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One Week In Shanghai

Post your trip reports, travel experiences, and updates abroad. Or your expat story if you already live overseas. Note: To post photos and images, insert the image URL between the tags [img]and[/img] after uploading them to a third party site.

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One Week In Shanghai

Postby drealm » Sat Jul 12, 2014 5:10 am

I spent one week in Shanghai for business. This trip happened back to back with the Tijuana meetup. So I got to see three countries in three days (Mexico, USA, China). This allowed me to make some fresh comparisons.

My stay was primarily in a suburb of Pudong. This is where the company is that I work with. The area is sort of like a mini silicon valley with R&D offices for companies like Lenovo. It's called a technology park and most of the people living there are techie geeks. One thing I found interresting is that even totalitarian governments have better zoning taste than America. The technology park was absolutely saturated with trees. When you drove along freeways you felt like you were in a forest. It's all the same specie of tree so there's not much variance to the landscaping but it's much nicer looking than American developments. I only visited the sky scrapers, Bund and Puxi (the area on the west side of Huangpu river) for one day.

My first impression is that China takes a longer time to understand than Mexico. Hispanics are very expressive and sociable. When I see Chinese people speaking however I cannot tell from their body language what they're saying. I sat in on several business meetings and tried to guess what was going on, only to learn afterwards that I was completely wrong. I think I can easily go a month in China without anyone talking to me. China is harder to integrate into than Mexico.

Compared to Mexico the women dress more conservative but also less feminine. I was expecting more women to wear skirts, but most wear very practical clothing. I was bored. I also thought women would be more slender. I'm on the lookout for a skinny wife because I myself am as skinny as Ghandi. The HA'ers I met in Mexico can confirm this. I was disappointed though. I didn't see that many women that meet my desired stat of being around 100lb 5ft. The women on average actually seemed bigger and taller than Mexican women.

In my whole trip I only saw 3 three women I was attracted to and they were all taken. In Tijuana I saw hundreds of women. However I think this comparison is unfair because Tijuana is a party town and I visited on the weekend. There was a huge concentration of young women on the streets. By contrast I didn't visit any party areas in Shanghai.

I don't think foreigners have high status here compared to other Chinese cities. The foreigner population seems to be about 1%, so we're common enough that there's no novelty. Except for a few scenarios I didn't get special attention. I went to a big trade show however and aside from two random Hasidic jews and an Arab I was the only foreigner there. In this trade show there were people from tier 2 cities and tier 1 cities with less foreigners. I was an oddity to these people. They would come up to me and try speaking English to me in a very curious fashion.

I went to the China Expo with two Chinese people. One is an Americanized Chinese girl in her late 30's and the other is a local in her 40's. This is another place where some people randomly walked up to me to talk to me. The first case was a boy on a field trip from another province. The other students made a bet that he wouldn't walk up and talk to me. They lost the bet. He said hello and then ran off again. Later some other students wanted me to fill out a survey on being a tourist, it was two girls and a guy. They ignored the Chinese American woman who was also a tourist and only gave me the survey. This pissed her off. After I finished the survey they gave me a Chinese fan. The local woman that was with us then remarked that I would find a girlfriend very quickly if I lived here.

In general China seems more communal. Eating family style is something that I enjoy. It encourages everyone to interact with each other. In other cases this means there's less personal boundaries. In crowded restaurants you eat very close to each other. On streets there's no beginning or ending to the mess of merchants and food carts. However I will take being pushed and shoved over having no human contact whatsoever in America. I also went to a Korean bath house with some people from company. This isn't Chinese per se, but I think it's compatible with China because they have a collectivist mentality. The idea of getting naked in a tub with other men is probably gay to most Americans. I liked how there was an exclusively male space though. It would be a nice place to go and relax and chat with friends.

This is the first time I've ever been in such a humid client. I guess I'm spoiled from living in the Bay Area. The weather in Shanghai is bad. The sky was constantly polluted, the visibility was only half a mile long. It was overcast the whole time but you were still sweating like you were in a sauna. I was told that this was "good weather".

On my flight back home to miserable America there was a stop over in Japan. I was amazed by the level of customer service with buying a cup of coffee. This is in stark contrast to China where the mentality is brute efficiency with no manners.

I may start going back to China on a regular basis. Once every couple of months.

I don't have any cool photos.
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Postby zboy1 » Sat Jul 12, 2014 5:50 am

You're right, drealm: the Chinese lack simple manners and often can act loud and obnoxious as Americans, sometimes. Also, the Chinese engage in disgusting habits like having their children peeing and defecating out in the open or on the streets; spitting everywhere; smoking like a chimney; and being quite rude and abrasive sometimes, in terms of customer service.

I surmise that Chinese rudeness has a lot to do with the Communist mindset, overt materialism and greed, and atheism---which is a poisonous mix stewed together...

Koreans and Japanese beat Chinese in terms of manners and politeness by a factor of 100 or more. LOL!
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Postby publicduende » Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:09 am

zboy1 wrote:I surmise that Chinese rudeness has a lot to do with the Communist mindset, overt materialism and greed, and atheism---which is a poisonous mix stewed together...


I don't know about that. Russia was under a Communist regime for a long time and people were (usually) polite and respectful of each other and their public places.

I think the reason is in Chinese individualism and clan-ism. When in their original context of a rural village, they would act respectfully, because they perceived their entire social environment as "home" and did not want to lose face disrespecting common property.

When countless millions of them were displaced into large, soulless cities for work, they left everything they perceived as "home" behind and wouldn't (or couldn't) develop attachment and respect for their new living environment. This is probably why you see them treating both their fellows and their surroundings with indifference and disrespect...they have nothing to do with them, nor do they want to.

I think this is a Chinese problem. Japanese and Korean had a much more harmonious urban development, and - in case of Japan - the destruction brought by WW2 bombings and the natural disasters have helped cementing the feeling of togetherness and collective responsibility.
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Postby zboy1 » Sat Jul 12, 2014 5:55 pm

publicduende wrote:
zboy1 wrote:I surmise that Chinese rudeness has a lot to do with the Communist mindset, overt materialism and greed, and atheism---which is a poisonous mix stewed together...


I don't know about that. Russia was under a Communist regime for a long time and people were (usually) polite and respectful of each other and their public places.

I think the reason is in Chinese individualism and clan-ism. When in their original context of a rural village, they would act respectfully, because they perceived their entire social environment as "home" and did not want to lose face disrespecting common property.

When countless millions of them were displaced into large, soulless cities for work, they left everything they perceived as "home" behind and wouldn't (or couldn't) develop attachment and respect for their new living environment. This is probably why you see them treating both their fellows and their surroundings with indifference and disrespect...they have nothing to do with them, nor do they want to.

I think this is a Chinese problem. Japanese and Korean had a much more harmonious urban development, and - in case of Japan - the destruction brought by WW2 bombings and the natural disasters have helped cementing the feeling of togetherness and collective responsibility.


Yes, I would agree.
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Postby zboy1 » Sat Jul 12, 2014 5:59 pm

Even with all its problems, I'd rather live in China than the USA. LOL!

I miss the people, the social atmosphere and the women; plus people are friendlier, for sure, than Americans...
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Postby Rock » Sat Jul 12, 2014 6:06 pm

publicduende wrote:
zboy1 wrote:I surmise that Chinese rudeness has a lot to do with the Communist mindset, overt materialism and greed, and atheism---which is a poisonous mix stewed together...


I don't know about that. Russia was under a Communist regime for a long time and people were (usually) polite and respectful of each other and their public places.

I think the reason is in Chinese individualism and clan-ism. When in their original context of a rural village, they would act respectfully, because they perceived their entire social environment as "home" and did not want to lose face disrespecting common property.

When countless millions of them were displaced into large, soulless cities for work, they left everything they perceived as "home" behind and wouldn't (or couldn't) develop attachment and respect for their new living environment. This is probably why you see them treating both their fellows and their surroundings with indifference and disrespect...they have nothing to do with them, nor do they want to.

I think this is a Chinese problem. Japanese and Korean had a much more harmonious urban development, and - in case of Japan - the destruction brought by WW2 bombings and the natural disasters have helped cementing the feeling of togetherness and collective responsibility.


The decades after WWII till 70s in China could probably be more aptly described as Maoism. I think he created an environment which encouraged paranoia and struggle. He leveraged his broad popularity as a charismatic and righteous figure to get the better of the Party and gained more and more power through destructive divide and conquer type policies which virtually eliminated the economy and lead to the deaths of tens of millions during certain periods.

On the other hand, the Nationalist controlled Taiwan had and still has to this day a much more polite and refined brand of Chinese. I believe part of this is due to the lingering Japanese and American influence and much of the rest due to much earlier economic development combined with a relatively even distribution of wealth.
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Postby Ghost » Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:03 pm

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Last edited by Ghost on Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby drealm » Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:16 pm

Ghost wrote:Wish I had gone to Shanghai when I was still in China so we could compare notes. Strange that you didn't see many feminine dressed women. In my third-tier city, I saw girls in skirts and other feminine clothing all the time.


Yes it was bizarre. Japan's Osaka airport on the other hand had a ton of very feminine dressed women.

Ghost wrote:So now that you've been through a major Chinese city, which kind of women do you prefer in looks: Mexican or Chinese?


Overall from what I saw, Mexico. But I think I just lucked out in China. So it deserves a second look.
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Postby Jester » Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:44 pm

publicduende wrote:
Japanese and Korean had a much more harmonious urban development, and - in case of Japan - the destruction brought by WW2 bombings and the natural disasters have helped cementing the feeling of togetherness and collective responsibility.



Interesting, Public.

You've been in PI, Japan, Colombia, and I guess, where England? And you're from Italy?

Have you ever doe a post here, on what the pluses and minuses of each place are?
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Postby Jester » Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:51 pm

drealm wrote:
Ghost wrote:So now that you've been through a major Chinese city, which kind of women do you prefer in looks: Mexican or Chinese?



Overall from what I saw, Mexico. But I think I just lucked out in China. So it deserves a second look.



I don't think you saw the best of Mexico OR China.

I hope you start pipelining BOTH countries on MexicanCupid, ChineseLoveLinks, etc etc.
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Postby abcdavid01 » Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:20 am

Seems about right, but I'd be more positive about it. He weather, for example, I find perfect. Since coming here I think I must have a lot of Asian genes. My family's from Guangdong, but I was raised near New York. I've always hated how cold it was. So things like adaptation to climate vary from person to person. I do great here. Also, I can fit in pretty well because despite White people and people on this board saying I don't look Chinese I've already had people come up and assume I'm a native. You're right about the trees; I was stunned. Blacks are rare here so people openly take pictures of my one classmate. Maybe not as good as Mexico, but I think the women are very feminine here. Some are spoiled from being city girls, but it's far better from all the White feminists where I'm from. Fat girls are rare and also really obvious and huge. There's less middle ground like America, where a lot of girls aren't huge, but also aren't skinny. Thus, there's less mediocrity. College girls are really skinny, but older ones fill out more. That doesn't mean fat; it means they have awesome curves.
中国人万岁! 中国美女万岁!
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Postby abcdavid01 » Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:21 am

Seems about right, but I'd be more positive about it. He weather, for example, I find perfect. Since coming here I think I must have a lot of Asian genes. My family's from Guangdong, but I was raised near New York. I've always hated how cold it was. So things like adaptation to climate vary from person to person. I do great here. Also, I can fit in pretty well because despite White people and people on this board saying I don't look Chinese I've already had people come up and assume I'm a native. You're right about the trees; I was stunned. Blacks are rare here so people openly take pictures of my one classmate. Maybe not as good as Mexico, but I think the women are very feminine here. Some are spoiled from being city girls, but it's far better from all the White feminists where I'm from. Fat girls are rare and also really obvious and huge. There's less middle ground like America, where a lot of girls aren't huge, but also aren't skinny. Thus, there's less mediocrity. College girls are really skinny, but older ones fill out more. That doesn't mean fat; it means they have awesome curves.
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Postby D_Athlete » Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:48 am

Most Shanghai girls aren't that attractive. I think they're kind of overrated.

When I last went there, I'd see some girls wearing skirts, but I guess overall most Chinese girls don't have great fashion sense yet.

When I met up with a girl, she wanted to have her picture taken with me. I also once went to a Chinese club, and I believe I spotted a Chinese girl out of the corner of my eye taking a picture of me discreetly, but I'm not completely sure lol.

She was sitting to my left and her phone was pointed at me anyway. So I guess there's still a mild curiosity for white foreigners there. You won't really see a lot of foreigners there still, maybe 1 or 2 a day if you don't go out of your way to find them.
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Postby publicduende » Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:05 pm

Jester wrote:Interesting, Public.

You've been in PI, Japan, Colombia, and I guess, where England? And you're from Italy?

Have you ever doe a post here, on what the pluses and minuses of each place are?


Correct. A post on all pluses and minuses of each place would end up being exceedingly long and only express a very partial opinion, mine. You know I am not that keen with that kind of stuff...

My strongest and, would I say, only advice is: go and check it out for yourself! :)
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Postby drealm » Sat Jul 19, 2014 4:32 pm

D_Athlete wrote: So I guess there's still a mild curiosity for white foreigners there. You won't really see a lot of foreigners there still, maybe 1 or 2 a day if you don't go out of your way to find them.


In the Suburb this number seems about right but towards the Bund and Expo area I easily saw 1 an hour.
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