Cherie Li, 27

Herworld (Singapore) - - HW -

“At this time, I’m at home read­ing or watch­ing a movie, and def­i­nitely with a good glass of wine. Red wines from Aus­tralia are my favourite, be­cause they’re rea­son­ably priced and taste good. I some­times go to night­clubs and KTV bars, but pre­fer to stay in be­cause the traf­fic is ter­ri­ble from 5pm on Fri­days, and this stretches out over the week­end be­cause every­one wants to re­lax and have fun. My week­ends are spent with my hus­band – we got mar­ried last year – and my par­ents. We’ll lunch to­gether be­fore tak­ing our two minia­ture schnauzers out for walks, or to a dog park with a swim­ming pool where they can splash around and keep cool. One thing you’ll no­tice about Shang­hai is that it’s get­ting re­ally hot. The high­est tem­per­a­ture we’ve seen this sum­mer is 45 deg C – it was the high­est in decades. I’m wor­ried that this will only get worse.

I cur­rently work as a fi­nan­cial an­a­lyst at a gov­ern­men­towned se­cu­ri­ties com­pany, where I col­lect, mon­i­tor, and study data. I earn be­tween 400,000 yuan ($82,400) and 500,000 yuan a year. A lot of Shang­hainese women in their 20s and 30s spend at least half their in­come buy­ing things on Taobao (the Chi­nese equiv­a­lent of Ama­zon), while men spend that same amount go­ing out with women. Here, it’s still cus­tom­ary for men to pay on dates, and even make the first move.

It’s ex­pen­sive to own prop­erty in Shang­hai, so our in­come also goes to rent and util­ity costs.

I don’t re­ally spend on ma­te­rial things. I tend to chan­nel my money to­wards well­ness. I love hot yoga and prac­tise it daily to detox­ify and re­lieve any bad emo­tions [I may be feel­ing]. Liv­ing in a city like Shang­hai can be stress­ful, so it’s im­por­tant to find bal­ance.”

Week­end traf­fic grid­lock in the city of­ten means a quiet night at home for Cherie.

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