Monday, April 9, 2007
Now that you have had a general introduction to this blog, I would like to bring you up to speed on our day to day life here in Shanghai. First things first, we should introduce you to our home.
We live in an area of the city called PuDong, on the 56th floor of a compound known as Shimao Riviera Garden. This specific "compound", as they are referred to here, caught our attention because it is spacious and has a nice sized kitchen. The kitchen is a decent size for the states, but it is huge for Shanghai. All of the other places we looked at had very small kitchens, typically no oven, and only 2 burners. You would be hard pressed to function in the typical Shanghai kitchen even if you didn't cook much. So, since I love to cook, and have had grand visions of spending days cooking and learning new and exciting cuisines, there really was no comparison with any of the other places we looked at. Shimao it was.
Shanghai is divided into 2 areas. Puxi (poo-shee) and PuDong, where we live, is divided by the Huangpu (wong poo) river. To give you an idea of how things tend to be named in China, Xi means west and Dong means east. The Chinese often name areas in reference to where they are in relation to a body of water. Thus, Puxi refers to being west of the river and PuDong refers to being east of the river. It isn't the most creative, but it certainly gives you a directional reference.
Puxi is more of the downtown area whereas PuDong is the newer more "rural" area of the city. As of 10 years ago, the entire area consisted of rice paddy's and the occasional apartment complex. When people refer to PuDong as more rural they don't mean the mountains of Tennessee. They just mean not so dirty, polluted, or bloody crowded. Despite the crowds and pollution, Puxi is a more desirable area to live in if you want to be in the middle of all the action and restaurants, with more access to mass transportation. It is also 3 times more expensive to rent in Puxi as a result.
We like PuDong. It is a bit far from the action, but it is noticeably less polluted with more green space. It is easier to bike around without being in constant fear for your life. Plus, Phil's company will be moving to PuDong next year, so it will be a strategic middle point for us to live in.
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