Wednesday, January 7, 2015

AT HOME IN SHANGHAI

Due to computer issues I have been away from blogging for some time. Looking forward to getting back into the habit of posting. So here goes!

Returning to Shanghai after a wonderful Festive Season in Scotland where I enjoyed being with family and friends. I loved playing with the grandchildren, glad they don't forget me despite the distance between us, so as you can imagine, it's always a sad day when we say goodbye and return to Shanghai.

I returned with all the usual promises one makes to oneself at the start of a new year. Healthier eating, more exercise etc. So as I woke up to sunny but chilly day a walk to the local shops was on the cards. This kind of weather makes leaving Scotland just a wee bit easier. I left behind wet, windy days when it barely seemed to get light.

For various reasons, pollution, or the searing heat of summer I usually travel by car. One of the great advantages of living here is I have a driver who manages to get me to wherever I need to be. But today as the skies were clear I was going to enjoy walking to my local shops.


 I never tire of the views on route. I never take for granted of  how privileged I am to be living in this amazing city, which for now, I call home. As you can see I am not walking along leafy avenues or meandering paths. I am walking through the heart of Shanghai's financial centre complete with  amazing buildings stretching high up into the sky. In the sunshine they look even better. Hard to imagine 20 years ago this was all farmland. Progress is fast here.


Most of my journey is on skywalks above the busy roads. Much safer than negotiating with the traffic which doesn't seem to recognise, or at least obey, a red light. Slowly coming terms with this,  
I am now quite good at dodging taxis, buses and trucks even, when for no apparent reason they can be coming straight at me in the wrong lane. No place for hesitation here. 


Above you can see the 3 tallest buildings in the city, all very close to each other. The one on the right is the second tallest building in the world. It is twice the height of the Shard in London, and it is the view I get from my window. It is a completely unrestricted view from the bottom to the top. Standing below it looking up makes me feel quite dizzy. It is really high!

Then in front of me is one of the most iconic and recognised buildings In Shanghai, The Pearl Tower. You may well have seen it in the Batman, or more recently the Bond movie. At night it looks amazing. 



So in around 15 minutes I arrive at the local mall. Shops at the entrance not to shabby. LOL



Once inside the shops again, not too bad. This is fairly typical of the many malls which are springing up all over the city. I have to say I am here only for the supermarket in the basement and to grab a coffee. Still, have to say I do enjoy wandering through the mall and doing a bit of window shopping, and a lot of daydreaming.




Time for my coffee before heading into the supermarket. I love sitting people watching. There are a couple of Westerns in today but it's mostly locals. There are lots of offices located around so it's mainly business people. As it is open fronted I can also watch the shoppers wandering through, not a lot of shopping bags to be seen. I'm guessing, like myself, there are a lot of window shoppers. Also it is not unusual to see people taking photographs of the clothes on display. They then take them to a tailor to have them made. No one seems to mind. I can't help thinking in other countries you would be stopped from photographing stock. I was stopped from taking pics in IKEA in Glasgow. It is not allowed. 



Coffee time over, shopping complete, I head back home. This time I decide to negotiate the roads and forgo the skywalks. I manage to cross 10 lanes of traffic without incident. It's a good day! Then I find my way almost blocked by the many bikes and scooters parked on the pavement. They all belong to workers who are working finishing the new building. 


Can't believe I used to get annoyed when a car parked with a wheel on the pavement at home. After seeing what I have seen here should never complain about traffic, or parking at home. It's all relative.

 With a bit of bobbing and weaving I am almost home.
I enjoyed my walk. I love the energy of the city, the fact that every time I am out I come across something I haven't seen before. I'm sure the day will come when I feel the need to leave. But for now I am happy here and just trying to take in all the city has to offer, which is a lot. Hope you've enjoyed taking the walk with me.

NOTE TO SELF; Do this more often. Ditch the car whenever weather permits.










1 comment:

  1. Good to see you back posting. Wow, what a way to walk to the shops, and what shops!

    ReplyDelete