Picture in Shanghai


Building along the Nanjing Road

Very depressed these days. Just want to share a picture I randomly took on the street Monday morning.

BTW, late Happy Hollyween to people who celebrate this holiday!

48 thoughts on “Picture in Shanghai

  1. Just wondering what’s on your mind when you said the “Old Shanghai” is “very depressed”!? I guess they (i.e. the Shanghainese) must have long assimilated you into one of them – which are famous for 排外 (Chinese exclusion, if you will) but happily embrace all byproducts of the Western culture.

    Your recent postings (actually the lack of) prove this point. It’s quite depressing not having a dedicated post to show your patriotism and significance about the National Day (October 1), especially when you had a full week off because of this . Worse yet, it’s beyond imagination that there’s no mention of the great success of Shenzhou 6.

    There are 365 days in a year and you can talk about KFC, Starbucks, and what have you on any day but where were you during the Shenzhou “events”, which most Chinese (may I say in particular the Beijinger and 华侨) would be extremely proud of this achievement. Don’t you think these events at least worth a passing mention?

  2. Above comments, I am not sure.

    Let say ,do you expect an American who is writing the similar blog to mention something on July 4?

    it is just a personal blog, he can write what he is interested, not a website running by some agency.

  3. Oncerest,

    Of course you would expect the “average” American to write something about July 4 and they only get a 3-day long weekend vs one full week for the China National Day!!!

    Sure, this project begun as a personal blog but with an intention to show the West what the East is. Granted, he is Chinese (can’t change this FACT no matter how “Americanized” he has become!), living in one of the most lively cities in China, don’t you think the National Day and ESPECIALLY the Shenzhou success deserve some attention?

    If not, this just validates the “rumor” that the Shanghainese are famous for 排外 and numb to events that give China their rising national pride!!!

  4. farawaypanda,

    I think it’s really inappropriate of you to make such irresponsible comments about Jianshuo and his blog. This is not a newspaper and Jianshuo doesn’t have any responsibility to update any common events that mass media have poured so much attention already. And I don’t expect to read anything that I can easily read from other media sources. From this site, many readers and I are expecting to read Jianshuo’s unique comments. I am perfectly happy not to read another word about some major events that have been commented to the extreme on regular medias. This is a blog that many readers can find everyday life topics about China and especially Shanghai. If you expect to see any ultra-nationalism or patriotism sentiment that you may want to fill your void, I suggest that you find somewhere else.

  5. You wrote: “Of course you would expect the “average” American to write something about July 4 and they only get a 3-day long weekend vs one full week for the China National Day!!!”

    The above comments are complete nonsense. I live in the US for more than 20 years. I seldom see American bloggers or average people write a lot to comment on July 4th. I did see the movie “Independance Day” which deliberately portrayed a destroyed state of union aired to movie theatres everywhere couple of years ago on 4th of July. This is truly the outcome of American democracy, how assimilated are you into American culture to see that?

    You wrote: “I guess they (i.e. the Shanghainese) must have long assimilated you into one of them – which are famous for 排外 (Chinese exclusion, if you will)…”

    I think you were trying to stir up narrow regionalist sentiment between Shanghainese and Jianshuo Wang by making such inappropriate comments.

  6. Farawaypanda, I don’t think that you live in China. Am I right ?

    I live in Shanghai.

    The “China Man in Space” project is only a question of how many money the government pulls out of the pocket – practically all technology involved are of russian origin, just purchased for a negotiated price. Not much invented by the chinese themselves.

    So, no reason to be THAT proud, huh ?

    By the way, I think the money in China would be better spend to help poor people first instead of sending them into space.

    Stop putting so many money in military and rockets. Rise the taxes paid by rich people and improve social security for the poor. That will give more national peace in the future.

    Well, some of my relatives here actually DIED because they couldn’t afford to go to hospital.

    I helped of course, but it was too late… :-( 46 years old, and dead because “no money, no treatment”.

    About National Holiday – many people (who are able to do so) goes OUT of China to avoid the rush.

    Personally I plan my vacations in these holidays, and order airplane tickets in advance.

    And even the chinese have 7 days including a weekend, they have to work in a full weekend before or after, so in fact they have only 3 days off.

    (This is of course for people working monday to friday.)

    The National Day was declared by a tiny guy in Beijing 56 years ago.

    But today apparently not all in China are happy about his “friends”

    and the way they are doing things.

    So actually, not all celebrates the National Day.

  7. Maybe Jianshuo had some bad China days… Living in Shanghai is very unpredictable – you have good days and you have bad days.

    Just like the air quality – some days the sky is blue and clear, some days the smog is really heavy.

    I like Jianshuo’s blog – he is a very true and passionate person.

  8. carsten,

    Yes, money, Money, and MORE MONEY (sounds very much like a “classical” Shanghainese!). Do you really think the distribuion of money or the nation’s wealth alone would solve the poor men’s problems in China (or in any other places for that matter)? If so, taking an Economics class or two would hopefully improve your naive thinking… If it were really that easy, Bush would have gotten a Nobel Prize in Economics by now!

    And do you really believe that only China has problems with rich people getting richer and poor men getting poorer? Many of the developed and more “sophisticated worlds” like Canada and US probably have worse social problems than China’s now… That’s why they are worried about job outsourcing and China’s rise up as a Superpower…

  9. Just relax, peace is expected here, do not always argue about things which you think to be right, each one has his own angle of watching this world.

  10. Farawaypanda,

    At least in the US and Canada none of their people I think are dying of hunger and as Carsten mentioned above, lack or worst absence of funds for hospitalization purposes. I think if you want to discuss something of your desires then why not create your own blog and keep your ass out of here, stupid! You discuss there on your blog what your ass damn cares, period! Don’t impose your selfish desires on others, coz I think that’s just manifest you’re sourgraping. And although you think money is not the solution to a problem, but may I remind you not to forget the saying, 錢不是萬能但沒有錢萬萬不能!

  11. farawaypanda

    Jianshuo has done a wonderful job – for no pay – in the past few years keeping many, many readers, in and outside China, informed and enlightened in a light-hearted manner about Shanghai-related (and other) matters.

    He seems to be under stress from work these days. At the very least, any decent and civilized individual should pick another time to whip up antagonism… Fair comment, farawaypanda? :)

  12. I think farawaypanda has prejudice against Shanghainese. He repeatedly ridiculed Shanghainese as “money, money” and “discriminating other people”. How many times did he visit Shanghai and how much he really understand Shanghai’s culture? He wrote these silly pieces to vent his personal frustration, one sort or another, against Shanghai. He sounded like a long march veteran who never visited Shanghai for the last 30 years. I guess he has more problems to fix himself.

  13. From what sounded like, Farawaypanda currently lives in US or Canada, but he has a very pigeon holed view toward Shanghai, China that is making him frustrated. I met this kinds of guys a lot in the US. They don’t socialize with Americans, they locked up in their small circle of friends day-dreaming the kind of China they wish to be. Talking about assimilation into US mainstream life? they have achieved nothing. And I find these kinds of guy are not very successful in their careers either. Probably they missed many opportunities in the US, getting very frustrated and wish for a Chinese miracle to save their butts. Obviously, he will not be able to find such miracle to cure his personal issue in this board. Jian Shuo Wang, keep on the good jobs, don’t let these social parasites to let you down. And most importantly, be proud to be a Shanghainese with true open heartedness and spirit of pragmatism.


  14. farawaypanda,

    I do admire your patriotism and sentimental feeling towards your motherland even when you are abroad.

    Last week I stumbled into Wendy’s blog and discovered very interesting subject titled ‘sharing the truth on picture’ and the content is very sad.


    The whole question can be narrowed down to one word – POVERTY. The communist define the term as it is created by the exploitation of the capitalism and the ruling classes, while the capitalism define the same as uneven distribution of resource among people, which version do you pick to reflect the truth stand of China to-day?

  15. farawaypanda having patriotism? Yeah, you give him too much. The reality is more like this, due to his out-of-date and ideological way of thinking, he is having a hard time assimilating himself into the society (American or Canadian) he has to seek a livelihood from. From the isolation resulted from this failure, he is living in a make-believe patriotic sentiment despite the fact that he is probably not officially a Chinese citizen from his passport. He is creating this new sense of patriotism into himself to hopefully shield him from his real predicament, imagine this as an escape. This psychological phenomenon describes why so many overseas ex-Chinese seem to be more “patriotic” and judgemental. Another way to say it: Reverse cultural shock.

  16. Overseas Chinese are looked as ‘loser’ or ‘international MINGONG in eye of ‘Successful’ local Chinese, and they are reciprocal ‘sour-grape’ in each other’s eye. I’ve seen ‘successful’ local Chinese, how they are humiliating overseas Chinese regardless whether they are interfering with each other. And here is just another example, no surprise!

  17. Look like you guys got it all wrong and each of you just derived whatever conculsions or stereotypes you think it’s right or want from the various comments! AND I was not attacking Jian Shuo or Shanghainese in particular. Even though it’s a personal blog, don’t you think it was disappointing to not see some notes about the National Day and the Shenzhou events? Don’t you think those events are important to the growth of the Chinese society? That’s was all in my original post! You guys are reading and DREAMING way TOO MUCH!

    And what makes you think the overseas Chinese would be “losers” when just about anyone from the Mainland would want to exit the country and many would try EVERYTHING they can including risking their lives? How many times have you heard of ships full of Mainland Chinese captured in the US, Europe, and even more obscure places in Latin America this year?

    If you are such a good psychologist, can you explain why the “Old Shanghai” would make one “depressing”?

  18. I think that Shanghaise are materialistic. This is definitely true. They discriminate more based on ECONOMIC CLASS than anything else.

    But, the phenomenon isn’t just in Shanghai, it’s spreading everywhere in China, where money is more important than morality, where women throw themselves at foreigners and hating their own kind. That was the impression i got when I visited China in May of this year.

    Me and my wife (both ethnic Chinese) dress as what we would do in the US, casually, went shoppin gin Shanghai one day. You should see the type of uppitiness from some of the SERVICE people. We’re basically upper-middle class, own our own home, etc. in the US. I guess we just don’t wear some stupid business suit when we go on vacation, unlike most mainlanders. Anyway, she heard of some shop that makes good traditional chinese dress on Nanjing road and went into the Peace Hotel for directions. The lady in there was soooo rude — it’s funny, because she’s really nice to the white guys and gals there, just not us. She even tried to talk to us in her BROKEN-ASS English in order to impress us, and my wife just reply back in English back to her face.

    The store isn’t much better, until we spend $100 USD on a single dress. Then you see them FLOCKING toward servicing us – i.e. materialistic.

    It’s pretty pathetic that Shanghai will assume that just because you’re a white guy, you’re rich, but when an ethnic overseas Chinese come back, they’re automatically assumed to be poor. Here’s a hint — most of teh white guys who teach English in China are POOR ASSES when they get back to the US — they’re only advantange is the cost of living adjustments. And, most of them are extremely conservative and would love to see China fall onto its ass and engage in civil war (they’re also proud supporters of Japan).

    Patriotism in China? I see none, i just see a bunch of whores thinking foreigners are better than their own. It’s the sad truth.

    However, unlike the previou poster, i’ll say that the Chinese space program is something to be proud of. To be sure, the design of the original space craft was based on an older Soviet design — however, every space expert agreed that the design was heavily modified and changed and you really cna’t say it’s just another Russian copy. And most if not all of the major components are manufactured in China. Sure, it’s late, but only 3 countries in the world have sent people to the space on their own – and let’s not forget that the entire US shuttle fleet is GROUNDED right now. Unlike the US, i don’t think China will stop its man-space flight program.

    As far as the poor goes — there have always been a wide gap between rich and poor in China — the solution isn’t economic re-distribution, but to enforce a fair and equitable treatment of the poor in terms of LEGAL and LAW and ORDER, something for which China lacks. And if this isn’t addressed soon, all the Shanghaise are gonna suffer big time when the next revolution occurs. If CHina doesn’t address it’s lack of law and order (it’s legal system is about who has politcal power or money, not about justice), there will be another revolution and civil war.

  19. @annick, truth is that most senior management positions in MNCs are still filled by ‘losers’, whereas ‘successful’ locals have a hard time moving into this group.

  20. ‘successful’ locals are those who have no idea what changes mean;

    ‘successful’ locals are those who only know how to work hard but not work smart;

    ‘successful’ locals are those who like to show off their broken English whenever possible;

    ‘successful’ locals are those who have no sense of humor and are extremely defensive.

    ‘successful’ locals are boring people, period.

  21. See, from all the comments, it proves Wangjianshuo doesn’t post any well known news on his blog is correct choice. And also, I think it is a style of Shanghainese blog, a guy in Beijing may blog very differently.

  22. stephen,

    Don’t sad for poor Anhui province countryside.

    I come from Anhui province,rich man is not happy man.

    the poor countryside is problem in china.


  23. “If you are such a good psychologist, can you explain why the “Old Shanghai” would make one “depressing”?”

    When did Jian Shuo say that? You must have cooked it up yourself.

    Not all overseas Chinese are losers. But guys like you trying to turn a private blog into front pages of People’s Daily do have “loser mentality”. If this blog is customarily filled up with boring People’s Daily style commentaries on National day, I guess it won’t be voted as one of the top ten bloggs in China. Besides, please go back to read your own posts again, it takes no rocket scientist to see your obvious attempt to instigate regionalistic sentiment among Shanghainese and non-Shanghainese. You are wrong, symbolic events like National days are not important to the growth of China. There was a National Day in 1966, did it help China grow better then? What’s important is pragmatism that the spirit of Shanghai culture is bringing about, not symbolic and castle in the sky patriotism.

  24. Oncerest,

    Exactly, Jian Shuo Wang’s blog being voted one of the best blogs by American media is no coincidence. It was voted the best because it is mostly aligning itself to the pragmatic spirit of true blogging which is considered a standard in the global society. We from the west comes to love it because of its simplicity, sincerity and out-of-box thinking. The worst night mare would be to come here one morning and find that it’s saying the same thing as published in People’s Daily. Unfortunately, some guys who’s been brain washed by 50 years extreme leftist rule didn’t understand that.

  25. Tony, what you have experienced is very true in China, even some other asian countries. Generally, service people assume white are rich and generous, and it is a correct assumption based on their everyday experience. So they are willing to serve with good spirit. For Asian people, you have to dress up well, give service people the first impression that you are rich :) otherwise, they assume you are not rich, and not worthy to serve well. Not just in Shanghai, but Shanghai is more obivious on this aspect.

  26. Tony,

    Whatever happened to you, in my eyes, they are very common. And this should not be anything that you should find unexpected. If you dress poorly, no matter where you are in Asia, be it in Tokyo, in Singapore or in Hong Kong, you would expect some less than ideal services. What you are decribing is more a culture difference issue than a real Shanghai or China problem. In Asian culture, dressing up is utmost important. In Shanghai, dressing up has become a necessity. To many people there, dressing up is sometimes more important than anything else. I live in the States for 20 years. During my first visit back to Shanghai, I also ran into similar situations and made lots of complaints, just like you. Now, I feel I am supposed to dress better if I have to attend a public meeting or go shopping in Asian countries. The service personel in a typical Asian shop has no way to tell if you are American or a local Chinese. All they see is your Asian face. Matter of factly, they will treat you no different from the way they treat the rest of local Chinese. If you happen to not follow the rule, then you have to expect some sub par services being rendered upon you. You can blame nobody.

  27. Oncerest,

    I don’t think there exists significant difference no matter where the blogger lives in china.

    I seldom saw my friend wrote national day’s news or shen6’s on their blog. these news have occupied the mass media. I guess blogger would like to share some personal and easy topic. By contrast, Fen Qing would rather argue with others on bbs or public forum.

  28. BJ and SH are 2 biggest and most dynamic cities with strong culture background. The culture backgrounds are very different. So I am sure if the blogger write what they feel, there is a difference. I am not saying which is better, but they are unique

  29. Tony

    I find it quite funny how judgemental you are of people living in your `old’ country when you and your wife obviously couldn’t get out of the country fast enough. You have a very narrow view of the world and you paint with a very wide brush.

    You also call the people of your `old’ country whores who think foreigners are better. Well, you are the one who sold out and moved to a foreign country – for what purpose? Better opportunities? More money? Aren’t you the whore in this context?

    You also suggest that every `white guy’ who teaches English in China wants to see a civil war in China and they support Japan! What are you talking about?

    Finally, you have the audacity to say that the Shanghainese are materialistic and discriminate about class – then in the next paragraph you talk about how you are `Upper Middle Class’ own your own home in the US and went to spend $100 on a dress! Can you say `Hypocritical’?

    Take a look at your own attitude before critisicing others. Maybe the lady was rude to you because she was sick of the attitude some expatriated American Chinese like you have.

    I am an expat living in Shanghai, I love the people here. They have a vibrance and enthusiam about improving their life that many people don’t have. I can smile and laugh with the people, even when they are focusing on making money (like trying to sell me something). Making money is what people all around the world do. Money provides a lifestyle and better living standards, this is a relatively new experience here, and people in China are wanting to catch up on what they have missed out on over the previous 60 years. So please don’t be so judgemental on people that you don’t know whilst you sit in your nice Upper Middle Class house in the US where all the struggle of trying to establish good living standards by the people was done long before you got there.

    Ps. I know I’m not Chinese, so I may get treated differently, however my girlfriend is Chinese, and I experience a lot through her. And no Tony she is not a `whore’ that threw herself at me. We met in Sydney, and I in fact pursued her for some time. We decided to move to Shanghai for a few years so I could be exposed to the culture. I am not afraid of living here – why are you?

  30. I heard many people saying now Chinese are too focus on making money, and more and more. It is not bad, but government and society should pay attension, because this attitude can have very unstable effects too. Small effects can be unhappy, stressed, unsatisfied.

  31. @Tony,

    The prelude of revolution which is civil unrest is already happening at the door step of Shanghai.

    Last july, I was encountered by a large group of vigilante taxi drivers outside Longyuan station who were unilaterally asking for higher than normal fare despite the police was looking on, the scale was so big and they controlled the entire outbound lane, this constitutes open defiance of the authority and the society.

    May be these are the ‘loser’ of the rat race, but I cannot discount the possibility such defiance can develop into full scale civil conflict like Frence is facing to-day.

  32. Is this “one of the best blogs”? Never say “yes”too fast! To my knowledge, there are many better Shanghai blogs (in English) . Here, I just want to mention one undated on a daily basis:


    Seven Castles (A Shanghai blog featuring news and views of great interest)

  33. Yoyo;

    see what I get

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  34. Ha, ha, everyone can claim they have a best blog, but ultimately the true measures to test is user traffic.

  35. Anyhow, the chinese are not all THAT selfish and ignorant. The people will not accept the social difficulties for long in China. After the first few hundred millions gets more financially foundated, they will begin to think of helping other chinese too. Just wait 5-10 years.

    However, the CCP (with only 5% of the people as members, and decreasing) should already now begin to think of a very radical change of the social system before it’s too late.

    “High flying – deep falling”.

  36. Is the building in the photo with the large circular dome Radisson Shanghai New World Hotel?

  37. Your commentaries and those of others seem to be quite interesting. I hope to read all of your storeis and the notes on others when I have more time. If anyone has the time to take a picture of the house (if it is no longer exiistant, then the site) in which we last lived in in Shanghai it would please me immensely. I hope to return/visit Shanghai next year.

  38. “Ha, ha, everyone can claim they have a best blog, but ultimately the true measures to test is user traffic.”

    No, that shows what most people are looking at. It will not show “best” as that is opinion based – and the “best” things are not necessarily the most popular.

    This site has articles entitled “Pu Dong Starbucks is Nice”. Seriously.

    If that is the “best” then I am sure no one else can compete with it.

    This site is written by a simpleton, for simpletons. There are many simpletons in the world, thus the traffic.

    Again, a site with articles saying “I saw a lovely cat today”, and then having 34 comments saying “yes what a lovely cat!” really means it’s the “best”. right.

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