Thursday, November 10, 2011

Home from the big* city (*understatement of the century)

Well, I don’t even know where to begin to sum up my experience in Shanghai…it was breathtakingly overwhelming: the food, the people, the buildings, the city, the traffic, the pace, the scenery, the views…this is where I will fail because nothing I type or say, no picture I show, will ever fully depict it's enormity.
From the airport to the PuDong river, the high rise apartments never ended…there must have been thousands.  I never saw a single-family home. The traffic was faced-paced, brutal: move or be moved. Unlike here, cars do not yield to pedestrians…it’s the other way around. And the mopeds and electric bikes: predominant mode of transportation. More surprising, even, was the amount of goods, material, and people that could fit on a small moped. (I even saw a large golden retriever riding along on one!) I saw a woman with three kids (baby in front, oldest in back, and middle behind her) cruising along. I saw men with 8 foot metal rods arranged front to back.
The sheer volume of 30 million people moving along unhindered from place to place was harmoniously precise. Scratch that: traffic in and out of the city was a disaster area. Sitting and merging at will, the honking, the forceful nature of drivers…at one point, our cab driver moved into oncoming traffic (a bus to be exact!), just to get in front of 1 car…in a traffic jam! Honking of horns does not mean the same thing as it does here. Here it’s more of a sign of aggression: “I’m angry”. There, it’s more of a notice: “I’m here, and will not stop…”.
The next few posts will seem unorganized and categorically all over the place, so bear with me. My brain is spinning and tired…

1 comment:

Kim said...

Glad you had a safe trip. Can't wait to see your pics and read all about it. Never made it Shanghai, though I want to someday!! Heard it's amazing. :)