Zhongshan Park

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Zhongshan Park from my hotel room

I wait six months to travel with Dell, and then I travel twice in three weeks. Can’t complain.

High above Zhongshan Park, through my hotel window I looked down each morning to throngs of people doing Taiqi, flying kites and ballroom dancing. It was clear that I had to get down in between the people, and I am glad I did – all the stereotypes I have happily built up are true.

Perfectly synchronised Taiqi

Hot stuff

Some rather stylish ballroom dancing

These guys really spent some time trying to persuade me to have a Taiqi lesson … very friendly chaps.

It’s pretty awesome how active old people are out here – learning new things and obviously enjoying themselves while doing it.

… and some just chill out.

… and some are clearly a little confused.

The guys with the birds remind me of my first trip to Hong Kong bird park – now just round the corner from Tanja and Michael.

I think this is about my fourth or fifth trip to Shanghai, so it is fair to say I have got used to the place and know my way around fairly well. None the less, I am always surprised at the pace of development here, and it makes the already quickly developing Taipei seem like a backwater. It is for this and other reasons that I am really quite excited about the direct flights from Taipei (and the downtown airport no less!) to Shanghai. I lose my convenient excuse to drop in to see Hong Kong, but on the other hand the cost of flights out to HK must be plummeting right now, so maybe it is all good.

Crane city – though I was told by Gerhard that last month in Shanghai, zero properties were sold or exchanged. Hard to believe, but it is clear that the credit crisis is hitting hard.

My trip coincided again with Pecha Kucha, with lots of architects talking earnestly about building things from carrot shavings and recycled Freitag bags. I guess they will all be flying home for Christmas and knocking out any potential savings they had made thus far that year.

Wandering the ever larger reclaimed area around Taikang Rd. Every time I go there are more and more cool places to see, and all the time the Chinese locals continue to stay there, creating a funny combination of washing hanging out and Grafitti.

On the one hand in Shanghai, there are loads of wee little cool design shops and boutiques – especially in the French Quarter. On the other hand, wandering around of an evening looking for some standard noodles or rice is not easy. I’ll have to settle for the Gorgonzola Balsamic Salad again. Life is hard.

And I finally got to see Coco – friends with Nelson from his previous life in Shanghai. A real pleasure, and an institution of ‘old Shanghai’.

And while I might know my way round better, I was getting frustrated that my taxi trips across the city were completely inefficient, so I geekily have started adding my fave places in a Google Map – you can see it below.

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