Thursday, February 10, 2011

Strolling Along The Bund

It was not the wisest thing to stroll along The Bund (外滩) when it was 4°C with the wind blowing in from the Huang Pu river. But I had to see it! A drink at the bar of The Peace Hotel while listening to its jazz band is a must-do in Shanghai. The hotel was built as the Sassoon House, then Cathay Hotel before emerging with a fresh coat of paint and interiors as today's incarnation. The last time I was in Shanghai, I stayed in the old version of it.

A sprawling metropolis Shanghai is; a place where past, present and future mesh together in an exciting cauldron of cosmopolitan sophistication. It is still the official Chinese New Year holidays. The city is practically empty, save for the many tourists. It makes for a very pleasurable time walking around because there're less people to bump into you! But the spitting, oh my gawwd, the spitting. That has dramatically lessened in numbers, but it is still prevalent, frequent and a well-aimed phlegm could still land smack on your shoe. I haven't lost that instinct of leaping away when I hear the beginnings of someone clearing their throat.

No better venue than to discuss about Shanghai's people, society and culture along The Bund. One could feel the palpable energy in this city right here, feel the disconnect in the people who've flocked to the city from the provinces, and the elitism of the new generation. For now, I could only have the friends' perspectives, and not enough from the locals to form well-rounded comments about this city that has everything to offer everyone.

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