the interesting times that we are living in


I borrowed the title from a newspaper in Shanghai to agree with its opinion – yes, we are living in interesting times in Shanghai / China.

The cashless payment transactions overwhelmed me while I was visiting my hometown in the past a couple of months. All we need to take with when going out or staying in is a mobile phone installed with some Apps, such as Alipay, WeChat, Taobao, Hema, DiDi, etc.

Being curious and persuaded, I downloaded the App Hema onto my iPhone, subsequently as a test, I ordered some green vegetables and 2 Shanghai crabs. To my surprise, 30 minutes later they were delivered to my apartment door, fresh and alive.

I was amazed.

Then I continued to download a few more Chinese Apps and started using them. Life had never been so convenient!

I heard, very soon Shanghai Metro will use a facial recognition system to allow passengers to walk through turnstiles without tickets. I also heard, perhaps China would be the first country in the world to launch a driverless bus-rail and cars, just like what we did with the Maglev train 15 years ago.

The air quality since 2013 has been noticeably poor. The Shanghai residents are determined to do something to change it. There’s no more fireworks, no more fire crackers. We celebrated the new year’s eve in a quieter manner but still in style.

As for the income level, Shanghai has always been the leader in mainland China. Many of my old classmates, friends have already reached Zurich salary level. Not to mention the property prices in Shanghai…

I still remember the summer 2014 when I just moved to this little town on the German and Swiss border. Some Germans were being very polite and honest to me, by saying to me,”China is so poor.” I couldn’t argue as I’m from Shanghai, where things were more developed and more advanced, whilst some parts in China might have not yet. However, I forgave them for not being able to express themselves deeper and more profound in English. Most of the German and Swiss people here don’t speak a word of English. For them, their world is big enough.

I’m grateful that I get to travel, a lot. There’s still so much to see, so much to do, so much to understand.


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