Saturday, December 08, 2007

Happy Holidays from Shanghai

Happy Holidays!

The most wonderful time of the year has hit Shanghai like a storm and left in the aftermath are a myriad of Christmas decorations (angels, rheindeer, wreaths, and some new shapes). While some areas are clearly marked with santas, snowflakes, and holiday tunes, other areas appear as if the holidays never happened....

So where are some good places to enjoy the "western" aspects of the holidays?
- Xintiandi has been decorated to the nines, and despite the massive crowds of people on weekends, its quite cozy.
- To see the large-scale decor, the large angels, etc. Jiu Guang and Plaza 66 malls on Nanjing lu have the most impressive props. Also check out Best Brand Mall in Lujiazui.
- For the best holiday music, check out the Coffee Break coffee shop on Xin Hui Lu, a block from Yu Fu Temple. I made a holiday CD for them, and they haven't stopped playing it since (6 days and running, at this point).
(please submit more ideas for spending the holidays in Shanghai)

And if you're REALLY tired of xmas, just go to the Shanghai train station. Every day is the same there. Millions of people, many beggers, and the constant specter of a pickpocket following you around....

As an expat in Shanghai/China, spending the holidays far from the "western" style festivities is an exciting and sad prospect at the same time.

On one hand, the typical holiday routine of seeing ones family members, giving and receiving presents and (in Denmark) dancing around the Christmas tree is something that I miss much more out here.

On the other hand, the holiday season in western Europe and the US is often very chaotic and everyone so focused on fulfilling the inevitable holiday requirements, that the joy of Christmas is left behind at some department store across town.

So while I hope you all enjoy the Christmas season and have lots of fun with your family and friends wherever you might be. Shanghai is overall a great place to be, but sometimes I feel like I'm in a big department store, with 50424 floors..... shop till you drop!