So I have been meaning to write about Shanghai for a while now, but somehow once I found myself in the beautiful island in Thailand all the thoughts I had got into a different perspective.
So here is a list of few things I didn’t expect to see in Shanghai.
- Everyone seems to be relaxed, not rushing anywhere as I was so used to seeing in London (apart of when they want to get on a train or escalator, not much of “standing on the right and moving on the left” policy going on here) Also trains stop operating at 10pm!!
- Tubes operate practically the same as in London, but here they use numbers instead of names and instead of south/north bound trains and west/east, you have to choose the direction based on the last stop of the train.
- Have to look in all possible directions when crossing the street even if it’s a green light for you to cross. No pedestrian priority as it is in the UK.
- Eating out feels cheaper than London as it has a huge selection of places according to your budget.
- People don’t speak English much (well this did not surprise me), but they do want to talk to you and are very friendly so basic Chinese would be amazing to start with. (I have zero of it and felt a bit ashamed of myself)
- I haven’t tried it, but was told, that you know how in London we have promoters inviting you to come into some fancy clubs and offer free drinks and so on. (Usually their offer tends to exclude guys) So similar thing is going on in Shanghai as well, but those promoters try to get as many foreign people in those clubs as they can, regardless of your gender, because Chinese do not have drinking or partying culture as we do in Europe and their clubs tend to be pretty quiet. So if you don’t mind the music and want a free night out it might be a good option.
- Ok this I do have to mention, even though it is more of a cultural difference than anything else, but people here tend to be loud eaters.
- Language barrier and the beauty of using gestures and facial expressions (basically charades) when trying to explain something, as I mentioned earlier people are very eager to talk to you and appreciate you trying.
- There is no “tipping” policy in Shanghai. I am pretty sure they would consider it rude if you would give them extra money for their service. However, I had some chocolate bars which photos of the city that I am from, so I would give that if I really enjoyed the service and would get hugs of appreciation.
- People generally are very kind hearted and would not try and trick you off your money as it happened to me elsewhere when I travelled. They will always give you the right and exact change even when you are not familiar with their money and not sure which coin stands for what.
- One of the things which surprised me the most is the amount of scooter drivers, because pretty much all of them are run on electricity. So no gas emission, no smell, no pollution, no noise! Once again you have to be mindful when crossing the street, because you can’t hear them coming!
Ok so there is that, if I do remember something more I’ll add it to the list. Hope you find it helpful!
Cheers with the glass full of elephant!