Wednesday, September 02, 2009

China Girl (Part 3)

The compound that Susie and her family live in is for expats, which is the name for Westerners that come to live in China. I checked out the meaning on the computer and it literally means that you have come to China to live, no matter how long, and therefore are ex patriots to your home country. It has a negative connotation to me, but hey, I didn’t name it. The compound is teaming with guards. They have a guard house and announce your guests arrival and literally follow them to your house and make sure you are welcome. There are several guards on bicycles that monitor every coming and going

The compound is lovely. The name makes it sound like they are confined to the area but that is not the case at all; in fact, it is so complete that it is like a little neighborhood for foreigners, all of which speak English or enough to feel comfortable. They have an indoor pool and an outdoor pool, an outside playground

and an inside playground, a store, a main desk to help with any language barrier problems as well as mail, dry cleaning, and the things a concierge would do, were you in a hotel. There is even a restaurant!!!

Garbage pickup is TWICE A DAY!!!!! The garbage cans are the size of a small basket. This one
is Susie's. Every drop of refuse is recycled. In fact, the recycling process is a source of many jobs; they split up the glass, plastic, metal, paper, cardboard, and it all goes to the person who’s job it is to take it to the appropriate place to be reused.

All over town you see these bundles of recycling being hauled around town.

That brings up another point that I don’t want to slip by. People, (this is outside the various compounds) are not allowed to walk on any grass. The green areas are so scarce that no one is allowed to walk on them.

It was explained to me that there are 27 to 33 million people in Shanghai and very little grass so that if even a miniscule amount of these people were to walk on the grass, there would soon be none.

There are all sorts of neighborhoods in Shanghai. It has grown so fast that no one can keep up with the growth. I can’t keep one neighborhood separate in my mind but they are all unique in their own way. Much of Shanghai is under renovation. While traveling from the airport the first day, I couldn’t help but notice that so many buildings were completely covered with scaffolding (made out of bamboo) and then covered with a green fabric. Susie told us that the green fabric was to try to hold in the construction workers because so many of them fell off the scaffolding. All the renovation is due to the fact that the World Expo is to be held in Shanghai in 2010 and half the massive town is under construction because of this. Literally, if I had to guess, I would say that 1/4th of Shanghai was being renovated.

We had an ongoing joke about this type of fabric barrier. Do they actually think that if someone was falling, that this would stop the fall? I am sure there is another reason for it's placement but we had a good laugh
anyway. There are lots and lots of green buildings in Shanghai right now.


Carol said...

I'm pretty sure the fruit is durian, " the fruit that smells like hell and tastes like heaven."

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing all the personal stuff you experienced and pictures that I would not expect to find in a book. I'm never going to China, but you're making the world feel smaller and more intimate than I've imagined. Now where are you going to next?!?