Sunday, December 28, 2008

This is hardly home away from home.

Here I am, across the Pacific Ocean, in Shanghai. Just my luck that my relatives have to live in China and not in the USA. This place is not nice.

Normally I like rain. It's good for my dry skin. It's a change from the dry weather in California. But here, rain is disgusting. It's a hassle because you have to carry an umbrella while dodging cars, people, and bikers. Some places, the streets aren't pedestrian-friendly and you have to walk in the street next to the cars. If you don't step carefully mud gets all over your pants.

Oh, and the shops... Sometimes the people inside will give you a plastic bag to put your umbrellas in. That's all well and good, but oftentimes when people are done browsing they just throw the plastic bag on the ground outside the shop...But no one picks it up so it looks really bad. (Our family, at least, kept the bag so it could be reused.)

The car drivers are just bleh. I almost got run over by a car that didn't wait for the pedestrians to cross the street (luckily, my mom grabbed me a split second before). People even run red lights in their haste, and pedestrians have to make a run for it when they can. I just make faces at them since they can't hear me with the street noise. I saw an ambulance outside a shop. There was a guy lying on the ground with weird orange stuff all over him. My mom says he must've been run over by a car because he wasn't responding.

The people themselves are not ones you want to know. Most of them have a "permanent scowl" on their faces. Most people, men in particular, smoke. And in places people dump their trash outside the window because it's the only way to get rid of it. I heard an old man got hit on the head by trash once and died. (The wind blew it towards his head, and it was a long drop, so the trash had picked up speed)

The time difference here is sad too. I have trouble adjusting to time differences. Even now I am usually tired and have a headache. I'll have adjusted soon, but by then I will have to go back home and I only have three days then to adjust back. Not enough time. So I'll be exhausted during school.

Air is polluted around here so even on a clear day the sky looks really dreary. This place really is depressing. Not even bright colors seem pleasant like they would where I live. There isn't much trees or flowers here except maybe in parks or zoo. And a few of those are dead-looking because it's winter.

I really don't understand why my teacher wants to come to Shanghai. (He thinks it's a place where criminals hang out. Maybe that is true.)

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