Guide Named Charlie and Chinese Lifestyle
24 October, 2013
Guide Named Charlie and Chinese Lifestyle
Shanghai is constructed on the banks of the Huangpu River, estuary of the Yangtze, the longest river in Asia and the third longest in the world, which flows for 6 400 kilometers. According to the latest data, it is the home of 23 million people. However, this is not the main topic of this article. We’ll talk more about the lifestyle of the Chinese people.
“We have two days off now,” our Chinese guide called Charlie told us. Shanghai is
the best city of China and maybe it is logical that it has the best guide, a really interesting personality. Hereby, I started to get to know (earlier also from our lovely Lois, the hostess), what the Chinese humor is. “On Saturdays we do some housework and on Sundays we relax – shopping, excursions, etc”. It is really exciting to sit in a big bus and tour around the huge city. Shanghai is like New York in the sense of its being an economic and commercial center.
Husbands cook in Shanghai while wives cook in the rest of China. China is like a Soviet Union – here government supplies people with everything. What is the difference between new and old apartments? New ones have bigger space - two bedrooms, one living-room, two balconies and a kitchen – 150 square meters in total. Earlier, flats were very cheap – 400 US dollars per square meter; now they cost $ 4000 per square meter. The former is close to the Georgian prices on flats.
Charlie says that Shanghai is very modern and there is no doubt about it. Purportedly, the word Shanghai means up-to the sea. The gorgeous city justifies its name with its 35-storeyed houses that stand on the wide and green streets. The bulk of the buildings are constructed in the style of European and stylized national architecture. The sea is 40 kilometers away. In line with French, British and US successive occupations, Shanghai’s Soviet-style economy was substituted by more modernized model that is somewhere in the middle of socialism and capitalism. At present, 20% of companies in Shanghai are private.
There are 2000 schools and 61 universities in Shanghai today. The tempo of living is very high and lifestyle, construction and economy are sky-rocketing in all parts of China, including Changchun, North- East, as well as Shanghai – South-East. People work very hard. Earlier, they were getting flats free of charge, as in the Soviet republics, including Georgia. Now some people are a bit nostalgic because life became rather tough.
You won’t see fat people in China and this is probably one of their mysteries as they do eat at regular hours. However, they do exercises. And they don’t like pastry and sweets. Thus, I suppose, that’s why they never get fat. Of course, the fact that they do not eat bread and cheese at all, which is so very uncharacteristic of the Georgian lifestyle, also plays its role. I couldn’t imagine myself living three weeks without cheese. Here you are offered completely new and very interesting flavors, which are unavailable at Chinese restaurants of Georgia. I did not have any nostalgia for my Georgian food, but I did have it for the Chinese food after I got back to Georgia. I wondered why our African friends, especially one guy from Ethiopia could not stand the food. Is the African food so tasty and different? He was on a diet and we all pitied him, begging to eat something. I discovered that I am a great fan of Chinese cuisine. So was my Georgian friend Nino, who was my companion during my trip and who turned out to be a wonderful partner in all senses, especially in taking photos of China (all photos that were published previously, belong to her – my female friend Nino Inasaridze). However, in a week or two since my arrival in Georgia, I realized that my native food is something I am in love with forever. Traveling is a marvelous thing but as Americans say, there is no place like home.
We were also taken to the circus, which is very famous in the world. There we saw impressive performance – acrobatics full of romance and beauty as well as some dizzy car carousel and very impressive Chinese dances. There was a wonderful mixture of art and sport. We had nice dinner on board a boat. Of course, we were taken to indelible Chinese gardens with lotuses, where pagoda-like houses looked like pieces of art.
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