© 2010 admin Shanghai072010-9829_72


Tuesday through Friday, Biscuet and I had the opportunity to go to Shanghai to film some promotional pieces for ELIC’s summer teaching program.  This trip marked my first visit into Mainland China since I’ve been in Hong Kong, so I was super excited.  Even though we only had a few days at the boarding school, where the filming was taking place (north east of Shanghai), we packed every minute.

Night time arrivals into a new destination are always interesting.  You so badly want to see the sleeping city; your eyes straining through the car window as it pulls away from the airport.  Being disappointed with the lack of sightseeing, your imagination takes over as to what this new city might look like after your night’s sleep.  It’s always kind of like Christmas morning.  You just never know what you’re getting until you see it.  I was really surprised to equate the area of Shanghai that we visited with Europe.  Yup, I don’t lie.  It was quite strange to feel like your walking around Paris, but surrounded by Chinese people and Mandarin.  The architecture was very similar to that of parts of Europe. Crazy.

So how’s Shanghai different from Hong Kong?  Well, here’s a few observations:

>  HK speaks primarily Cantonese and English.  Shanghai speaks Mandarin as well as some other local dialects.

>  Mainland is much dirtier (MUCH).  I now fully understand why Chinese people politely take off their shoes when entering someone’s home.  You really have now idea what you’ve been stepping in, and it’s best you just leave it all outside the home.   Walking around HK, I’ve seen people quickly clean up after their dog.  In Mainland, let’s just say that the world is their toilet, they don’t even bother cleaning up after their children.  I could go into details, but I’ll spare you.  I’m probably exaggerating (a little) from the shock.  I digress.

>  We’ll state one obvious – their monetary systems.  Hong Kong uses the Hong Kong dollar, while Mainland uses the RMB.  The RMB is 6.75 to the our $1.  Don’t ask me what that stands for, I don’t know.

>  While Hong Kong and Shanghai share the same amount of city hustle and bustle, it did seem that Shanghai locals were a bit warmer…more smiles and laughs.

>  I’ve never seen so many bikes and mopeds, in HK it’s BMW’s.

>  I almost got run over numerous times while crossing the street.  The green walk man was even flashing, telling me to walk.  I now only trust the green walk man in HK, not Shanghai

>  “Copy watch, handbag, or custom suite, boss?” I hear this all the time in certain areas of HK, usually coming from street venders of Indian descent.  Obviously you can always spot them approaching or perching on a street corner; I usually just ignore them or look lost and distracted.  It works most of the time.  In Shanghai, these jokers are CHINESE, you can’t avoid them because they all blend in!  Tricky tricky.  I do wonder if those iPads are real though…

On the home front…

Shanghai was a blast and I wish we would have had a bit more time in this amazing city.  Perhaps I’ll return someday for another project.

It really seems like June flew by and it feels like I’m about to miss July if I’m not careful.  Be sure to check out some of the projects I’m working on this summer here.

I’ve had the amazing opportunity to capture some of the Camp China teacher training in HK  and meet some awesome college students from all over the states.  This next week will be another full one.  I’ll be running around HK to see how the teachers are doing in their classrooms.






One Comment

  1. mel
    Posted July 18, 2010 at 3:10 am | #

    so interesting Zach!! I love the sweet little picture of the little girl on her scooter? precious. I am so proud of all your photography projects!!! Cant wait to see you~

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