Confucius says “Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.”

There are a lot of things that can be said about this city and about life here, but let me point out some of the beautiful aspects I have noticed so far (I guess this will have to be a list-in-progress):

  • A very efficient governmental system in handling bureaucratic Angelegenheiten (ok, I give up – I can’t think of the appropriate English word). Armed with all kind of paperwork his company prepared for him, Patrick would have had his alien work permit application completed in 10 minutes flat- and that from the time we walked into the modern glass building to when he actually had it in his hands – if it weren’t for one missing signature that we had to get faxed. The permanent visa line was a bit longer (about 2 hours), but again, totally efficient with digital screens displaying numbers and a system that seems be understood by every countryman and woman.
  • The selection of electronics. Last night we went out to buy speakers for the PC and ink for the printer. The electronic super-mega-jumbo-stores with 8+ floors and aisles of everything you can imagine are located on a 5-lane intersection which can only be crossed if you have supernatural powers or can understand the matrix of underground walkways packed with swarms of people in transit. OK, so back to beauty: this area is not far from our current apartment and one really can find everything there for very reasonable prices. Trying to find these ink cartridges in Vienna was sometimes like a scavenger hunt. Not here.
  • The variety of fruits and vegetables at the grocers. My favorite breakfast without bread (had to give it up, because we can’t find anything close to what we ate in Austria) is now oatmeal – this import from Australia doesn’t have to travel as long as the Müsli from Germany, thus making it less expensive- with sliced mangoes. I think I will add some walnuts next time. And the veggies – well, if you love vegetables as much as I do, you probably know a few. Here, I don’t know most. In fact, I looked up Chinese cooking lessons on the web yesterday. I think with a lesson or two, I will at least understand what I am buying – and maybe even be able to cook something (those who have been witness to my cooking mishaps, please don’t laugh).
  • Bamboo. Did you know that bamboo is a kind of grass and not a tree? I learned that during out trip to Bamboo Town, Anji. And bamboo is not only beautiful to look at, it is used for so many other things here. For example, construction (see picture) scaffolding. Img_2949_2
  • Also, I tried two different kinds of cooked bamboo – one was almost black in color and very salty, and the other light green and very tasty.
  • OK, this is a beauty that not everyone will see. The Chinese are very dainty people – slim and also relatively small. I am grossly generalizing a population of one and half billion so please excuse me, but my feeling is that I am not among the smallest anymore. Actually, I am tall. So my friends, those of you who were wondering: what is little Burcu doing in big Shanghai? Well, she’s not that little here!
  • 90-minute massages at 11:30pm for 17 Euros. ‘Nuf said.
  • Public toilets conveniently placed all over the city. Unlike those in rural China – which can be slightly frightening (even shocking) for the Westerner and even those used to conditions further East such as Turkey- the restrooms in the city are clean and provide individual stalls just for a few pennies. Sorry to get into the details, but someone reading may also be able to appreciate being able to drink as much water and not worry about finding a restroom.

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Nadja(15. June 2007)

hilarious and very enlightening ... loved it! Bussi N.

MrsHaley(15. June 2007)

Angelegenheiten -- 'red tape'?


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