My first year in Shangers

I am just about to reach the end of my first year in Shanghai.  Time has flown … thus is the curse of being too busy and being too old …

Here is a highlights package of Year One.  I have themed it around the colour red.  Red is – most of the time – a colour of good fortune in China, so its often appears around the city.

Around this time of year, people sometimes wear red to bring good luck.  But, to be humble about it, it is often red underwear.  I have red longjohns that I have been wearing all winter (for warmth, not luck of course).  I was inspired by the man downstairs from our apartment, who would hang his very fetching LJs in the stairwell.  After weeks of looking, I finally found my own pair.  I am wearing them right now!

For my blog post about our stairwell (yeah, the one with dead chicken) … click here > Our new apartment (1) and Our new apartment (2)

For many Shanghainese, the last year has been all about Expo.  I got to Expo once for a couple of hours and never made it back.  My own lack of organisation reflects the importance of planning, just like the Expo theme (Better City, Better Life).

For more, click here > My first trip to Expo  or for the one about Expo’s wacky mascot Haibao > Give Praise Unto Almighty Haibao

For me, the city was the real event.  These red things spell out the name Cool Docks, a new and kinda unsuccessful development near the old city.  Cool Docks is an exemplar of the ongoing tension between economic development and historic preservation in Shanghai.  See more here > Goodbye Docks! Hello Cool! as well as this post on Xintiandi > The Fine Art of Fakery

I am always looking for special times where elements of the city compose themselves into an interesting photo.  I call them Jeffrey Smart moments and I have been compiling a gallery here > Now, that IS crayzy!

I also made other galleries devoted to funny buildings > Small Man, Big Hair and food > Fun with Food … as well, the most popular of all, Chinglish > Huh Wot?

While we haven’t done as much travelling as I would have liked, we did get to visit a few places closer to Shanghai.  We did a weekend trip to Nanjing and saw lots of amazing old buildings, including this Hall of Scarifice.  The Nanjing posts > The other great wall and > A nice place to spend eternity and > Avoiding the Tiger Summer


Suzhou is another nearby city, full of canals and old buildings.  The candles are from the main temple in the city centre.  Suzhou stuff > Canals, gardens and silkworms > It could hardly be called humble… > Suzhou Museum: it’s all-white

These hire bikes are found all over Hangzhou, which we just visited last week.  Stay tuned for future posts on this city, often referred to as “Heaven on Earth”.


And a few trips to Hong Kong … catching up with friends and family and renewing visas.  This is the pulling mechanism of the Peak Tram which gave us the amazing view included in this post > City, nature and nothing in between

And not to forget the ever-fascinating Macau which I had a bit of trouble working out … It’s like the Portugal of China! > No, no, the Disneyland of China! > No, actually, the fake Venice of Asia!

And speaking of trams and stuff, here is a shot from Line 10 of the Shanghai Metro.  The red seat is for the mobility-impaired.  I cannot talk enough about how amazing the rail system (Metro, heavy rail, fast rail) is here.  I did a few posts about transport > High Speed Rail? China Has It. My Walk to Work (2) > Another Crayzy Motorway > The Rules of the Road > but must do more.

And to finish off, here is what some workfriends and I wore to our company’s annual (Chinese New Year) dinner.  I was concerned that our interpretation of the theme “Your Chinese Best” as the uniform of the Red Army may have been risky, but everyone loved it and there was much clapping and laughing when we arrived.  Here are some of the ways I celebrated the various festive seasons > Festive celebrations / let me count the ways and > Carpet-bombing in the new year

It’s been a great year and I have enjoyed remembering all the crayzy things I have seen since I arrived.  Hope you have enjoyed hearing about it all too …

Onto Year of the Rabbit.

Thanks to everyone for your readership and for your comments over the last year.

x The Doctor.


3 Responses to My first year in Shangers

  1. Adina West says:

    Love the red theme.

    Hey, just a thought, but can you include an RSS feed subscription option in addition to the email subscription option? Means I could be regularly updated on your posts in Google Reader with all my other blogs…and maybe comment more than once every two months!!

  2. Your wish = my command! As one of my more active commentators, you have my ear.

  3. bitbot says:

    Great post (and I don’t even like red.)

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