paralipomena=the things omitted/passed over
Non Greeks will take a few minutes to read this long Greek word; they will use school earned skills and a considerable part of brain memory; success is not guaranteed. Imagine now to try to guess, because this is the case, the Chinese words-labels on food even at a snack bar where everything is at show. I can tell you with certainty that you will be lost and will eat whatever, unless you choose the straight forward broccoli and equally honest noodle with something greeny; bless them. Shanghai is an international city, has always been, as a port since the old times. At main hotels and international stores like Marks & Spencer you will manage with English, but that’s about it. To taxi drivers you have to show written in Chinese where you are going and must make sure you have your own address also on paper to make your way back.
paralipomena: people carry food and eat at all times of the day; you see bags with tappers going around, noodles, rice cakes and buns are eaten on the streets everywhere; at half-hidden corners of buildings you see men gathering and acting with tension: it is just gambling, that also happens all around; you don’t hear the motorbikes coming after you even on the pavement because they are all electrical, in the beginning I thought they had the engines turned off…; the green man of the stoplights is actually running and not casually walking; people work constantly, the sense of leisure does not seem to exist; people shout often when talking even in awkward places like the national Museum, it is totally acceptable; coffee is a problem; tea is also a problem if you are not accustomed to the larger area’s whereabouts; tea is usually prepared loose in the pot or the cup, so not in sachets or special instruments as we know; when you ask for water at the restaurant they bring you hot water; the windows of houses, talking about small houses, are blue or covered with blue curtains; wordpress.com does not work in China; the party is apparent in public spaces and of course on tv; employees are controlled on the spot for their work, at the airport immigration control we could push a button, while our passport and visa was checked, to evaluate the officer’s work: excellent, good, poor, bad; the famous “Bund” of Shanghai offers a river sidewalk worthy of every tourist guide’s mention.
One thing I put well on my mind: if I ever want to travel again to China I have to learn some Chinese. Sign language does not work since signs have different meaning.