I feel so fortunate that the manager of my study abroad program is a local Shanghainese; she is so willing to devote her time to help us explore parts of Shanghai you wont find out about on Trip Advisor’s list of top 15 attractions. Recently I had the opportunity to go with her and some classmates to Old Shanghai, the few remaining areas of Shanghai that for better or for worse haven’t been touched by China’s rapid economic growth (yet). In the coming months and years the government will evaluate whether they will tear these last parts of Old City down or maintain them as tourist destinations, but for now I got the opportunity to experience them as they are meant to be, in their most untouched and natural state.
I found this red book, a selection of the works of Mao Ze Dong, in a local shop.
Life goes on here as if the world’s second tallest building doesn’t exist just a couple kilometers away…I watched grandmothers care for their grandchildren, women hang laundry to dry in the streets, men zoom by on electric scooters or cut the shells off of turtles. Life seems slowed down but content.
We were fortunate enough to be invited inside one local’s home. She told us within a week the government will come to evaluate how much her home is worth and will soon pay her to relocate elsewhere. It is an unfortunate yet all too common occurrence in China. The pictures below are from her beautiful home, which I believe dates back to the Ming Dynasty: