19 September 2016


Hello! How are you all? You might all think I've been swinging the lead but I can tell you, since leaving Thailand our lives have been action packed. Be thankful I may never bore you with the details but I will leave my options open.

As you know, Mr John is a primary teacher at International School and with that comes a fast-track experience of making yourself at home in an alien environment. We've only been here seven weeks gosh, is it that long? Doesn't time fly when you're having fun? And I can tell you, Shanghai is an incredible city.

It was with trepidation that I arrived here. Did you know the population of Shanghai is 24 million people? That's more than the whole of Australia where I come from. Thankfully, for both our wallets and sanity, Mr John teaches out in the boon docks - though on a fast train you can be downtown in 45 minutes.  

We were lucky enough to have our first set of visitors last week, yes Anne & Graham were back with us. Their visit gave me the best excuse to head downtown every day and check out the city. For me to get downtown is RMB 9  that's roughly GBP£1 / AUD$1.79 / USD$1.35 / EUR e1.20. How cheap is that? The only down side is that the Metro finishes running at around 22:00 so you either need to get a taxi / driver for RMB 250 or stay the night. Other than that, it's a fantastic system and isn't always full of people.

I am completely besotted with Shanghai as a city and unbelievably this is down to the architecture. It's so varied and so incredibly beautiful. Thankfully some of the buildings of the 1920s/30s  have survived the modernisation of the city so you get some history along with glorious modern structures. Beijing may be the capital by Shanghai is the party town. 
 The city is carved up into districts such as Xuhui which encompasses the Former French Concession. As the name suggests, you will find wide, leafy streets and a few good bars which include the Shanghai Brewery. You'll also find Hengshan Road Bar Street - I think the clue is in the title, don't you?
In Huangpu you will find People's Square and the Bund but just down the road is the old city where you can still find brickwork buildings. In fact, wherever you go in Shanghai, have a look down the alleyways. Often, right next to a newly built shopping mall, you will see the history of the city in an old two storey workshop nestled between these concrete and glass monoliths.

I was lucky enough to be taken to the Jin Mao Tower for lunch at the Grand Cafe (Grand Hyatt) last week and the view from the 54th floor was spectacular. Also across the river you'll find some enormous buildings, the most recognisable being the Oriental Pearl Tower. Of course at only 468 metres 1535 feet it is tiny in comparison to Shanghai Tower (at 632m / 2073ft) but it makes for a great picture.

There is still so much on my To Do list but not to worry, I have at least two years to get it all done.

Don't forget to check out my Instagram page. You'll have missed a lot in the last few months

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