Fell in love with Shang­hai but . . .

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

How time has flown – my time in Shang­hai is over and soon I’ll be back at the coal­face of Kapi-mana News.

Liv­ing in Shang­hai has been a sen­sory over­load – I’m burst­ing with de­scrip­tions of ex­pe­ri­ences I couldn’t fit into my pre­vi­ous col­umns.

So I thought for my fi­nal mis­sive I’d list the high­lights and low­lights of liv­ing in Shang­hai. The ex­change rate: China is kind to Western wal­lets, which makes a nice change from my early 20s back­pack­ing around Europe, when I could hardly af­ford a cof­fee, let alone meals in fancy restau­rants and reg­u­lar foot mas­sages.

Safety:

I feel safer at 2am in Shang­hai than at 10pm in Welling­ton. In nine weeks here I barely even wor­ried about pick­pock­eters. Of course, crim­i­nals face harsh pun­ish­ment if a for­eigner is the vic­tim of vi­o­lent crime.

Ladies’ nights: Any night of the week you can find an ex­pat bar of­fer­ing free un­lim­ited cock­tails to the fairer sex. The only down­side is the drinks are usu­ally flu­o­res­cent pink moon­shine, which dou­bles the sever­ity of your han­gover.

In­for­ma­tive street signs: It’s hard to get lost in Shang­hai. Street signs tell you the name of a road in Man­darin and English, whether the road leads north, south, east or west, and what street numbers lie in each di­rec­tion – ge­nius.

Ex­pats: While I made a cou­ple of good Chi­nese friends here, the cul­tural and lan­guage gap means ex­pats tend to so­cialise with other ex­pats. You couldn’t wish for a bet­ter crew than Shang­hai’s 1400 fun, suc­cess­ful and gen­er­ous Ki­wis – watch­ing the Rugby World Cup here was a deeply New Zealand ex­pe­ri­ence.

Street smart: Shang­hai’s in­ge­nious street signs mean you’re never lost in this huge city.

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