July 02, 2007

Shanghai Daily Life

shanghai bicycle traffic

Shanghai Daily Life. So I’ve done something pretty awesome and travelled to China. When I was a child I used to go on holidays but in the last 8-9 years since I moved away from my family I haven’t really had a proper holiday. Coinciding with this approximately 4 years ago I had a really serious road accident in which I knocked out a load of teeth and this went to court. Naturally court cases take a million years to resolve but I decided this year I would have a proper holiday during my summer break from college and the case was finally won and paid out just a few weeks before I travelled to China.

Woohoo! So with the help of my girlfriend Liv who’s family lived in Shanghai (they’re from Taipei but living in Shanghai for work) we plotted a travel plan and the first destination would be Shanghai. Wow, what a city! You always have preconceptions of places before you travel to them and rather naively I imagined China to be under complete communist lockdown but Shanghai honestly made every city in the UK look third world. Of course Shanghai has it’s poor areas but when you travel to the Bund, just for example, which is a row of hotels, high end shops (Gucci, Prada etc) and restaurants and you’re faced with the incredible Pu Dong one gets completely blown away.

With it being the first day in China and suffering from just a little bit of jet lag we travelled into Shanghai along with Liv’s mother and had a look at the city. We went around a few street, ate out, did a little bit of shopping and all in all it was a really fun experience. Shanghai is infinitely photogenic and the only real problem I had with Shanghai (and China in general throughout the trip) was the weather and air pollution. When I was in China they had something of a heat wave and at one point towards the end of the trip Shanghai was hitting 50C and it was just ridiculous. Combined with the incredible humidity and the quite shocking air pollution I was sick for the whole month but hey ho I’m young and pretty fit so it was fine.


Hammock Shanghai

Seeing a garden chair like this in central Shanghai was completely bizarre and even more so as it was outside a clothes shop.

Shanghai Gate

A lot of properties in central Shanghai have gates like these. I did two different versions of this, one in colour and the other black and white but I personally like the b&w version. Both are included in my book.

Shanghai Street

Residential street in Shanghai. This is very typical of the kinds of streets people live along in Shanghai.

Shanghai Bamboo Scaffolding

Bamboo scaffolding. Despite Shanghai being as rich as it is they still, in places, use things like bamboo scaffolding instead of more modern metal scaffolding. Maybe because of cost but I wouldn’t like to stand on this.

Shanghai Building Work

Shanghai development. Everywhere you go in Shanghai buildings are being redeveloped. I wish I could go back in time and see Shanghai even just 10 years ago.

Fruit Market Shanghai

Some of the shops in Shanghai sell the most amazing fruit. I’m assuming it’s because of the tropical weather but the same fruit bought in China tastes better than fruit bought in the UK. For example, dragon fruit. In China it’s beautiful, it tastes a little bit like coconut but the texture is great. In the UK the texture is fine but the fruit has very little taste.

Shanghai Traffic

Shanghai traffic. Surprisingly at first a lot of people still use bikes to travel around the cities in China. This was taken at a traffic stop close to the centre. Note the gentleman on the left looking in my direction with the cigarette. Everyone smokes in China!

Shanghai Apartments

Apartments in China. These flats actually look pretty decent on the outside but they are pretty central. I wouldn’t want to live in China indefinitely but I’d like to live their for a period of time.

Shanghai bicycles

Bike rack. There are bikes absolutely everywhere. Literally this whole street had bicycles park everywhere. I could never cycle in China. Cars barely stop for traffic lights, absolutely no-one looks before maneuvering. Very scary!

French Windows in Shanghai

China has had a lot of European influence over the years and this is a great example. Right next to more traditional Chinese homes was this building with European style shutters. I really like these.

More photos can be found throughout this blog or at: https://chrisradleyphotography.com

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