You only realise how little you know about some place when you are there. I must admit that before visiting Shanghai I didn’t thought much about this city. Before it, I visited Beijing, Qingdao and Suzhou and somehow I was expecting exactly the same. That’s why, when I got to Shanghai, I was pretty surprised. The French Art Deco styled buildings, British architecture and some local Chinese influences. I felt pretty ashamed, that after so many years of having history subject in my school, I was completely green. I heard something about Hongkong and double taxation problem because of previous ruling of some other countries. But my memory about Shanghai was complete clear. That’s why I was so happy that one of my friend’s friend was our guide and told us some historical facts about this city, as well as some traditions, beliefs.
Have you ever wondered why so many things in China are red? Well, it’s traditional colour of luck and happiness. They even got married in red clothes. They also have red material tied somewhere in the car to prevent any unlucky situation. On New Year’s Eve Chinese people write theirs wishes on red material and tie it in the temples.
Why the bridges are zigzagged and entrances are oval? That's a really good question. One of my friend said it’s supposed to make your way longer and enjoy the view. But the truth is that Chinese people still practice some traditional beliefs. Zigzagged bridges are for the reason. They have to stop the „evil” ghost and make their way harder. The oval entrances are to welcome the „good” ghost and make it easier for them to come in (everything that is squared makes harder for the ghosts to move). Might sound silly, but I think that it’s nice to still continue some old harmless beliefs and somehow practise it the same as their ancestors but hundred years ago!
Shanghai is extreme mixture. The highest skyscrapers (I was lucky to visit the one with 119 floors and it took the elevator to take us there something about 10 seconds?) and glass made buildings. But at the same time you still can find there enclave. Like the Yuyuan Garden. I must admit that from all of the cites I visited in China, this one is the closest to my heart. But, hey! It’s not the end of my diary. In few days I am coming back to Beijing and hopefully I will see really worthy places. And of course I am gonna write about Suzhou and Qingdao. So! Keep yours eyes open and wait for another travel diary note!
P.S Have you ever been in Shanghai? If yes, please let me know your feelings about this place.