Thursday two weeks ago Axel my host, another CS’er and me started an excursion to the city. When we were in the subway, there was a Typhoon warning on the screens. But Axel told us, that it’s just raining a bit more and that’s it. So we headed first to the Tianzifang which is part of the former French Concession. It’s a bit similar to the Hutong district in Beijing with the small aisles with shops and bars around. Afterwards we headed to the Yuyuan garden, but in order to get there we need to get through the Yuyuan bazaar. This one is quit crowded and especially loud again, as all the sellers have speakers, where they advertise their products…in Chinese. Hence, I don’t understand anything from that sound. Axel and me went into the garden, but the other CS’er just went on to meet at friend of him. Opposite to the bazaar, the garden, which is located pretty much in the city centre, is quit calm and silent. So we enjoyed this while strolling around. Contrary to European gardens with straight axis, the paths in Chinese gardens are just winding around several small ponds.
As it still was just afternoon we decided to drive with the subway out of the centre to Qibao water town. As we went there, we decided to have a break and get a coffee, because we thought, we have enough time. When we continued our walk, almost all shops are closed and the security said, we are no longer allowed to walk through the narrow aisles. Probably due to the Typhoon warning, and as they were afraid a similar accident could happen like just 4 days before at East Nanjing Road in Shanghai where three people were killed due to a falling sign. This is exactly the pedestrian way I took the day before 😲. Nevertheless, we headed back to the city centre in order to see the Bund again. Shortly before we arrived there it started heavily to rain. The advantage was that there were much less people than the day before, the disadvantage was, that we got really wet. So we looked for a shelter nearby for a couple of minutes.
In the evening Axel, his colleague Artem (he is from Belarus but also English teacher) and me went to a language exchange meeting. Shanghai is quit international with about 1 Mio. expats living in the city while officially 25 Mio. residents. After some time we went further on to the SOS club. As we didn’t catched a taxi we walked for 20 minutes in the rain, but as it wasn’t cold, it was not that big deal. As foreigner, with some light connections, you get free entry to the club and some free drinks. But as I don’t like Bacardi or similar stuff, I really opted just for orange juice. Additionally, the music was loud, I mean just load, and they were playing something like Deep House. So really not mine. I accepted to stay for about one hour until 1 am. The others didn’t liked it either, except the free drinks, so it was also OK for them to leave. Nevertheless, it was quit interesting how Chinese people partying. As most of them were just sitting around large tables. The main drinks are Champagne, Red Bull, and Jägermeister. When they have enough alcohol they stand up and “dance” on some platforms beside the tables…sorry, no you can’t call it dance. It’s maximum a movement, and probably even in off beat. Woman wear crazy stuff – I can’t describe, not just sub glasses – yeah, that’s absolutely cool, just start to freeze. In the end, somebody has to pay for it, mainly potentially rich men. But as they got drunken, they get a warmly treatment from the security…I guess that they don’t vomit in the main area, but still stay and for sure drink more and pay more. If you are a drunk young white women with no money, you just sit down in the lobby, vomit there and the cleaning women just takes care of you. Sorry, you don’t have money, you don’t get a special treatment. So in the end, it was quit an experience to visit such a location.
On the way home, the rain became already heavier, but it was still OK, we took a DiDi (the Chinese version of Uber). We were quit happy to be at home in less than half an hour. Because at the moment DiDi is no longer in operation in China, after the second murder of a passenger by a driver this year. Another (female) host told me already about the first murder, and that’s the reason why she is afraid and only takes official taxis.