I described the rush hours of Shanghai in the morning yesterday, not surprisingly, the rush hours in the afternoon are also interesting. Here we go.
Definition of Rush Hours in the Afternoon
The rush hours in the afternoon are not as “rush” as those in the morning. Some services and government organizations closes as early as 4:00 PM so lots of people will take buses home at that period of time. Most businesses closes at 6:00 PM.
Unlike in the morning, people tend to stay in office late. When I step out of the office today, it is 6:30 PM. It is the earliest time I left office these months. I used to leave office as late as 10:00 PM or 12:00 PM, but situation get better recently.
My job today is to get some grocery in the supermarket and bring it back. The supermarket is part of my life. It is interesting that the Hiu Jin Supermarket opens in the basement floor of Hiu Jin Shopping Mall in the Xujiahui Area. The rental fee for shops in this “golden” commercial area is extremely, but the supermarket selling grocery and fruit can still make a living. :-) It is very convenient to buy some and take the bus No. 43 in front of the shopping mall back home.
I felt a little bit embarrassed when I found I didn’t bring a penny with me when I have put all I needed into the shopping cart. I do have a credit card. The good thing is, this supermarket accepts credit card, while most others just accept RMB in cash.
I was still not at ease when I present my Bank of China Great Wall credit card to the lady when I checked out. Seldom did she see anyone to pay the 31 RMB groceries. People who buy a house at hundreds of thousands are still using cash these year. I missed the time when I was on business trip to Seattle where I can always use my credit card. Of cause there is still exception. It was when I took taxi from Redmond Microsoft campus to nearby Fairfield Inn. The Indian driver told me in his strange English when I attempted to use my ICBC international credit card: “It is small money. It is not big money….” So I know the 5% credit card charge still means a lot for him. In China, the credit card service charge is 1%. However, only large shopping malls accept credit card. That is a very big problem now. I am happy that this situation, like other problems in Shanghai, is becoming better and better. You see, even this supermarket accept my credit card.
I was happy the lady didn’t say a word about my card. Typically, they will always ask: “Do you have cash?” before trying to swap my card. The card reader works very fine after I inputted my 6-digit password. The printer gave out the shopping list and the confirmation page happily. After I signed my name on the confirmation page, my check-out process succeeded. BTW, there is a hot debate about whether the credit card without a password is safe or not in Shanghai, since people feel unsafe if they are not asked for the password. They think the signature itself is not strong enough to protect their bank account. It is true since seldom did I see too many salesperson check the signature against that on the back of the credit card. :-)
Bus No. 43
Soon, I was seated on the upper deck of the double-deck bus No. 43, heading to my home. At around 7:00 PM, the upper desk is not crowded. Only about 10 people were there while there are about 40 seats there. It may because the bus is not equipped with air conditioning. If I wait two minutes later, I can get on board an air conditioned No. 43. I just don’t want to wait and to have A/C or not is not a big deal for me. This one without A/C is cheap – only 1 RMB for the whole trip while the A/C bus costs 2 RMB. I actually don’t care about the difference – there seems no big difference for me. That is, if I choose to take bus instead of taxi, I have saved at least 12 RMB already, so why bother care about the 1 RMB?
If you want me to list the top ten bad things about the city of Shanghai, traffic and noise should be on the list. The bus No. 43 runs under the elevated highway. The noise generated by the engines of cars reflected between the road and the roof (elevated highway) and become worse. So does the dust. Thank God that there is only about 1000 meters of such painful road. Soon we turned into the Caobao Rd. – a major road connecting Caohejing and Qibao town. My home is just beside the road.
The short trip lasted for 15 minutes and when I got off the bus at Xiqin Rd. Station, it almost dark and I can see the lamp in my house. It is nice and sweet. It paid off all the 15-minute hot, noisy and dusty journey. //sign. This is the real life in the big metropolitan of Shanghai.