Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Just back from a visit home and had a wonderful time. I am now back in Shanghai, thankfully jet lag free, cases unpacked and contents all back where they belong. Can't believe the clothes I had taken home have been packed away and I'm back to wearing my summer clothes.

This set me thinking about the things I miss, and the things I am happy to have left behind. About what I like better here in Shanghai, and what I miss having left behind.

It goes without saying that the biggest negative about being away is leaving family behind, and never a day goes past without thinking of them. Skype brings us together and keeps us in touch, sometimes we speak more than we would at home. So family aside here is the list of things that come to mind.

Scotland's advantages:

1. Breakfast in Cafe Gandolfi. A must when back in Glasgow.
2. Lunch in Rogano, another must when back in the city.
3. Black pudding, Scotch pies and Fish suppers.

Rogano's Bar
4. Meeting old friends and catching up over coffee, lunch or a nice glass of wine. Always fun, especially with a real fire blazing, a glass of wine and memories shared.
5. The friendliness of shop assistants. Always having time for a cheery word and friendly chat.
6. Beautiful autumnal mornings. Chilly but sunny, and lovely blue skies and the smell of damp leaves in the park. 
7.Warm scarves and gloves.
8. Night skies filled with millions of bright shining stars. Especially in Dalbeattie which is a designated dark sky area.
9. Being able to go into shops and buy clothes which fit. In China everyone is tiny and oh so skinny.
10. Simply being in a familiar situation. Knowing what every label says and how much it costs without having to think too hard about it. So simple but so comforting. 
11. People, even strangers, being interested in my living in Shanghai. 

Scotland's disadvantages.

1. The rain.
2. The rain
3. Dark drab coats, thanks to the rain!
4. Dirty litter strewn streets.
5. Bad language. Only in Scotland do people punctuate words with obscenities ie: abso"fuckin"lutely tre"fuckin"mendous. Apologies if this offends you. While I hate it there is also something in me which makes me smile when I hear it, and hear it you do frequently.

So really not too many disadvantages.

 One of the huge advantages of living in Shanghai is the warm weather. Since arriving here 6 months ago the first time I had worn a coat was on my trip back home. It does rain, and heavily, but it is still hot and soon passes and I know the next day will be back to summer. It is now almost half way through October and it is still 24c. The heat and humidity of summer have gone but I am still enjoying warm days and being able sitting out on the balcony with a glass of wine in the evening.

I think weather definitely affects your mood and your personality. It's easy to be happy and smile when the sun is shining, harder to do so on dreich Scottish days.

One think I don't like here that at this time of year at 5-30 it is getting dark and by 6-00 it is really dark. China operates on one time zone across the whole country and there is no changing of the clocks here. Give me long summer nights anytime. It is always dark here by 9-00pm.


  1. Especially like your no.4 on list of likes!!

  2. Glad you enjoyed your UK visit. There were many things we missed when we went to live in France, and now we're back, we miss some aspects of life there!
    In September we went to Scotland, by train,to Fort William and up to Mallaig on the Harry Potter steam train. Then across to Skye for 5 days,and back to Glasgow. Although we had quite a lot of rain, we loved it. Being Welsh and brought up in the mountains, I'm used to it! Thought Glasgow was great.
    I'd love some of your warm weather - am fed up with rain, but wouldn't like the nights getting dark so early.

  3. Thought you might like that Mo. Yes Scotland is beautiful Snowy, glad you enjoyed your trip.