I have all the newspaper apps on my iphone – that is New York Time, Guardian, Independent, Shanghai Daily, and the BI Times and I really had to stop there though I sometimes look at the New Zealand stuff as well and others to see how different the reports are. It is unbelievable how different – well no actually utterly believable – especially when it is something like the riots in Tottenham being reported by the Telegraph or Guardian or New York Times. I get BBC too, so think I am like one London reporter said – there I was going from screen to screen getting live updates and I forgot I could look out the window or even go outside. The best I read was from David Lammy, the Tottenham MP. I also heard that Gordon Brown had put in a brief appearance at the Edinburgh book festival, which is what made me realise [again] how far away I am. I would love to be heading out to the Book festival… with a congenial friend or two…
Well, I can’t go outside to see the UK happenings and to be honest there is not a lot exciting here. Ali has noted that we are in an ‘apartment building’ which is not a house like in New Zealand and it goes right up to the sky. Yes, when you stand just outside and look up, it does. It is 24 floors, we are on the 1st, or Ground, to UK people, number 6 of about 8 on each floor. There are only 3 such blocks at this address 999 Pubei Road and although most apartments are residential, there are also several which are home to companies of one kind or another. One or two of the ground floor flats are being re-modelled, so daytime is even more noisy than most chinese places and that is saying something. The drill scream is now normal and for some reason, today is utterly quiet. Maybe they have finished!!! Could it be possible?
This floor, just opposite to us, is also home to an internet distribution company – the lorries and vans arrive at all times of the day and night, and the boxes are trundled up a ramp into the building.
Presumably they are then sorted, as they are trundled down again, especially first thing in the morning, and loaded on to motor-bikes, about 20 of them which park on the pavement outside the block with their
red-logo-ed riders. Some of the bikes have 2-wheeled trailers, but most just have a carrier and the loading skill, let alone riding skill. has to be seen. I will take photos tomorrow morning. When we go to school, all of this has to be negotiated, which Louis and Ali enjoy very much. The ramp is actually a large piece of plyboarding laid on the steps up to the building – good for running down, or up, instead of going up and dowm the 4 steps in any ordinary way. Louis is very indignant about the delivery lorries though, because he can quite clearly read the entrance notice which has the lorry picture and the red bar across the circle. This says NO LORRIES. Louis is very alert to all NO notices, we have to stop frequently to read the no horns, no over 5mph, and on buses, in lifts etc, there are always so many: no spitting, no jumping no no … there is one on the way to school which appears to say No people – we still have not worked out what exactly is forbidden.
So in general it is a bit noisy here… there is also recycling… I will maybe get some photos and do another post on this, but photos won’t indicate the smells. Life in Shanghai, or any of the chinese cities I have lived in, is not like home. I do indeed understand how Cindy and especially her parents, were gobsmacked when we went to New Zealand [in September 2008]. So empty, so clean, where are the people?