Sunday, August 15, 2004
Shanghai day I
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.