To tell you the truth, a few years ago I was imagining myself living in any place in China but Shanghai. Today, my wife is Shanghainese, we are moving to a new flat here and I am writing my first book about Shanghai. I am not alone in this experience. I have friends who have come to Shanghai for a business trip, just for two months or so. Ten years later they are still here. What is the reason?
Have you ever wondered if a city has the characteristics of a man or the characteristics of a woman? I think Shanghai is definitely a woman. Right on the first date, she will suck you in with her appearance. Everyone is staring at Shanghai’s beauty with amazement in their face. They do not even mind the pain in the neck they are getting from watching all these skyscrapers. She will amaze everyone. Later, when you will be getting tired of watching, she will challenge you with her food. It doesn't matter if it is a red crayfish, hairy crabs, dragon dumplings with a soup inside, or even the most favorite food of Mao Zedong himself - pork cooked on sugar, beer and quail eggs. Where her beauty is not enough, she also has a never-ending palette of colors, tastes and aromas and the dish list is never-ending. Shanghai is a huge cosmopolitan city with habitants maybe reaching even 30 million. So there are not only all kinds of Asian cuisine, but also their culinary cousins from all over the world. The more you stay here, the more you will fall in love. In time, you will find out even the hidden secrets. Like any day of the week you can find live music or a great party. If you are looking for hardcore fun, any of the world stars will come to Shanghai. Magnificent Shanghainese opera, cinema or theater…fashion shows, dance clubs, exhibitions, film festivals…there is always something happening. Once you try it, you will not want to let it go.
However, having the affair with Shanghai has its price. The multi-colored realm of the Shanghai life is expensive and there is an enormous pressure on success. Shanghai loves expensive and elegant things; she requires it from people living here. Shanghai wants to be great and beautiful, so she is surrounding herself with successful people. Here, failure is a great sin. Her flats are some of the most expensive in the world. Five star hotels, expensive clubs, luxurious brands…thousands of shops, boutiques, coffees and restaurants are a never-ending temptation. You have to be careful with Shanghai!