Friday, 8 April 2005

A Tale of Two (Chinese) Cities

I don't like going to China. The first time I went there was two years ago when I went to Beijing for an assignment.

I HATED the place. The people were so bad-mannered and inconsiderate, and when you stand at the Tiananmen Square, you see nothing but people handing out flyers and leaflets. No, 'handing' out is the wrong word. SHOVING it in your face is more like it.

And don't get me started on the shouting, spitting, public toilets and the food.

Althoug the Forbidden Palace and what not WERE quite nice to visit, I came away from that maiden trip to China with a horrible first impression.

The second time I visited the country, I went to Shanghai.

Now, Shanghai is a lot nicer than Beijing. The atmosphere is a lot more cosmopoilitan and modern than Beijing (which seemed more like a REALLY BIG rural kampung than a city). Walking around the city, the buildings reminded me of a European city rather than one in China.

And of course, the legendary 'The Bund' was just beautiful. Made you just wanna start singing the theme song from that famous TV serial - 'LOng Pan! LOng Lau!'!!!

Even the people in Shanghai seemed a lot more civilised. Not so much shouting, not so much spitting, and a lot of 'ang-mohs' walking around. No wonder someone once wrote that Shanghai is THE city to visit in China.

Anyway, as many of you may have already guessed, I'm talking about China now because I'm off to Shanghai again tomorrow morning, and only coming back on Monday. And this time I'm not bringing my laptop, so there will be no Shanghai Chronicles this time around. :-)

Till then, zai jian!

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