Thursday, February 7, 2008
Style over Class
This morning I flew to Shanghai to celebrate Chinese New Year.
I almost didn't go because of reports that it was inundated with snow and the city was unable to handle the heaviest snowfall it's had in 17 years.
But by the time I arrived, the sun came out and there was hardly any snow on the ground save for some piles here and there on the sidewalk.
My hotel is a short walk to Nanjing Road, the major shopping strip in Shanghai that leads to the Bund.
The place was absolutely packed with holiday shoppers, but apparently it's always busy.
There's also lots of sales too making it a prime time to be here.
However, even though the Shanghainese may claim to be more sophisticated than their northern cousins in Beijing, they certainly aren't as polite.
On the subway platform, they pushed their way into the trains as others were still trying to get off.
And for some reason commuters can't buy transportation cards with stored values in them. Everyone has to line up at the ticket counter to buy one. The line moves smoothly but a man chose to butt in front of me so he could buy seven tickets.
There are automated machines as well but as this was my first time taking the subway I wanted to make sure I was getting the right ticket.
So while Shanghai has all the pizazz and glamour, it isn't quite as efficient as Beijing in some respects.
We can all learn from each other.