Hello Shanghai

So ends my tour today now that I’m at a hotel in Shanghai. It’s been an interesting 7 days to say the least. I’ve seen various parts of China and have gained a bit more insight of this country. At the moment, I almost feel as though I am home. Being that both my parents are from Shanghai, it is almost as if Shanghai should be home. However, it isn’t since my heart belongs to Vancouver. I seem to be a bit of an oddity over here as I have a Western accent in my Mandarin but I am able to speak the Shanghai dialect. It seems to confuse people (at least the ones I’ve talked to so far) and it surprises them when I tell them I’m from Canada. The surprise is that I speak the Shanghai dialect despite being CBC (Chinese born Canadian). Even here in Shanghai, many kids are not able to speak it.

I would like to go on one of these tours again, but next time with friends; not on my own. These tours allow for one to just totally not care about the trip and just do what you are told (this is quite stress free). I’ve survived 7 days so far, thus another 46 or so to go. I may not call Shanghai home home, but it is home for the next 46 days. It’s just too bad I had to start the next 46 days with really bad mosquito bites (I’m allergic to mosquitos as after I get bitten I usually swell up to epic proportions).

Shanghai is pretty smoggy, I’m not gonna lie. It’s big too; I don’t think I’ll be able to explore it in its entirety so I’m going to have to get a map and pick and choose certain areas. It’ll also all depend on where I’ll be staying and access to public transit. Hopefully I’ll be able to produce some photos that will show what Shanghai looks like realistically from the viewpoint of a local (not that I am). I think this will give me a chance to do street photography. I’ve already taken a few shots at it and the results have been pretty good. Shanghai (and China in general) is good when it’s good, and bad when it’s bad. I hope I shall be able to capture a mixture of the two in one photo at some point; that one photo shall be my goal. I don’t know what it will look like nor will I know how I’m going to go about getting that shot. Here goes nothing!

The main benefit of this trip has been the learning of new things and the view of old sights with a new perspective. I had my photo taken by some random guy on the street earlier today. Initially our eyes met and sparks of magic occurred. No, that’s a lie. Our eyes met and then he quickly walked past me and I continued to watch where he was going. Suddenly, he turned abruptly and took a photo of me. I was surprised and shocked. Not at the fact he took my photo that way, but the fact that I was neither offended nor did I have time to have a reaction before he disappeared. I know what I’m doing for my street photography now. In terms of making money, people here try to make money (and do) in the most creative, interesting, and odd ways one can imagine (depending on your viewpoint). With so many tourists, you’ll often find people with cameras offering to give instant printed photos. Honestly speaking, their photos aren’t that great, but they’re making money off of them (yes people do get their photos taken by them).

Internet connection for me is going to be pretty sporadic from here on I think.  Here are some more photos (but from the day before). I’m going to upload a bunch of them onto Flickr now while I still have dependable internet. I’ll leave a link in the side bar and one right here: Flickr China set

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