Archive for October, 2011

It costs how much?

The thing about Shanghai is that it is effectively two worlds superimposed. One is the international, cosmopolitan world city, and the other is a regular Chinese city. I love the fact that you can move from one to the other really easily, from one block to the next. This does mean that it is a little difficult to work out what things are likely to cost – for example for food, you can pay European meal prices at some restaurants or pennies in others.

A couple of days ago I went to buy a couple of things¬† – a plunger and some thread (exciting huh?). I was actually pretty excited that I found exactly what I was looking for in a local shop. Very often when you go to pay the shop assistants show you the price on a calculator. (Actually I am mostly OK with numbers but it is still useful). The guy tapped in 55. I thought – Ok that’s about 7 dollars. Sounds completely reasonable. The guy looked at me like I was completely insane as I messed around with various different bank notes. It turns out that the total for the two items was actually 5.5 RMB. That’s a tiny amount of money and I was out by a whole decimal point.¬† I am now wondering how often I’ve done this and they have just taken the cash…

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Change is good but exhausting

One of the things I really like about Shanghai is the energy, driven to a large extent by the pace of change. I’ve always said I like change but actually sometimes it is nice if things just stay as they were when you left them.

I was away for just a couple of weeks recently and my favourite local . During this time my favourite restaurant, that was just 3 minutes walk away, had closed and moved to somewhere miles across town and there are shops disappearing and new ones popping up on a daily basis. Just the other night we went out and thought we’d check out a new bar that was getting great reviews. We did find a great bar at the address we had, although it was a brand new one. Things change so fast that the old one is still in all the online and print listings.


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