Falling in love with old Shanghai
Trip Start Jul 20, 2004
209Trip End Jul 20, 2014
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On the literary site, I am expanding my horizon by reading China, Inc.:How the Rise of the Next Superpower Challenges America and the World by Ted C. Amazon's review states that "China has the world's most rapidly changing large economy, and according to Ted Fishman, it is forcing the world to change along with it. "No country has ever before made a better run at climbing every step of economic development all at once," he writes, in China, Inc.: How the Rise of the Next Superpower Challenges America and the World. China is currently the largest maker of toys, clothing, and consumer electronics, and is swiftly moving up the ladder in car production, computer manufacturing, biotechnology, aerospace, telecommunications, and other sectors thanks to low-cost, high-tech factories. China is also where the world is investing. In 2004, for instance, the city of Shanghai alone attracted over $12 billion in direct foreign investment, roughly the same amount as all of Indonesia and Mexico received. In tracing China's ascendancy over the past 30 years (with annual growth of an astonishing 9.5 percent), Fishman presents a flood of facts, figures, forecasts, and anecdotes and examines the implications of this unprecedented growth for China, the U.S., and the rest of the world."
Before China Inc., I read Red Dust: A Path Through China by Ma Jian. Amazon's review states that "In 1983, squirming under constant government scrutiny and mourning a failed marriage, writer and photographer Jian abandons his home in Beijing to journey to China's western border with little more than a change of clothes, two bars of soap, a notebook, a camera and Whitman's Leaves of Grass. It is the beginning of an arduous three-year voyage that takes him not only through little-traveled regions of China, Myanmar and Tibet, but through a careful examination of what it means to be a Buddhist, to live in post-Mao China and to exist in his own skin. A skilled storyteller, Jian narrates in prose that is spare and often beautiful his encounters with people who live in a region that "even today..
Oh, and one more mention. The week before the holiday, I attended a HC meeting at the bookworm in Beijing. The speaker was a fellow traveller from France - Ludovic Hubler who has been hitchhiking around the world for 4 years. his web site is chuckfull of photos and information; during his travels his gets involved with volunteer work and NGO's. He has been talking to schools in different countries about his travels and experiences - bringing the world to the classroom, so to speak. Check out his web site.
Looks like I got a bit sidetracked here; back to Shanghai
Hangzhou was crowded by holiday tourists; we managed to take it easy and walk around the lake and gardens, visiting a little tea house where we had a nice chat with the owners friend and where I almost ended up taking the little puppy home. After that, two more days in Shanghai (my friend lives in Xujiahui)where my favorite place to stroll around is the french concession area. The French Concession is the area of Shanghai once designated for the French. Today, the area's central Huaihai Rd is a busy shopping street, but the tree-lined avenues and their many Tudor mansions still retain an air of the "Paris of the East". The important thing is to walk the small streets; forget about Huaihai Rd. unless you are a big spender. I went to see the house of a friend of my friend. The house os beautiful and has three stories. His appartment is in the third floor with access to the roof. Its marvelous and brought back memories of houses in Germany. I did a lot of walking, in fact I walked everywhere, Xujiahui to Xintiandi to the Old town of Shanghai and at night strolled alomg the Bund
After I got back to Beijng, I relaxed by stuffing myelf with expensive western foods such as cheese and freshly backed dark bread. Yummy!! I also pampered myself; I got a new haircut from a Hong Kong stylist (not want I wanted but I like it) and I got a teeth cleaning and whitening. This was my first time I tried profesional whiting and I was impressed. No pain and my teeth look white again. It is supposed to last for 2 years!!