Shanghai, Shanghai <3

The city is lovely and super busy, people going to places all the time. If you don´t mind the fact that there is blue sky visible rarely because of the pollution but like to live in a huge city where time never stops Shanghai might be the one for you.

Shanghai is totally a city for walking, there is the subway system and busses and taxis available but in the end it comes down to the apostle’s ride. Sometimes when switching to another line on subway you feel like you walk more than one distance between stops to get to the other line. All the stations have stairs. So many stairs that you can get your thighs and glutes workout if you plan your trip carefully. Shanghai is not kind for the disabled, there are elevators in the stations and taxis available but the streets themselves are quite uneven and can be tricky if you don´t watch your steps.

Taking the subway during the rush-hour is an experience that I can not recommend during the summer. Having twenty sweaty people squeezing you is not for the feeble. There also might be pickpockets so be aware of that when using the public transportation or going to crowded areas.

Also in general the Chinese personal space is very small, about one fifth of what it is for a Finnish person, but you can always mope in the bathroom if it becomes too much.

Shopping options in Shanghai are vast. There are fake markets and shopping malls like corns in the field or something (was trying to find an appropriate saying but can recollect none). If you are a lady or a person who wears shoes made for females be aware that finding sizes bigger than European 39 can be challenging. Chinese size 250 is very close to a small 39 tho.

There is a plethora of different styles and brands readily available. The Chinese clothes will fit you if you wear a size around 32-38, if you wear a larger size just go to the tailor and get something done or use the global brands.

The fake markets are something you should never face (alone) if you are in pain or tired or just pissed at life. Walking itself takes energy because the markets are huge and haggling for the price takes patience and character. Some shopkeepers are a bit more aggressive than the others and there are many people going “Hey Miss/Sir what are you looking for watches/bags/jewellery/t-shirts etc.” while waving a picture of the products. If you have time and are curious you can go with them but they will take you to some random store in the area and usually the prices in that place are exceptionally high because the person who lured you in also gets a cut of it.

The starting prices for any product are usually outrageous and you can cut the price to 20-50% of the original. I think that best advice is to do some soul-searching and come up with an amount you want to pay for a certain item and try to find it for that price. Also asking you Chinese friends or teachers for an opinion for how much you should pay for a certain item helps. If all of the shopkeepers tell you that it is ridiculous and are not willing to entertain the thought of doing transaction for that price you should go higher.

In the end all the things you can buy have a price tag of convenience after buying something if you feel that you made a good deal then price was right. It doesn´t really matter if some else pays a little less for the item you bought, the shops will never have a shortage of customers.