just another day in Shanghai

This morning as I was leaving my residence I was thinking of posting a Q-question: If one could emigrate to any other nation free of tax obligation of the former, what country would that be?

Answering that question myself: I thought Singapore, same as when I had graduated (actually the year before) from undergraduate.

Back then I greatly admired the disciplined reputation of that Newly Industrializing Nation. And figured rather than 4 years, I graduate in three and then go to Taiwan for a year and learn Chinese before pursuing my paradise.

My lack of a determination. So I end up in my current circumstances. But is that so bad?

My living in an emerging power across the Pacific Ocean …

After I got off the Metro in my aunt’s neighborhood, I proceeded to 4 almost expiration date wholesalers. At the second one, I bought the same UK lemon soda beer and German sugarfree menthols, that I bought on Sunday for less.

At the cheaper place I bought a bunch of milk taffy, as it was cheaper. Then on the curbside, I asked the attendee where the nearest bus stop was, and then this gruffy man: you didn’t buy anything from me!

I replied: I usually, while pivoting to let the owner see the candy I had bought in the back.

 

After getting on the appropriate bus, I started chatting with the well dressed bus driver:

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First commenting how he was wearing a sport coat as a bus driver as they don’t dress that well in San Francisco, not Hong Kong.

He definitely had pride in his occupation. Then I asked him how much he earned– over 7000 RMB, which is 3000 more than 3 years and 3 months ago then at 4500 RMB, to convey the real inflation rate or cost of living increase over those three years.

And finally I asked him if there were any non-Shanghainese bus drivers. And he replied: NO, insultingly.

I quickly replied that there is an increasing number of “migrant” taxi drivers. As to which he replied, there does not need that in this respectable occupation!

He certainly dressed the part!

Since I got off the bus one stop late, I was thinking how these drivers must be subsidized by the city government as I noticed some riders paying 1 or 2 RMB on their fare cards. And the price has not gone up since 1998 or 99, while there are more convenient subways which lessen the bus loads (bad for cabbies since they are paid by the fare and pay a majority to the taxi company).

When I arrived within view of the Jiangxi food street, east of the Qihu clothing district, the previous food vendors and restaurants seemed to be gone. From this previous vibrant area of migrant entrepreneurs, and the huge volume of foot traffic that passed through there.

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In previous times, as recently as 1.5 years ago, this was a vibrant town square. But the police had cleared out the area a few months ago in a week (not landlord raising rents), as the Jiading worker figured there was some corruption.

After eating the wonton, I went to the 5th floor of the clothing mart in the upper right in front of the yellow apartment building. But as I went through the hot and very full food court, I did not see any of the previous food entrepreneurs I knew of. Though one recognized me.

So that is life in a police state, central government defined capitalism.

Another note, I had no idea that I was smelling of garlic until I had reached the hot elevators in the clothing emporium, as the females gave me a lot of breathing room on the elevator. The guard explained that people won’t comment on that, they just stay away.

it didn’t seem like anyone on the bus minded of the smell as the car people stood close.

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