Ok…this is a long one but I wanted to give you a picture of where we live. Most posts will be shorter. Promise!
We live in an area of the city called Hongqiao, Puxi on the west side of the city. The metro station, regional airport and train station are close by. Within walking distance there are grocery stores, a wet market, a flower market, gym, coffee shops, massage parlors (oh how I’ve grown to love foot massages), a fake market (which isn’t great but does have some decent staples) and restaurants serving food from all over the world. There is even a street close by that is littered with bars and restaurants called Lao Wai Jie which means Foreigner pedestrian street. Kinda like George Street in St. John’s, NL but the entertainment and food isn’t as good. 😃
Hongmei Lu is the street where we live. Our compound gate is across the street. Main form of transportation here is electric scooters. It never fails to amazing me how much “stuff” can be piled up and moved from point a to b via scooter and trailer. It’s incredible.
Hongqiao is super convenient for our lifestyle and our girls scooter up and down the street like pros. We walk out of our compound to this busy and vibrant street every day and really never have to leave….although it’s always exciting to get out of the ‘hood.
Cleaners are everywhere just cleaning the streets and picking up garbage. I regularly see people tossing their trash on the ground. It used to get right under my skin but not anymore. It is someone’s job to clean up behind everyone. At home I’d say to someone “Who do you think is going to clean that up?” Well here…someone will. I still can’t bring myself or let my children toss our trash on the ground but it’s not my culture.
A pic of Dad and I at Starbucks Christmas 2015. I start almost every morning here after I drop the girls at the school bus at 7:30am. Lots of good people watching here and I’m often joined by Glenn or other friends. It’s a nice way to start the day.
This is our compound – Hongqiao Golf Villas. It is a great spot with no vehicular traffic on the main level because the cars enter through an underground parking garage. It’s deadly. No worries with the girls scootering and riding bikes. Our rental place has a bizarre layout but we make it work for location. There are flowers blooming all year round, often with Chinese lanterns hanging and the grounds are taken care of by sweet gardeners who always greet us with a smile. It took a while to break them into smiling at us….but we’ve arrived. (More on “local’s hard stares” and “living as a smiler in a no smiling culture” in a later post!) The compound is surrounded by walls and gates with 24hour security guards that all know our children and would never let them leave without us being there. China really is an incredibly safe place to live and raise a family. That’s a pro!
It rains a lot in Shanghai but you can actually use umbrellas here because it is rarely windy.
And I’ll finish off this post with a hanging laundry pic. The locals love their red underwear and hanging their laundry outside their places of business and homes. Comical and always makes me giggle.
Thanks for reading!
Only joy, only love,