Shanghai, Zagreb and Istanbul
Shanghai, Zagreb and Istanbul. Why are these cities linked in my global walking log? What can they possibly have in common? For one each is exotic. These are the places, if you grew up in the 1950’s, that every young adventurer wanted to one day visit. And each is a renowned city in the history of our modern world.. Suddenly then here I am in each of these unique cities walking, dreaming and living. Well at least that is how it happened to me.
To many Westerners Shanghai has always represented mysterious China. I know Beijing is touted as the new center of China but Shanghai is to me at least the mystical center of China. It certainly is the most important commercial and manufacturing center of vast China. Its port is truly the global center of industrial shipping. For me, even on a short visit, it is a chance to walk through the unknown with images of past ages filling my brain while walking past all that is modern and representative of a China that the central government wants the world to lovingly embrace.
My Shanghai walk starts in an unlikely place, the massive and new, Shanghai Pudong International Airport. This place is huge, ultra modern, and aas I wobble along in the relatively early evening it seems to be underutilized. There is none of the crowd pushing like in New York, Rome or Paris, just glitter and ultra cleanliness.
After a long cab ride I am in the Lujiazui Financial district. Now this is like New York. Tall buildings dominate. There seems to be little of the past remaining. Modernism is in vogue. I wobble up the orderly streets. The darkness does not deter anyone. The crime rate is low. I stop for a beer. The bar staff of course speaks very good English. I continue to wander around this elegant part of Shanghai. And then, in a flash I am gone, headed to ????