The real Shanghai

China is a country with a really ancient history, so before I was there, I had an absolutely wrong opinion about what I was going to find in Shanghai, even though I knew that Shanghai was a really modern city. When I got there, I realized that Shanghai and its people were really different from that old China that I’ve always read about.

I’m going to talk about the customs and facts that really impressed me the most.

Traffic Jam in Shanghai

Traffic Jam in Shanghai

As you can see in the picture, we are facing a huge traffic jam in Shanghai. There are a lot of people living there and it seems that everyone’s got a car, so for that reason there are always traffic jams like this one. I was surprised by the fact, that because of that amount of traffic, drivers didn’t care about the traffic lights or traffic signs at all. When you are in Shanghai you have to get used to that, I mean if you are a pedestrian, you have to be very careful when you’re going somewhere if there are any car, motorbike or bike near to you. I have always thought that Rome was a mess when it comes to the traffic, but I’ve made up my mind since I was in Shanghai as a pedestrian for my first time.

Different taxis in Shanghai.

Different taxis in Shanghai.

In Shanghai there are tons of illegal taxis, now I know. They don’t have a determined taxi model, they are covered with different colors, even there are some of them that are suspicious taxis and they are in fact cars, not taxis. You have to be very careful with this because you know they always want you to pay more so you have to bargain, and also it can be a bit dangerous if you get a taxi alone, so I recommend you to take a taxi with your colleagues or anyone known, but not alone. Then there is another thing that was curious and it was the moment of taking a taxi. What a challenge! If you are not a pretty girl or you don’t look like a Chinese person, taxis usually won’t pick you up. We had a lot of difficulties trying to take a taxi, I was lucky because I’m a girl, so for me it was quite easy, but for some of my friends it was not just challenging, but risky too. Some of them even try to stop them by going across the road and standing up in front of the taxi, so the taxi couldn’t scape. Now, we make fun about it, but at the moment was very stressful.

 

Fake Market in Shanghai

Fake Market Sellers in Shanghai

Shanghai Restaurant waiters

Shanghai Restaurant waiters

This is the final point I would like to remark. I expected that Fake Market Sellers knew English because everyday they had to interact with people if they wanted to sell anything. In fact, I was amazed because some of them had a c2 level of English, so It felt great when you got there and they understood everything that you’ve just said. On the other hand, I felt really disappointed by most of the waiters that worked in common restaurants in Shanghai. They didn’t know English, French, anything, well only Chinese, but I really thought that they could speak a little bit of English, but no. I’m still surprised because I think that Shanghai has a lot of tourists, I suppose they know how to speak some japanese or korean, but there are tourists that are English, German… so I think they should improve their level in other languages because that would be more profitable for the restaurant and at the end, for the economy of Shanghai. So that’s the huge difference between sellers and waiters in Shanghai.

Now, I would like to say that Shanghai is very modern and respect China’s customs, but I think nowadays is a city that is growing and has a really big future, so I think with the time, it will turn into a one of the most international city in the world, but this would not happen so fast, because of the politic and economic factors that Shanghai depends on, but I’m really looking forward to it.

Thank you for reading this entry and I hope you’ve all enjoyed.

Rocío Vázquez Saldaña

PS: I leave you here a song that really reminds me to this Shanghai Trip and city.


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