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Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Live abroad is not to travel abroad

Past 3 days I was living in Shanghai. Really living among locals, not sightseeing like a tourist.
First day me and French flatmate went to take the most famous dumplings in Shanghai – fried ones. For him it was first time to try it, as he is only second week in China. So this place is on small street and can be found easily, as a lot of locals are staying in the line, waiting, when new portion of dumplings will be ready. So he took 12 for take away, but when we saw the size – OMG, they are so big. So when we came home, he could eat only 4? As they are too oily, and vinegar souse really smells specific…
Then yesterday I realized, that all people walk only one main pedestrian street Nanjing Lu, where a lot of shops are and all hotels face this street. But locals have their own life just on parallel street – here u can eat 10 times less expensive in small restaurants and even street food – meat on sticks, shaobin, fried rice and noodles, here the smell of food mixed with the smell of garbage from hotels and tourist street, here cleaning workers sort the bottles and papers for recycling, here some kids playing on the streets waiting for parents… Here u can see the other side of hotels and maybe that is one of the reason why I would never pay for 5 star hotel and why I’ll always clean my fork with the napkin even in the best restaurant of Pudong. Here girls are washing dishes at the street and here is salad and meat is directly on the road waiting to be cooked.
I tried a lot of street food stuff that was cooked just in front of me; ladies were so friendly trying to speak to me very nice. Locals here in Shanghai are so used to foreigners, that they never pay attention to us that is really good, as I can feel more comfortable. Even I walking at these local streets feel better, then in empty Xiasha. One more thing I like in China is that if you are in the most poorest and local quarter of the city, u can feel safety even at 2 am, as they even don’t have idea to hurt, steal or punch u. I never felt more safety than in China…
So I enjoy more walking this small local streets with small shops and local smells than overcrowded fashion street, feeling I’m living in Shanghai, not touring
It’s so difficult not to get crazy with the food in Shanghai after 7 month of starving. Ice-cream Magnum in every shop, a lot of bakeries with bread, a lot of coffee-shops… And my budget is 35-45 Yuan per day. Do u think it’s possible to live with this budget for such a sweet coffee stuff lover as me? Well I have to save money for my Europe trip and I don’t know, if I gonna have any job next month… And I don’t want to get fat, that is waiting for me with the lack of exercises, a lot of sitting work… But still I want to try a lot of new stuff to discover more, that is in my blood – everything that’s new can attract my attention, except meet of course.
I try to eat healthy, but can’t not to eat sweet fresh cookies from bakeries in western style. Also chemical milk shakes and tea coffee with jellies I think not the best stuff, so every day I buy some fruits, as a lot of shops are specialized on it and guys working there never try to chit u as foreigner, saying higher prices. So until now I tried and absolutely love date-plum, that is here like a tomato and not such horrible like in Russia. Then papaya, that was sooooo orange and sweet and melty, then mandarins that were looking green and yellow, but inside are sooo tasty and juicy. Gonna continue to discover fruits, as I don’t know why Chinese are more crazy about apples and oranges, that are 4 times more expensive, then other fruits.
For example, I want to try instant noodles, that’s coming from China and I want to try some local noodles sets and I found Vietnamese restaurant that can be really interesting as spring rool s should be amazing…
Yesterday I went to two not so touristic temples just to have a walk (Jinan and Jade Buddha). Actually I didn’t enter the temples, as it was 20-30 Yuan each and really overcrowded and I didn’t want to go just not to understand anything, as all temples are the same for me… And the main thing I know, all that temples are reconstructed, as the old ones were completely destroyed by communists in last century. My way was through the old districts, where local 2 floors houses make districts with shops, markets, food. There u can see, like men sort alive crabs or vegetables, that would be served in the best restaurant in Pudong tonight, Of course the price of the dish would be unbelievable… Here is the biggest market and factory of China, where u can see how all clothes and shoes produced in small workshops, then u can choose – buy here with minimal price or go to shops in the center or even in other country and buy the same thing with 10 times price… Blocks with Highskapers and small traditional houses here are mixed, so sometimes u can take amazing picture like old temple with new modern high building on background or some clothes drying open air with the background glass walled business center.
For example, our complex was built instead of some old local quarter, and at the entry to compound there are some exhibition pictures showing, how was before, then destroyed old buildings and then amazing idyllic new complex with 34 floors buildings… What we should be proud of here? I can’t get, as Chinese destroy their treasure and unique atmosphere to put more people in one city, to get more money for rent in the center.
The main result of those days is I feel really alive and enjoying real life of Shanghai without running from on sight to another one. I even didn’t go to the Bund as I know it’s super overcrowded and I wouldn’t get any pleasure of walking there.
I resting and watching and fixing and writing about everything.