Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Life in Shanghai...I wish I had a paper map! 2012

Shanghai 2011
Here is just a thought...why don't I have a paper map of Shanghai, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City?  Really, I know I am a technology geek and like to to get my gadgets out but this is just silly.

Yesterday we went into the city to buy pearls at a market located in Pu Xi.  I would love to tell you where that is but I really do not know.  Back in the day I would have had my nose in a map located us and even telling the person that live here year around how to get where we are going.  But now?  My goodness do you think I threw out the baby with the bath water?

We wondered what we were doing out yesterday at all really.  The girls asthma is acting up and the air quality was so bad you could have cut it with a knife.  After a drive across the city, lunch at Blue Frog and a walk to the market to buy a scarf ($12 today) I commented that it was the perfect day.  Lunch, shopping and fresh air.  My daughter-in-law was hysterical at the "fresh air" part.  Really, when you looked out the windows of the car, you wanted to hold your breath.

Rural China
I wonder about Shanghai, maybe even worry a little.  They say the China is experiencing the largest migration on the planet right now as the Chinese migrate from rural communities to their cities.  When I look out across the landscape, I wonder if one day it will all fold in upon itself and sink into the muddy ooze that lies beneath this city surrounded by water.  It seems like a Sim City built with Legos on a paper raft!

We drove by the small cove nearby my son's home.  Boats dock here at night.  The people's road was being used by fishermen to repair nets and scooters drove on both sides of the road.  We had seen rice being dried on the road earlier in December.  The road had been recently paved so it was much improved in the time we were in Vietnam.  At least the pot holes were gone.  This small community is near the airport and Chinese hotels line the way.  When we were here before I saw a dog being slaughtered either for it's meat or fur.  I have not seen that this time.

Online map of Hanoi
We do not drive through the migrant village just outside the gates of this private community anymore but my son took that route one day when we first got here.  He commented about the improvement on that road but it was not evident because the village is growing everyday and people filled that people's road from curb to curb. Some sewage problems have been taken care of but it is still the most basic of lives for those people.  Small gardens line the canal that borders the road.

The Outer Ring Roads that circle the city were constructed the year before the Expo was held here in the city. If I had a big paper map I would be very certain about how it looked. The Chinese completed it in less than two years we were told.  It is a miracle for traveling from this location near the Pu Dong airport into the center of the city.  This freeway proves that all things are possible when you have such a large labor pool and a communist government with a goal in mind.

Watch China very carefully in the coming years.  The inflation we see here is bound to seep down into the market that produces goods we buy in the United States.  I cannot imagine that the cost for labor is not going to explode one day soon!

In fact if I had a paper map, I would want it to include a path not only geographically but economically as well!  Just a thought!


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  1. That is so true. As an author and business man, I can relate to how you said "They say the China is experiencing the largest migration on the planet right now as the Chinese migrate from rural communities to their cities".I hope more people discover your blog because you really know what you're talking about. Can't wait to read more from you!

  2. Daniel, Thank you for stopping by. When you write from ground level, reality just seeps in. Come back soon.



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