Monday, 26 March 2012

On the streets - Shanghai

Here are some snapshots from my first trip to Shanghai last year. I'm still amazed by how fast the city has developed in such a relatively short time. Standing high above in my friend's flat I could see the urban sprawl that went on for miles. Well as far as my eye could see through the smog! That's the only thing that I found unsettling - not seeing blue sky. I suppose if you live there, it's something you get use to eventually.

Since it was a flying visit tagged on to a work trip, I had a short list of 'must-see' areas I wanted to tick of my list. First off was the Fabric market which I went back to four other times in my five days there! I loved it! All the endless possibilities to be had in one place! Initially I went in to make a Cheongsam (Chinese traditional dress) but ended up instead with one cashmere coat, one jumper, two jackets and ten scarves. You can go in there with a picture of a garment, choose a fabric of your choice and in two days, I repeat, two days they have it ready for you!

I wasn't very prepared and could only show them a tiny picture from my Blackberry. Even then, I must admit, they did a pretty good job following close to the original design. My Mandarin isn't great and I manage to get by conversationally most days. That said, I was pretty glad that most of the shop owners spoke English. Everywhere else in Shanghai from the bus station to the taxis, you would need a simple understanding of the language to get by.

The other places on my list was the Bund, the old quarter of Shanghai and the French Concession area. It's a shame I only had such a short time there as there are still lots of places I would like to see.

I'll be back soon, if nothing to eat all the delicious food!

The French Concession district

The Bund is in there somewhere...

Shanghai old quarter.

Tofu soup with fried Chinese Crullers/Yau Char Kwai. Looks disgusting but tastes SO good!

The Bund.

My lunch - chicken with cashews and grilled aubergines.

Hanging out with the people at Intersection magazine on a shoot.

Anyone for a life-size Terracotta Warrior in their living room?

Jacket: Massimo Dutti
Friend's t-shirt
Trousers: Topshop
Shoes: Timberland
Bag: Anya Hindmarch
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