Sunday, August 26, 2012
After a twelve hour flight I landed in Shanghai's Pudong International Airport on a Wednesday afternoon, very tired and in serious need of a shower. It had taken three days to get there due to a very long layover in Vancouver Canada, where I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Vancouver has a large Chinese population which allowed me to practice a little more Chinese. I walked in a daze through baggage claim and customs and met up with my fellow classmates gathered in an island made up of luggage and sleepy, but enthusiastic introductions. We boarded the bus to Fudan University and I got my first impression of driving in China. Now I am from New York and have driven many times in the city, so I have seen my share of aggressive and crazy driving but none of my past experiences compare to the level of crazy driving that I have witnessed everyday in Shanghai. The first taxi ride I took through the streets of Shanghai felt as if I was an actor in an action movie, swerving in and out of ongoing lanes of traffic, dogging pedestrians and scooters alike, all the while a Chinese version of Taylor Swift's "Love Story" blaring through the taxi's radio acting as theme music to this bizarre voyage to Héngshān Lù 衡山路 a popular bar district. Getting around in China is an experience whether one is trying to cross the street, which is quite harrowing, or in a vehicle.
During the bus ride to Fudan University I also was astonished by the sheer amount of construction that was occurring in the city. Everywhere I looked a building was either being torn down or built up, Shanghai is definitely a growing city. Anyway on the subject of construction during my second day in Shanghai I visited the Bund with my classmates. The Bund is the site of the former British concession, spheres of influence, in Shanghai and if you have ever seen a picture of shanghai’s skyline it is most likely the site of that picture. The bund is the background picture of this blog. The Bund was a nice place to visit but so far I have found the former French concession to be much more exciting, especially for night life.
The area where I am living near Fudan University is very interesting, has great food, and most importantly easy access to the subway, the subway system in Shanghai puts the one in New York City to shame. It has been a very interesting first week. I have a lot to look forward too with classes starting tomorrow and an exciting weekend ahead.
So until next time