October 19, 2008

the good the bad and the beautiful

the good

- 生前饱 and spicy-sour noodles on wujiang road, lilian cake egg tarts, bubble tea and turkish breakfasts
- evening walks after work along huaihai road where beautiful faces on huge billboards stare at you while you people-watch
- AIESEC Regional Induction Conference in Jiangsu where new friendships overshadowed the shiny 4-star apartment
- having friends from Beijing in close proximity again, rekindling old times in a new place
- exploring old shanghai by peeking into torn down shikumens where sturdy bamboo sticks hold up the livelihood of many

the bad

- overpriced drinks at classy bars where people dont dance to good music
- officers in the metro station shouting repeatedly over the PA system to tell you that the metro line is now closed (so get out)
- bargaining your way through any shopping transaction because the starting price is always ballooned to multiple proportions
- bureaucracy in every institution coupled with grey areas at work that throws certainty out of the window

..and the beautiful

- the tight AIESEC network among locals, interns and alumni; providing a welcome getaway by inundating everyone's calendar (and inboxes) with daily activities
- the housemates at The Palace who make for entertainment and late-night chats; giving almost a family-like support that transcends just average friendships
- the growing circle of friends; restoring your faith in the people under the AIESEC banner and its borderless international network
- the possibility of so many opportunities, so many new cultures to learn about, and so many countries to travel to.. if i have the chance, the money and the time.

how far can you go?

yeah, shanghai is starting to be pretty damn awesome:)

October 07, 2008

beijing is way cleaner than shanghai

at least from what i've seen so far.

the streets leading to my apartment complex, otherwise known as 'the palace', are filled with little eateries, convenience stores and fruit gardens that produce as much junk as they do the enticing smell of fresh bread and spicy soup.

and i still find myself instinctively walking away a little faster whenever i hear someone perform a gurgling/cackling throaty noise that will inevitably lead to a blot of spit on the ground.

cosmopolitan as it is, the glam clan is mostly only seen in the endless shopping complexes that line the city streets and colour the night sky on Nanjing Road.

the Bund is currently home to a long stretch of construction site, probably in preparation for the World Expo 2010. ah, but still no obstacle for the scores of locals who fill the entire viewing platform adjacent to the Huangpu River.

the skies are foggy, and while the weather is not as humid as it was in summer two months ago, is already slowly picking up winter's cold wind.

everywhere i hear the somewhat slurry-sounding shanghainese dialect, on the streets, at work, in restaurants, at supermarkets, on the metro..

speaking of which, the metro is another battlefield of pushing and jostling bodies with complete disregard for the ethics of ‘先下后上’ blared on the loudspeakers.

yes im here in shanghai. another nomad move, although not as painful as expected. thank you for making the transition all that much easier.

now im really on my own. again.