Sunday, October 29, 2017

Shanghai Diary: The Little Things

I don't know if they dip their fries in mayonnaise here or not but there are some other little things I've observed:

I don't see a lot of people with tattoos. I need to look at women's ears to see if they are pierced. I have noticed that the married women I know wear wedding rings and have them on the same finger as we do in the West. I wonder where custom came from. I also wonder why, of all the characters used in Chinese, how did the world come to adopt Arabic numbers? (Thank you, Wikipedia).

There's a definite British influence on the English that's in the city. The sign for the elevators says "Lifts". But, that makes sense as the British had a stranglehold on the city in the past. I imagine I'll hear more about that past this week when I take the bus tour of the city, though I watched a few documentaries about Shanghai before I came here.

China is as big (bigger -- 3,705,410 sq mi vs. 3,537,436 sq. miles) than the continental United States but it's only got the one time zone. I think that's one way to unite the country. So, the sun sets sets at 4:24PM is Harbin, Heilongjiang and 7:11PM is Llhasa (which is still far from being the Westernmost part of the country. Here in Shanghai it sets around 5:30PM presently. That's quite a spread. That the sun goes down early, I leave my curtains open and wake up when the sun rises (around 6AM presently). I know it sounds like I'm obsessing but Winter always drives me a bit nuts with the lack of sunlight.

Today was a kind of overcast day - no rain - but a lot of fog (I think it was fog and not smog... or Smaug, the big dragon from The Hobbit). It's a little over two hours before sunset and I'm finally seeing the sun come out.

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