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Shanghai is just cool

The waterfront in the Bund area is very cool. Love the lights. It's just pretty. Here, have a look. If you wait until the end there's a bonus.



After hanging near the river we meandered back towards our hotel and stopped by the YuYuan Garden area. I was there a year ago during Lunar New Year. The lanterns and old looking buildings are awesome to take in.



Also, we had to find a dragon for my door to go along with last years rabbit.



After making it back to our hotel we crashed and watched the first half of Mulan on my computer. How has any lady in China not seen Mulan? They all know the story, but most haven't seen the Disney movie. Animated or live action. Harumph.


This trip to Shanghai has been a good learning experience in mass transit. Aiyun educated me in the ease of subway travel. It's stupid easy after you've done it once. And it's super duper cheap. Less than $1USD to get from one side of the city to the other. And it's way faster than a taxi because you aren't fighting traffic. It forces you to ask how it's possible here and not in the states. Here you have cities that are thousands of years old, but completely modernized cheap and clean travel. Seriously, subways are spotless here. In the states we have cities that are only hundreds of years old, but nothing close to what they have here in China. I can only speculate on the dynamics involved. Perhaps hyperbole on my part. To be fair, my experience with mass transit in the states is limited compared to China.


My first guess is that the cultural revolution here wiped out a lot of things that would have otherwise gotten in the way. In the states historical societies look to preserve everything. That's not the case here if things were wiped off the map. Secondly, and I think more importantly, there's no private ownership of land here. The government owns it all. Not kidding. ALL. If they want to wipe out a building and force a subway station in its place, they do it. It's created convenient and modern cities with wide streets, wide bike paths, and wide walkways. Their city planners here don't have to argue and fight for every inch like I assume they do in the states.


There are subway stations all over the place. Not every city block corner, but it feels like you never have to walk more than five blocks to get to one. Just look for this...



Once you head down to the subway level it's super easy to scan your QR code at a terminal using either WeChat or Alipay.



And your off!



There's an convenient alure to city life that I can't deny, but it's still not for me. I'm never going to be an urban jungle guy. I need more trees and places to take Duder MacGruder for a walk. Sure do miss my puppy. Such a good boy!



Mom update: Moira and a lady from an adult family home in north Lynden are meeting with mom on Thursday for an assessment to determine if their location is a good fit for her.


David health update: about a month ago I had a scary pneumonia episode that was giving me intense pain in my right side. I could barely breathe as I was on my way to the hospital. Today I got another CT scan to check on my status. Good news. Cleared up and I have a small bit of scar tissue, but otherwise fine. I got some special treatment in the hospital. There was a long line of people waiting in line for their CT scans. Not sure why, but I was bumped to the front of the line. It only took perhaps two minutes tops, but I would have been fine waiting my turn in line. Aiyun came with me. She thinks it was because I'm a teacher from the International school. She said that veterans and soldiers also get similar treatment. Okay then.

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Heresolong
Heresolong
18 févr.

Noticed that you haven't been teaching Aiyun the correct American culture. Shouldn't she know that much like "Say goodnight Gracie", the correct answer to "Say hi babe" is "Hi babe". 😁

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Certainly the land ownership plays a part, but Europe has subways that are super convenient as well and they have private ownership of land. I think it is more related to our car obsession. It seems no other country is obsessed with car ownership quite like we are. We built our cities (at least everything outside of the NE and Great Lakes) to sprawl, lots of single family homes, suburbs, freeways, all encouraged the need for a car. We were just talking about this in US History: the U.S. is a car culture with so many jobs connected to the automobile. Even if it was easy to build subways, they will likely never get the use they get elsewhere. Remember…

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David Shick!
David Shick!
15 févr.
En réponse à

As I read your comment it makes me think you've mentioned this to me before. Or maybe it was in a previous blog post. I wouldn't be surprised. I feel like I've done a lot of writing and probably have brought this up at least once over the past two years. Odd thing, that I've been at this for long en0ugh that I could write the same thing more than once. It's starting to hit me that the end is in sight. Four months from now I'll be packing my bags and prepping for the return home.

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