Autumn night in Shanghai

…last September (Supposedly…)

“Hey Felix, How’s it going man?”
“Hey Andy, I’m alright. Just busy with work. Where the hell are you?”
“I’m now in Shanghai. You should probably visit me, It’s not too far from you, is it?”

I know it sounds very unreal, but that’s what it was. I decided to visit Shanghai, China just in order to see my German pal Andreas. We got to meet up in Heidelberg back then, around five or six years ago. After a while we kinda stopped communicating as our life became much more complex and busy. I was always aware that he quit his university and began to study some Asian languages, but I never thought it would be Chinese, aka one of the most tricky languages in the world.

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To me China is a mysterious country, I mean it should be close to where I live, geographically and culturally, however I kinda had a feeling that it wasn’t a country I’d be eager to visit and get to know and settle down in. Throwback to my first visit, it was pretty much an infinite adventure, despite the fact that I had a great mate in Weihai, China. After that I decided to learn Chinese and got to learn that language for a year, you might ask if I’m still good and my answer is NO. I have never managed to get used to their own characters as I feel much more confident with Alphabet in stead.

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“What are you looking at, dude?!”

I think my trip in Shanghai would have been way funnier if I were able to speak better Chinese. It was indeed so funny when Andy and I were walking on the street and visiting some tourist attractions. It was always him who spoke their language and asked to locals while people expecting me to ask and speak Chinese. I seriously felt lost all the time when I was asked by their language. But well, it wasn’t so shabby to be there. Leastwise I met up with Andy after freaking five years and we had such a wonderful time together.

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Here’s my guy Andy. I wonder how’s surviving in Shanghai, it must be the opposite of what he’s used to. 😀

Being in Shanghai, one of the biggest cities in China in National holidays was completely a pain in my ass. I probably should have been more careful about the schedule, because it was nearly impossible to explore the city as everywhere we went was exceptionally crowded and full, we couldn’t even take metro sometimes. Well we would have managed if we put much more efforts than we’d ever have imagined, yet we were super tired and didn’t want to get lost anymore.

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4 nights in Shanghai were pretty cool, apart from some facts. First, thanks to their national holidays I couldn’t visit as many places as possible. One day I left Andy alone and went to Suzhou,

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Suzhou, aka Chinese Venice.

which is described as China’s Venice, boom, the city itself was teem with people everywhere. I thought I’d be okay with that but after a couple of minutes I decided to come back to Shanghai and have a peaceful time with Andy in spite of being involved in Chinese wars (sort of) 😀 But trust me, Shanghai is a very modern city, super multi-cultured, lovely architecture and so on. If I were a wealthy businessman, I’d probably want to settle down in the city and get a luxury house just next to the downtown.

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Of note : Shanghai is the wealthiest city in China, according to many Chinese I’ve met. But you’d better learn that it’s not China’s capital.

Oriental Pearl Tower – Definitely my favorite. Andy and I visited there and stayed for a couple of hours. First we planned not to be there for too long, but the night view didn’t let us leave too soon.

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Waitan – I’m pretty sure you have seen this one at least once in your life. Also my favorite spot in Shanghai.

International financial center – As of some years ago, China became such a dark horse in World’s economy and Shanghai for sure is a very important city in that theme.

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If there must be one thing I need to spill out what I wasn’t satisfied with, it’s their food. I’m not fond of Chinese food very much, I mean I could eat since I don’t want to get picky about cuisines, but now and then my stomach gets extremely sensitive, therefore I gotta be more cautious. I had such a nightmare in my first visit in China and it was all due to the food. I believe it was so unfortunate because there are excellent foods in China as well. But one thing for sure – I’m not into oily food and when it has a minging smell, I can’t even put into my mouth. Also problems arose from a language barrier were beyond my expectations. Even the ladies working in hotel reception had zero English 😦 I for sure don’t speak Chinese but many times I expressed how I thank them, but they didn’t even pay attention to what I say. I don’t mean everyone, but mostly.
Some women even shouted at me as they thought I’d dirty their shoe rack which wasn’t true at all. I really got furious and also super frustrated. Meanwhile, I also met great people as well. It’s like a game, you meet good people and next day some bad people, it’s pretty much the same no matter where you go.

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Funny facts

  • Chinese Visa : It felt super unreal when I got informed that I’d need a tourist visa. Come on, why would I need one? I’ve never taken any tourist visas in my life. I’m thankful to my nationality sometimes as I’m completely free to explore (almost) the whole world without any visas. Well, obviously some exceptions still exist though. China, Belarus, India and what else?!
  • Hotels : Since the Chinese national holidays were approaching it was almost impossible to get a decent hotel.
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    Life is easier right here. Bed and Bathroom altogether. Don’t waste your energy.

    First day I stayed at a very odd hotel close to the airport and then moved to another odd and smelly hotel near the Hongqiao park. Hmm, what to say, it was a fancy experience after all.

  • Photo time : It seems like many of Shanghai citizens get super curious whenever they get to see Caucasians. I swear every time walking on the street with Andy who’s extremely easy to figure out what race he is, people come to us and ask me to get a picture with him. Well, it’s pretty normal because that also happened to me many times when I was in Turkey and so on. Andy is like “Whatever, I like it!”

Peace and love.

Felix.

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Hello world, I'm a treasure hunter of life experiences. I'm curious minded with a strong force for discovery and adventure. These days I spend most of my time living out of a backpack, traveling from one country to the next.

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