Cross Another One Off The List
September 28, 2008 by superkimbo
As an expat, I’m constantly on the lookout for places to live when we’re ready to move on. As much as I’ve loved every place I’ve lived, I know there’s always another country to explore just over the horizon. So when we go on our vacations one of the first things I do when I get home is decide if I could live there for a few years.
For example, I could totally live in:
- Dubai (but only for a few years)
- Italy (of course!)
And, as of one week ago, I thought I could live in Shanghai, China. I had such a great time there last year
and was so amazed at how vibrant and cosmopolitan the city is. Another great place to live in Asia, or so I thought.
I just went back again for the wonderful Learning 2.008 Conference
(where I presented three formal sessions and two informal sessions) and boy did I get a eyeful. Or perhaps I should say a “lungful.”
We were only there for five days, but goodness, I really could not live there. The pollution was horrifying. So bad that when I got back to Bangkok and was walking on Lang Suan (a busy boulevard in the middle of the central business district) I was taking especially deep breaths to enjoy the “clean” air.
I don’t know exactly what was in the air in Shanghai (and I’m guessing the locals don’t know either), but it was disgusting. My throat and lungs actually burned for days afterward. It was like the “haze days” in Malaysia, but I guess it’s standard for Shanghai. The air was so fuzzy (for lack of a better word) that it was a cloudy white color. Yuck.
And then there’s the joys of the tainted food
. I’m off milk
now for a while just in case, but friends that lived in China last year were telling me that there are always tainted food scares (which of course is kept hidden by the government but eventually gets around to the expat population).
So there’s the bad air, the bad food, of course the restricted internet access, and the tightly controlled media. I guess I’m crossing that one (and a pretty big one at that) off my list….
Image from: http://picasaweb.google.com/johnjlynam/FirstWeekInChina#5059788477298388306