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Poverty In Pudong

Like many major cities, Shanghai’s Pudong district is one filled glamours lights and makeshift homes, high-end restaurants and trash can dinners and the haves and have nots.

Poverty In Pudong

¥20 for a cab ride down to People’s Park (人民公园). ¥10 to see the Gaudi exhibit at the MOCA. ¥40 for lunch at Pizza Hut. ¥50 for a shuttle ride to the Oriental Pearl Tower. ¥50 for dinner. ¥10 for extraneous expenses. I spent ¥170 like it was nothing, because in my mind it was only $10.

I walked along the Huangpu River that night. There was a boy in ripped rags and torn slippers. He looked about 10 years old. He approached me raising a flower in his hand and said,

“一块,一块。要不要花?”(One dollar, one dollar. Do you want flowers?)

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Shanghai Nightlife – The Unglamorous One

Shanghai nightlife is sprinkled with homeless children and hunchback grannies who linger in the shadows of pricy venues and beg for a few bucks from drunken tourists and expats.


At night, the lights on The Bund illuminate Shanghai’s famous Pudong skyline. Exploring the city’s nightlife is like déjà vu. With each new venue, I think to myself, “Wait…this is just like New York. Did I really fly half way around the world?”

Windows Too is a meat market with a dirty dance floor bar and cheap beer. The terrace at Attica, one Shanghai’s more exclusive clubs, is rimmed with sleek, cozy sofas and an incredible view of the Huangpu River. Bon Bon is an all-you-can-drink debacle. For a ¥100 cover, liquor is on the house all night, every night.

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Soaking Up Shanghai

Despite being Chinese, my first week in Shanghai was a culture shock.


Flying into Shanghai was like diving into a sea of dirty marshmallows. The clouds masked everything beneath it. Jet lagged from a 20-hour flight, the last thing I need was the city’s mugginess suffocating me before the crack of dawn.

The smog smothered me as I left my hotel. I quickly decided to pick up breakfast, lunch AND dinner. Returning from the supermarket, I stopped by a pre-paid calling card stand.

          那个…可以..打出美国?(Which one… can call… to America?)

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