands or just bicycles . A lot in Shanghai, & probably in most of China, is state owned & this includes electricity, telephony, transport & the like. However, there is no compromise in the quality of these offerings. I could swear if you were here & I told you you that this was some American city, & you did not know that I was as cursed a liar as you'll ever see, you'd have believed me.

I cannot get hang of Chinese here. So all these roads I traveled through do not stick in my mind. I tried a Chinese beer, Tsingtao (pronounced Ching tao), twice & bought a pack of Chinese smokes for a astronomical 57 RMBs. The smokes are called Chunghwa. They are nice & strongish. They smell sweet, if you decide to smell them.

Thats all for today. Me & friends watched the Hungarian F1 at a place called O'Malley's. Its an Irish pub & serves good caesar salad.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

That one thing

You know with all this running around, & thinking deep thoughts, & staring at a future getting bleaker by the milisecond, & an exponential growth rate of ignorance, in general, all around us, & that stupid guy who honks too much, & people who are bleeding happy while you struggle to find clean socks, all you basically need to keep yourself from committing suicide is a nice omelette!