I don’t know that I saw quite so many things in Shanghai as I tasted. Months I waited in the US for this, so I’m lucky that my relatives in Shanghai are bigtime foodies. Before I even had time to think about jetlag, they were spiriting me off to their favorite restaurants.

shanghai-food

Since I’d visited most of the touristy sights in Shanghai on previous visits, this time I tried to see the more commercial parts of the metropolis. We headed to 徐家汇, a district where every building is a mall shopping center. Every building. The legendary consumerism of Americans is nothing compared to the Chinese demand for 购物 (gòuwù) shopping.

Left: This is the largest bookstore in Shanghai, it features an entire floor (out of seven) stacked to the ceiling with SAT and TOEFL (English competency) prep books. Bottom Right: Currently best-selling English language books in China.
Left: This is the largest bookstore in Shanghai. Seven stories tall, it features an entire floor stacked to the ceiling with SAT and TOEFL prep books. Bottom Right: Currently best-selling English language books in China. Not far off from the US!

Shanghai cuisine is very clean, healthy, yet it leaves something to be desired. I grew up eating my mother’s Sichuan cooking, so this may be a personal preference issue. Shanghai food is similar to Suzhou food in that both tend to be more…light (read: bland) in flavoring. You can find any cuisine you want, though, and the ‘food court’ in any one shopping center is more like food floors, featuring upscale restaurants and teahouses.

shanghai-cityscape

Shanghai is magnificent, though, mixing Western antiquity and Chinese modernity for a unique Shanghai feel. Albeit too commercial and raucous for me, I can understand why many expats prefer to make their home in this city.

All photo credits to me, except for the cover photo, which I found on Google.

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