Zai Jian 再见(Good-Bye) SHANGHAI!

Trip Start Jun 30, 2008
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Trip End Dec 31, 2009


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Flag of China  , Shanghai,
Thursday, July 30, 2009

We have been on the road for about six weeks now from our home (away from home) in Zhuhai and after monuments, mountains, cities, trains, buses, planes, floors, couches and bathrooms in the kitchen: we are all looking forward to returning to Zhuhai to our apartment, friends and familiar surroundings.

I don't know if we are too tired or that Shanghai is just a 'big city’ but we have come, we have seen and now ready to move on.  We took an evening cruise along the Yangtze River for the famous night lights along The Bund.  We were hoping to walk along the boardwalk but the whole area is ‘under construction’ and therefore off limits in preparations for the Shanghai 2010 Expo.  We celebrated my 41st birthday at the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum and topped the day off with dinner at Burger King.  This is the first time this year so we filled our faces with great pleasure and much discomfort later!

Birthdays are a lot like New Years for me.  They are a time of fear and excitement.  Fear that time keeps ticking away but excitement that you can see the path your journey in life has taken you.  I was speaking with someone back home today and they had asked if I had any regrets and whether given the chance if I would do the same thing again.  I simply said that I did not have any regrets and yes I would do it again.  I was surprised by the question because any regrets I have ever had have been over things that I did not do but wanted to. 

Sabrina and I spent a day visiting a construction and design company and meeting their staff and management.  We were treated to a great lunch and learned more about the current Chinese culture.  To summarize I would say that Shanghai (and the rest of China) is the New America.  Consumerism is growing as the once poor are gaining affluence and influence and enjoying and indulging themselves and those around them.

Now that many are gaining great wealth (now over one million millionaires in China) what will they do when the $100 cigarette, $4000 bottle of wine, fancy cars, many mistresses no longer provide the ‘drive’ to work so hard?  Stay tuned as history is repeated and unfolds at the same time…………………………….
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Comments

pdreynol
pdreynol on

Shanghaied
I first visited there in 1980. Then in 1985 I started working trips there, sometimes as long as 2 weeks at a time in 1985. In total i have spent over 6 months in Shanghia the last trip being in 2007. Every 3-4 years it changes so much. It is huge and crowded beyond belief but it is energetic and so very open to change. This is where both western style capitalism once reigned supreme (1930s)leading to a backlash that caused the Chinese communist party to start life in the city. Now barely 50 years after the Revolution it has re-opened to allow capitalism once again. So what big change will start again here? Perhaps it will return to spiritual values? Or China's first eco-sensitive city? In ten more years Shanghai's only surprise would be if it did not surprise the world.

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