Tag Archives: Christmas

Bésame mucho…

24 Nov

I am a person who does lists. There’s always a list of something in the back of my mind, like what I want to bring back from my room in Beirut to Shanghai, interesting companies to send my CV to, to do lists at work, etc. And I do derive some pleasure from crossing out individual items as I’ve achieved them or acquired them.

Since arriving to Shanghai, I’ve witnessed several oddities or been in weird situations. Here are my two lists:

Mysteries to unravel

  1. The guys wandering around town with their bicycles equipped with trunks and continuously ringing a bell. They are clearly indicating to people around that they are here but I don’t know why. Most of the time, the back of their bike is empty or has a few items that don’t seem to have anything in common. Sorry I haven’t got a picture.
  2. The pyjama ladies: women going around town in their pyjamas at any time of the day… The pyjamas I’m afraid to say are often childish, with teddy bears or other similar patterns. I really don’t know what it is… Maybe the pyjama has another dressing or fashion value over here… Here’s a stolen picture of a prime example below. I so wanted to get a picture of her that I ran to catch up with her.   
  3. Why do all CD street sellers play “Bésame mucho” all the time????

Mystery no.3 brings us to my second list.

Weird or absurd situations

Globalisation is certainly fantastic but it also leads to situations, which are so disturbing that you feel the two hemispheres of your brain are being dislocated or that your sense of personal geography is being severely stretched. For example:

  1. Hear “Bésame mucho” and occasionally other bossa nova songs on the streets of Shanghai…
  2. Be asked, however kindly, by a Lebanese guy to enrol to a salsa class taught by his Chinese girlfriend…
  3. On your first week in Shanghai, end up at a house party with 10 Lebanese people and speak Arabic while eating French cheese, mozzarella and (tops it all) kabis (Lebanese pickles)!
  4. Repeat after your teacher new Chinese words and try to get their intonations right while Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin and Nat King Cole sing Christmas carols in the background at Starbucks in November.

On the cuter side, but equally odd to me…

Chinese people may be dog eaters, but Shanghainese are certainly fond of their four legged friends. Dogs are very pampered here and their confidence and jolliness do reflect their spoilt brat status. Also, owners like to accessorise them and definitely make sure that they don’t get cold.

Unbeatable. I saw two shoed dogs yesterday.

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