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Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Sign of the Times

I saw this interesting series of advertisements for Qing Dao beer at the subway station in an area of town that isn't close to any of the major tourist spots. It seems to be a reflection of the increasing international community in Shanghai.

So many Westerners live in Shanghai permanently or semi-permanently. I've met countless foreigners who have been here for five or ten years with no plans to return home except for a visit.

It's definitely easy to live in Shanghai as a foreigner. All of the comforts of home are available if you want them, although they generally come with a foreigner price tag. Western food, clothing, movies, books & newspapers, social clubs & more are easy to find, & many people live here for years without having to speak much Chinese. Life is pretty straightforward here.

That's not to say that life is easy. From morning till night this city buzzes with energy. The daily commute is jam-packed with people & the traffic is chaotic at best. The Chinese work hard every day, & foreigners working in Shanghai follow suit. Nevertheless, most foreigners wind up making tons of money here, which is just one of the many reasons that they stay.

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