Shanghai, city with no soul!

23 03 2011

Last week I participated with my company to a large exhibition in Shanghai: SEMICON 2011. It is the second time the company sent me to such an exhibition, after Shenzhen 2010, focused on PCB equipment.

Comparing the two events a few huge differences pop up at once!

Ok, Shanghai meeting is much larger, but the first thing I noticed at once, very different from Shenzhen, was the amount of people outside the main hall entrance selling (!) the entrance pass!! Given that it was free admittance after registration on the web, I guess those must have been special passes for conferences or similar related to the exhibition.. but in Shenzhen there was nothing like that!!

Also, once inside, I have been approached at least 5 times by a typical character in Shanghai (more than other large Chinese cities, from my experience!!): men or women welling fake Rolex or similar watches!! When one walks in Nanjing Road, walking street in center of Shanghai, every 10 meters these weird people approach every foreigner strolling by offering these “real” Rolex at very good price.. But I did not expect to have these people inside the semiconductor exhibition (full of guards and policemen, by the way)!

Great lasagneThe food offer was quite incredible in Shanghai. McDonalds everywhere (bleah!) but several other little restaurants, I guess related to larger one in the city. With my colleague, we tried once an Italian one: panini and lasagne!! And lasagne was extremely good, thinking it was a “mass production” (and quite expensive as well, but I can accept to pay for good food!).

Exhibition in ShanghaiFurthermore almost all the stands had models, not only pretty girls from the companies dressed up to show around.. and some of these were.. wow.. Even my company got one of them.. a typical KTV girl, dress nicely, paid to stay at the booth and smile.. with nothing to do all the day.. I think she had more fun working at KTV, but this was only taking part of her daytime 😉 (the two in the picture were from the stand in front of us.. no they are not my colleagues.. unfortunately!)

Shanghai has no soul, only heart for business!

I do not say that: it was told to me by a few different friends that live there, both foreigners and locals!! People that has lived in other cities as well..

Walking around ShanghaiI always liked Shanghai, but I understand now much better my friend’s words. I still have a great fun when local friends take me out walking and show me where Shanghai still has a soul.. but I can see the business attitude or mind much more clearly now. And I can’t say I like it. On the other hand, I see where Hefei is still much more attached to Chinese traditions. Also Hefei of course has set business as new god, as most of Chinese places, but being still a village respect to Shanghai, it still keeps some of that innocence that Shanghai lost..

Thinking about Shanghai reminds words from Guccini’s song Bologna:

Bologna è una ricca signora che fu contadina:
benessere, ville, gioielli… e salami in vetrina,
che sa che l’ odor di miseria da mandare giù è cosa seria
e vuole sentirsi sicura con quello che ha addosso, perchè sa la paura.
Bologna is a rich lady, once a farmer:
wealth, villas, jewels.. and sausages in the shop windows
someone that knows that to swallow the poverty smell is serious stuff
and wants to feel safe with what she wears, because she knows what fear is..

I hope the video below is really the song I was looking for.. can’t check it from China 🙂

Let’s see if I will ever have a working experience in Shanghai!!

On the way back home, feeling so materialistic and without soul as Shanghai can make people (I know, terrible excuse) I just enjoyed the panorama that Hongqiao station offered:

pretty legs at Hongqiao station

..with a romantic note (yes, I just turned around after the legs-shot!!)

sunset at Hongqiao station

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