It’s as if everything in my life has led to the moment I stepped foot in China.
A very warm hello and good evening to you all, geez I really enjoy writing to you guys. I feel like this is my way of writing you a letter detailing my thoughts and ideas and I appreciate that you read them, so thanks.
So, I am loving Shanghai.
First off lets talk about money. I am not a rich guy by anyones standards, but you convert a couple hundred bucks into Chinese Yuan and your a king! I literally paid 10 Yuan for a cab ride today. I took the train as far as I could and got as close to my hotel as I could, but in the end I gave up and took a cab the rest of the way. I shared a cab with someone so I split the bill, and I was still very worried (you should know the last time I took a cab it cost $80, so I was right to sweat). Anyway, my half was 10 Yuan — which is about $1.70.
Craziness what!!! Everything that I buy (food) and everything I’m interested in (food) costs between 10 and 20 Yuan, so a few bucks. So reason number one why I’m so happy.
Reason 2, I love a big city and I love a beautiful city. This city is freaking massive, I walked more than 4 hours in one direction after I dropped my bags at my hotel (if I walk in one direction I can retrace my steps and find my way home, smart eh?) And in all that time I didn’t cover half the city. I’m not kidding, I reached almost the city centre, stood utop a hill and gazed at the massive sprawl of city left for me to conquer and thought ” that half is for tomorrow.”
Even when I say i covered almost half the city I didn’t; I covered half the city I could physically see, but through the dusty/smoggy air (it’s not all smog, a lot of it is fine sand air blown in from Mongolia) I could vaguely make out a lot more city that I am beginning to accept I’ll never see.
To some it up, this place is big.
But it’s also really stunning, I walked through park after park and saw kids playing, fields of flowers and cherry blossoms,and old people sitting on benches surrounded by plants of all colours.
I walked through a fresh food markets and squealed when the tank of eels i was closely examining began to move as the eels (who were apparently asleep) began to splash around.
There were a lot of families and a lot of happy people, and it made me sad that this isn’t the China people know about.
A lot of people I know see China for the faults, it’s Government is uniquely oppressive in comparison to surrounding countries such as Japan, and there are some serious quality of life issues for people in lower classes. But if this city is any indicator of the parts of China people don’t talk about, it’s that there are plenty of people with good quality of life, shops that stay open late (and I mean genuinely late, not just the lame shopkeepers idea of late) and some of the most fragrant flowers I’ve ever experienced.
If ever in the future I believe in something enough to start some kind of following to bring about change or whatever, it’ll be to get people away from cliche holiday destinations (Thailand, Bali etc) and consider China.
Tomorrow I’m beginning a new thing here on the ol’ blog of Mr Feather, and it’s going to be called ‘Table Talk Thursdays.” Each thursday I’m going to encourage you guys to submit a story of when you went travelling and had a great time. You can use this opportunity to boost awareness of a place in the world you love, and want to see more successful tourism wise (if you’d like). Or you can just talk about it coz you had a kick ass time.
I’m gonna make a new page and share all these stories on it that you submit, and my favourite one each week will feature on the main page. I’ll never feature the same place twice, so over time I’ll start picking stories for the main page based more on where it is you traveled, and how different it is.
If no stories get submitted then each week I’ll just share one of my own, but I hope you come on board and share 🙂 How you can do it is by sending it as a message to me on the “Ask a Question, Send Feedback” page (for now) and soon I’ll have a page dedicated just to Table Talk Thursdays.
I hope you join in! Please subscribe and keep having fun with us, and have a great one 🙂
P.S If you send me a story via the messager, I will publish it with full credit to you, but sending it to me gives me permission 🙂 So lets do it! Woo!