Thursday, January 24, 2008

Shanghai Observations

I don’t see many children here in Shanghai. The kids are either in school or at home during the day so I don’t come in contact with them. Since I’ve arrived I’ve seen only a handful of kids with their parents.

I have only seen three dogs since arriving the Sunday before last. Someone in the office explained that most people here live in high-rise apartments so it’s hard to have a pet dog, especially the larger breeds. This morning I saw a German shepherd being walked near my hotel.

When I first arrived in Shanghai I was surprised by how many signs are were translated into English, and how many people here at the office speak English. I shouldn’t have been fooled: not many people outside the office speak English, and it is hard to get around without a business card or the address in Chinese.

Most people my age don’t have any brothers or sisters because of China’s one-child policy. The bulk of their childhood is spent studying and preparing for exams, and some of them never had pets growing up. How lonely that must feel.

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