The Changes The Changes

Let’s see if inserting an image from a url will work.

I’ve recently started to spend a lot more time on Weibo. Weibo is the Chinese version of Twitter, just as RenRen stands in for Facebook.
It’s a good way to practice Chinese reading comprehension , an indispensable look into the Chinese news world, and a great way to become better acquainted with Shanghai. There are tons of cool things about Shanghai that can’t be found in English language websites.
I’ve started following this amazing user “摄影师陆杰” who shares great old photos of Shanghai.

Here is a picture of East Nanjing Road overlooking the Huangpu River. Virtually unrecognizable from the Shanghai we know today (no Pearl TV Tower , Lujiazui is still all farmland!), and this picture is only from 1988! It reminds me more of Hanoi and Phnom Penh than anything (especially the red and green roofed houses at the bottom/center of the photo).

Feiyue Shoes

Today I decided it was finally time to cash out my deteriorating shoes and upgrade to a new pair. I’d heard of the brand Feiyue and a small store which has them is just a 5 minute walk from my place so I headed on over after work. I’d known that Feiyue was a locally produced Shanghai shoe and no reason not to represent the home town with some styling shoes.

I got curious about the history of them and checked it out as soon as I could hop online. These shoes were first produced in Shanghai in the 1920’s and have been going store ever since. In 1963 they set became the best-selling shoes in Shanghai. Ever since they have been gaining more and more popularity. Apparently they are renowned with kung fu monks and soccer players throughout China. They are known for their good quality , low prices , and are comfortable to wear while being active.

Kung Fu clubs outside of China started to import the shoes for their members and the international world started to take notice. Depending on the sources looked at a French company either bought licensing rights for distribution outside of China or they started to distributed unlicensed version of the shoe to international markets.

Looking at the French website they were asking prices of 50 ($62) Euro for a pair. I just bought mine for 98 rmb ( 12 Euro) or $15 USD for my American friends. While this may seem like a great deal I read online that 10 years ago a pair was running from 20-30 rmb . The Chinese distributors took notice of how much cash the shoes were fetching out of China and decided to play up the prices a bit. Oh well , I still think they are cool.

I’ve seen stores stocking Feiyue (which in Chinese means flying forward) throughout Shanghai but only know the address of the one near my house , if anyone is looking for a pair of cool shoes or custom fixed gear bike equipment head on over to  62 JianGuo Xi Lu !