Shanghaiist Killin’ It!

http://shanghaiist.com/2013/01/22/shanghai_laowai_emily_ford_deigns_t.php – Shanghaiist take
http://www.shanghaidaily.com/nsp/Feature/2013/01/21/Enough%2Blaowai%2Bliving%2BIts%2Btime%2Bto%2Bgo%2Blocal%2Bin%2BShanghai/ – original article

Oh my God! Can’t stop laughing. This lady is in an absolutely expat bubble and Shanghaiist is happy to make fun of her.
Quoted is the lady, non-quoted is Shanghaiist

Thank you Shanghaiist!

Shanghai laowai Emily Ford deigns to live like a local for the day

Reading Emily Ford’s latest column in the Shanghai Daily made me picture a deeply self-satisfied, foreigner hating editor who has succeeded in getting a highly qualified writer (Ford is a former Times reporter) to inadvertently confirm every negative stereotype people have of overprivileged, naive laowai living in an expat world of their own.

“I’m at home watching the BBC, eating a Marks & Spencer’s sandwich, when it dawns on me that I may not be living a particularly authentic Chinese life.”

Never mind the fact that I’m sure one could find an awful lot of Chinese people who watch the BBC and shop at Marks & Spencer, I suppose it’s admirable that Ms Ford wants to get more in touch with an “authentic” Chinese lifestyle. Ford, who has been living in Shanghai for over six months, has apparently never stepped outside the expat bubble that she now decries.

“Another drawback of living in laowai land is that it is vastly more expensive, from yuppy cocktail bars to overpriced salad chains and markets running two-tier pricing systems, one for Chinese and one for foreigners. Even taxi drivers sometimes suggest I pay more, on the basis that I am European, and therefore rich. “Enough laowai living,” I think. “It’s time to go local.””

Taxi drivers suggest you pay more on the basis that you got a damn taxi to go 200m in a city with an extensive subway network, and are therefore rich.

“At lunch, I eschew the fancy Western bakery and go to the convenience store instead. What look like dumplings and unidentifiable things on sticks float in little pots of bubbling, brownish-colored liquid. It occurs to me that I would not know how to ask for convenience store food even in English.”

OMG you guys! Chinese food is so weird!

“Emboldened, I decide to take the bus home after work. I have never seen a foreigner on a bus in Shanghai before, partly because taxis are so cheap and also because the timetables are written exclusively in Chinese. “This is the real test,” I think. “This is when you know you’re local.””

Obviously foreigners, who are incapable of reading Chinese or even making such basic preparations as writing their destination down on a piece of paper to check against a timetable or checking a route online beforehand, never get the bus. Ford is a pioneer, a modern day Marco Polo, setting forth on a grand adventure alongside the strange and peculiar natives. Never mind the fact that many buses in China (unlike in Europe) display route maps inside them, have digital displays showing the next stop, and announce the name of the stop when they arrive.

“Several buses pass in the 10 minutes I spend squinting at the timetable. Eventually, I spot two characters which I am fairly sure from part of my address. I catch passers-by looking at me with what I assume must be unadulterated admiration. “Yes that’s right, I’m a foreigner,” I think proudly. “And I’m taking the bus.””

That’s right lowly Chinese plebeians, I, Emily Ford, am taking the bus. Worship me, for I am your new foreign god.

My comments – convenient store food? Dude, eat local and go to a frickin’ Chinese restaurant. Convenient store food in China is not good. It’s shit that has been shitting around for hours, that wasn’t good to begin with. While true that when I ride a bus , I’ve never seen another foreigner on one, her odd comments on catching unadulterated admiration are so whack. Chinese think we are weird if we ride a bus, they don’t admire it at all! Learn to read some Chinese and you won’t have to stare at the timetable for 10mins! HAHAHA

Chinglish Shirts – Always Be Ready

It is vital to always have a camera ready and at hand in China . Cell phone cameras are even better to have in order to obscure your photo taking . This is not to be a perv and creep around , but to capture the sheer genius of Chinglish shirts. Chinese people wear obscene shirts with twisted messages on them , totally oblivious to the meaning of the English words , all the time. You must be ready!

Alas , today , I was not ready . I cannot show you a snapshot of the girl who walked by me wearing an “Abortion Clinic Staff” t-shirt. I am shamed.

To make up for it , I will show you a picture my better prepared friend , Steve , took in Taiwan.

Freedom (sic) Renegaes
Wacko Mania
Guilty Panties

It starts out innocently enough , with a silly typo and a cool sounding “Freedom Renegaes”

Wacko Mania , nice! This girl is totally hip!

Before completely devolving into the bizarre “Guilty Panties”

WHOA!

Where were they going with this one?

Happy Halloween!

Chinglish Change Bags For A BOSS

Found in Nanjing’s Presidential Palace but go to any touristy place in Shanghai and you will find things like this.

No words needed. JUST BUY!

Shanghai Chinglish Park Rules

Park Rules and Regulations of Shanghai Municipality
According to Shanghai Municipal Park Administration Rules, Park visitors should obey the following provisions:
   1. Comply with the Park’s opening and closing time. For entering money-charge Park, the visitor should buy ticket or have relevant voucher. Child under 1.2 m height and people with mental disabilities should not be allowed to enter the Park without accompanies.
   2. Observe the “Seven Don’ts” civilized norms and Citizen moral standards. Don’t piss or paste randomly, neither smear and score, nor remove or destroy the Park’s facilities or equipment. Don’t bare arms and lie down randomly, neither wash nor dry clothes, nor glean and collect scraps or beg in the Park. Don’t divert or swim in the Park’s rivers or lakes. Don’t play ball games or fly kites (except in designated areas).。
   3. Don’t befool, scare or catch birds, crickets, fishes or shrimps (except operational items), cicadas etc.. Without permission, visitor should not bring any kind of animals into the Park. Don’t destroy woods and affect flowers growth carelessly. Don’t pluck or excavate fruits, seeds, clay or drag fro water plants.
   4. Don’t bring guns, ammunition, flammables, explosives and other dangerous items into the Park. Don’t set off crackers, BBQ, encamp in the Park (except in the designated areas).
   5. The visitor’s behavior should not affect other visitors’ activities in the Park. All team activities must follow relevant management department’s regulations. Without permission, don’t make public speck, congregation, donation and other activities. Don’t practice feudalism activities, gambling and other activities expressively forbidden by laws and regulations. Without permission, don’t set up stands, hawk, practice medicine or distribute advertising and publicity materials.
   6. Without permission, all types of vehicles are not allowed to enter the Park (except the wheelchairs for the disabled). When being allowed to enter the Park, the vehicles should be driven very slowly in the Park.
Shanghai Landscape Administration Bureau
This Ordinance shall be promulgated and come into force on Feb. 10th, 2002.

This was gleamed directly from the Shanghai Binjiang Forest Park website and not a word was changed.

Remember it’s very important not to befool any animals or practice feudalism activities!

SheShan’s Awesomely Insulting Chinglish

Due to insultingly slow internet speeds and the deplorable condition of my computer at work – you know the kind of computer where the mere art of opening more than one tab to do some research results in mind-numbing , brain crippling freezes , crashes, and blue screens of death?- , in lieu of the SheShan (Shanghai’s “Mountain”) trip , I will be presenting SheShan’s Awesomely Insulting Chinglish.

“The guardian of minor , moron, the deaf and mute, or the psychopath …” blah blah blah something to the effect of don’t light or play with fires.

DAMN SON. What started out pretty innocently with “Guardian of minor” brutally turned to “moron” before subsiding to “deaf and mute” , and then lurching full force back into the attack with “psycopath” .

Please if you have a psychopath in your care , I strongly advise into bringing them into public places. If you must bring them into public places then by all means keep them as far away from fire as possible (also pointy things and things that go boom boom are out-of-bounds).

Apparently if you happen to know a moron, be sure to keep them safe as well! HAHAHA.

Also sign makers do please take care to not indiscriminately lump together deaf, mute , children , along with morons and psychopaths.

A Birthday Trip to the Beach

I’ve been pretty lucky to be only 24 and to have had birthdays in so many different places. 16 in San Francisco , 19 in London , 22 in Shanghai , 23 in Laos , 24 in Shanghai again. I’m pretty sure there have been some other birthdays around places in the U.S.A but its been lost to the mists of time.

This year in Shanghai I wanted a beach. And a beach I would get! Hardily scouring the internet for clues, I decided on Changxing island. Jinshan beach was last week. I wanted a new adventure. There is quite a dearth of English language information available on Shanghai’s northern islands but I found a site that was promoting some good beaches with pictures of smiley happy people enjoying the sun. Sounds good, right? I ignored the more commonly gone to island (Chongming Island) that actually has some articles (in English *gasp*) on it, and a developed infrastructure in favor of the wildcard Changxing.

Let’s Go!

Maybe the first warning indicator was waiting for the island suburban bus line outside of the Science and Technology Museum in Pudong. Pretty much everyone was staring at the two white people waiting for the bus. I imagine much of the conversation involved “What the hell are these two idiots thinking?!?” “What could they possibly be doing in this line?” It’s gotta be a mistake , I tell ya!”

I was pretty excited at this point. I’ve been meaning to visit the islands for a long time now. It’s the only district of Shanghai I haven’t been to yet. I’m a nerd like that. Gotta collect em’ all!

Before October 31st , 2009 , the islands were only accessible via ferry. Now a 25.5 km (15.8 mi) tunnel bridge complex exists. Take the 8.9 kilometer (5.5 mi) tunnel from Shanghai’s Pudong district to Southern Changxing island and then bridge over to Chongming. Eventually the city plans to connect the islands into the metro system. As one can imagine , the opening of the tunnel and bridge have jump started developments on the islands. This all fit into my imaginings of the new beach resorts I had seen on the internet.

Emerging from the tunnel onto land, we were greeted by towering apartment construction zones and other signs of development. As the bus pulled into the station we greeted by another beast -touts. Holy Guacamole! The bus hadn’t even opened the doors yet and people were slamming into the sides of the bus , trying to shout through the closed windows , offering the “best” price for wherever it was you wanted to go on the island. If you aren’t used to this kind of thing it can be extremely intimidating. Add the fact that we were foreigners and the tout’s excitement level were up tenfold.

We found a guy who said he knew where the beach was and would take us there for 20rmb. We hop in his car and we speed off in search of our destination. By speed , I really do mean speed. This guy was laying on the horn and the gas pedal the entirety of our trip. Seeing as we didn’t crash, I’d say the trip was worth the 20rmb of pure adrenaline we had flowing through our veins.

We passed through a pleasant shaded street lined with large pine trees and people fishing in a street next to the road. We emerged from the wooded zone out into a small street with a stunning vista of … huh The Bridge to Chongming Island?? This was warning sign number 2. Um ok , interesting location of the beach but whatever. Look at the architecture of that bridge! One helluva bridge!

We get dropped and and go over to the wall separating the road from the beach and we are rewarded with a rocky coastline , brown muddy water , and not a speck of sand in sight.

“Driver!” “This can’t be!” “Where is the beach??”

“Trust me , this is it.” “It’s like this all over the island.” “Well ,call me when you want to be picked up!” *speeds away*

“Oh hell guys! , please don’t hate me!” “The net said there were beaches here!”

Off the distance we see a little break wall stretching out into the water and it looks like people are in the water.

“It’s gotta be over there!” Says I , hope pretty much drained out.

We get to the break wall and indeed there are a good 12 or so people playing in the water. This is where the final warning sign comes , in the form of a warning sign.

“Hmm , the Chinese characters here say “Dangerous , do not go swimming in the water”. “Screw it , it looks like they are having fun and we came all this way”.

We hop down the wall and I step onto the muddy surface next to the break wall and immediately feel vindicated , “It’s not mud!” It’s sand!”

After about 10 minutes of wading in the water , being careful not to go past knee deep we decide that perhaps the trip is salveagable if the driver will take us across the bridge to Chongming Island and we can chill out at the national forest park or the wetlands park there.

My girlfriend calls the driver and hearing her response to his price , “What! You want how much just to go over a bridge?!?!” we scrap the plan and hightail it back to the bus station and make a beeline back to the comforts of the city.

Back at home , I re-checked that Changxing Island tourism website and after 15 minutes finally found the info I was looking for – Changxing Island , Dalian (Dalian being a northern Chinese city) – this little nugget of information being conveniently hidden in tiny print in the corner . Great.
To wrap things up for everybody :

1. Don’t go to Changxing Island , just don’t.
2. Aimee and Laura , you gals are awesome! Lesser folk would have murdered me for much less.
3. Chinese internet sites aren’t the best designed. Be careful everyone or you may end up like me!

Next time , follow my misadventures as I searches for fun places!