What I love/like about China/Shanghai

Before I get accused of China bashing or undue criticizing of China let me just add this. I like China, I moved here on my own free will, married my wife here, and am raising a family here. Do I like China as much as my home country, no I am an American, I served proudly to defend her rights and privileges to her citizens, I will always be an American and part of that is being critical of my leaders and the policies they put forth on the people. With that out of the way lets get back to what I like about China and Shanghai.

1. First and foremost is my wife and her family. Despite having married an American, and one who barely speaks Chinese, they have accepted and welcomed me into the family.

2. The history! China has the oldest written record of civilization and the longest running history of civilization; it is truly unique and incredible.

3. The buildings. I love old buildings and old estates, the amount of thought and planning on building things here is incredible.

4. The people. For the most part people in China are friendly and good people, except in the Shanghai subway system.

5. The cheap CDs and DVDs! I hate the RIAA and MPAA for the whole fire sharing thing, the cartel hold and blood sucking monopoly they have on everyone. I think it is ridiculous that the prices of CDs and DVDs have risen in the past 10 years when cassettes and VHS tapes have fallen! This is a mafia of greedy suits that only care about themselves and not the artists; they only use that as a smoke screen for their greed.

6. The gardens. Chinese people love their gardens, they love plants, and they love showing them off in big ways. It is fun and very interesting.

7. Their economic model. The cost of living in China is pretty good. Basics and everyday items are cheap, only luxuries are expensive in comparison. The average Chinese family does not have to scrimp and save for a month to eat at a nice restaurant once a month; they can do that here every week!

8. The food. Some Chinese foods I have actually lost taste for, but others, mainly the spicy dishes and fried dishes I love.

9. Chinese generosity. If you are a guest to someone’s home in China it is an experience that is unlike any other. It feels a little uncomfortable at times the amount of time, effort, and expense Chinese people will pay to make a person welcome, but it does make you feel very appreciated.

10. The wave of optimism. Turn on a Chinese TV, read a Chinese newspaper or magazine, (I can’t read Chinese yet so I have to have them read to me) and there is not the scare tactic you see in the western press. Chinese people know bad things are happening and they know things are wrong here and their but they also like to hear about the good things happening. The Chinese media (even if censored and restricted) reports mainly positive things and doesn’t focus on fear, sensationalizing a story, or negative reporting of things. It is nice to watch the news and not feel depressed or anxious after it is over.

11. Shanghai’s buildings. I love architecture… Shanghai is a city of 100,000 different buildings. Granted they are rapidly losing all the old and historic ones faster then they can protect them, but the modern parts of the city are breath taking. I doubt I could record each skyscraper here if I had just 1 year to do nothing else but take pictures. Dubai may have 20% of the world’s cranes building new buildings now, but Shanghai is doing so almost as fast!

That is just a sample of what I could think of off the top of my head. So many people thought I was crazy for moving to Shanghai. I feel it would have been a shame if I did not. There is so much to experience and see in this world and time, and not seizing the opportunity means you do not want to grow. Our world has gotten smaller and the new way of life revolves around globalization. The only way to grow is to challenge your self and your perspective.

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12 Responses to What I love/like about China/Shanghai

  1. thunder1934 says:

    My sister an I spent 10 days in China with a tour group.  It was the most wonderful trip I have been on in several years. I saw friendly people of all ages. They were very polite, especially the young people.  I saw no fear in there faces. They were proud of how far the have come in the last 20 years. Don\’t believe everything the western media tells you. find out for yourselves.  The media usually has an agenda when they go and they do not have an open mind. They have already made up there mind and then see only what they want to see. China knows they still have a ways to go but they have made great progress.  America is a great country but we too still have many problems.  Work on those before you tell others what is best for them. Have a good day.  ne last thing our guides were well educated and informed.The chinese put a great deal of importance on education.

  2. thunder1934 says:

    I saw some mistakes I made but I don\’t know how to edit them. sorry   their not there.

  3. Steve says:

    I couldn\’t agree more.
    I to am an American married to a Shanghainese woman.
    I have been coming to China on and off since 1988 and moved here full time 3 years ago.
    This is truly China\’s 100 years to shine
    I plan to work here in Shanghai for another 7 years then sell my home here and retire in Qingdao and sit on the beach and drink beer till I crook.
    Here\’s a quiz………..Which country has the largest speaking population of English speaking people???
    USA…..NO! England………NO! Thats right its China. While my kids were off learning Spanish so they could order in McDonalds native lanquage and I could talk 1 on 1 with the guy who cut my grass, the Chinese were learning English.
    Pretty pathetic huh?

  4. Richard says:

    Been in China for almost a month on business. Both good times and bad. Started in Bejing and now in Shanghai. Very interesting. In AWE of the history. Went to forbidden city and great wall while in Bejing and saw some neat things in Shanghai. My fiance came out for 8 days and it was great to experience it all with here. Hope things keep going well for you and your family.

  5. Unknown says:

     You stupied tourist make me sick. Yeah Shanghai and Beijing are nice but try visiting outside the city limits. The chinese government wants us stupied forgieners to think that China is what you see in the streets of Shanghai. My family lives in the rural areas of SE country sides and SW province of Yunnan. If is it\’s so great then why do families have to kill their female babies to survive. Why do my family have to work in tech dumps pulling apart toxic equipment for pennies. My neice last week at the age of 8 had to watch while her dog\’s head was bashed open in front of her eyes. Why are children working in force labor factories for little to nothing so we can have our material possessions. Why was my sister abducted and no one cared. When your wife disappears one day you will see how little people care. No one will help you. China should thank you for painting a typical neive picture to sell more plan tickets.

  6. Pui-Yee says:

    I am excited that now Americans embrace every thing Chinese.  I am a born Chinese but have made my home in the USA for almost half of a century. I have taken many trips to China in recent years.  Some Americans may still think of China like the Hollywood movie "Great Earth", based on a novel written by Pearl Buck 80 years ago!   Chinese is one of the oldest civilization in the world, its survival is the proof of her endurance and virtue.
    Some one said that \’if 19th century belonged to the British, the 20th century to the American, then the 21st century beglongs to the Chinese."  The sharp people all over the world are going to make the best out of it.

  7. John says:

    Dear Mr. No Name… Thanks for stopping by and for offering a different point of view.  Now obviously you have not drilled down into my blog, otherwise you would have noticed my not so kind remarks about transportation in Shanghai, the media in Shanghai always using the USA to distract people from domestic issues, the culrural abandonment everyone here in China seems to be jumping onboard with, and of course the undervaluing of its currency or its strong armed tactics on foreign policy.  But then agian some people are willing to take things at face value and leave them at that.  My wife is from Guangzhou and I have been there and to many other parts of SE China and have seen some things, but you know its not my country or my people getting taken advantage of.  If there is a real problem, like at the 3 Gourges Dam project, then the people need to actually use what they have to do something about it.  You obviously have access to a computer, a good command of english, and can access blogs regularly so use that power to further your cause (maybe that is what this flame was about).  I welcome any and all Chinese comments as this blog is for my experiences and views of life as I see it in your country.  Sharing ideas and stories is the only way to get people to change their minds, so share yours in a more positive way and you may be suprised to see what happens.  Human Rights International cares about your stories, share them with them sometime.Oh and for eveyone\’s information, if we stupid tourists ask for a visa to visit anyplace outside of the big cities we are denied entry, and if we try to travel there (there are security checkpoints on the roads in each province) we are turned back.  China is now my home, but I always remember it is run by who it is run by and will always watch my back because of it.  As for my wife, there are plenty of people who care for and look out for her, besides me and her friends.

  8. Benjamin says:

    It\’s been 15 months since I have been in Dallas, TX and now I am heading back home.
    It\’s special to hear words about China, my home country, from people who has really been to China.
    From my point of view, China is amazing and complicate. Don\’t expect it to be perfect, since it\’s far from perfect.
    Yet you will never found a place as interesting as China, mixture of history and modernization, wealth and poverty, open and autocratic, the people being generous and shy .etc
    Like what I see in U.S. , it\’s a miracle.

  9. Dave says:

    Congratulations.  I think what you have done is wonderful.  China is a rapidly developing country and will probably become the worlds #1 power in this century and you have a front row seat.
    Like you, I am fed up with the leadership of the US.   Here it is all about money and money controls everything, especially foreign policy.  An example of this is how our leaders spend millions fighting communism everywhere and then turn to the communist chinese and say welcome.  Hmm, I wonder if that hugh market had anything to do with it?  What hypocrisy.  It\’s no wonder the rest of the world hates us. 
    Anyway, I think what you are doing is great and will probably become a trend in the next decade or so.  Enjoy and keep blogging.

  10. Amy says:

    Congrats on being featured! So what brought you to China? That\’s a big step to take – I don\’t know if I could do it. My husband immigrated to the US from S.Africa, and I always wonder if I could do the same. Would be fun for a while, but then I would miss the US. Anyway, enjoy your 15 minutes!

  11. christine says:

    I meant to add my comment here. I posted it to your last blog mistakenly:)

  12. kun says:

    huh, come to shanghai, americans pardaise, being priviledged on everything. being honored generosity, and courtesy, alien people. 

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