01. Brief Jewish History
About 20,000 European Jews found refuge in Shanghai during WW2. When I just returned to the city, I had to go back to where it used to be a Jewish Ghetto. It does put a smile on my face knowing that while the locals had their own hardships, they still welcomed the Jewish people into their home. This alone made me respect this city even more. You can read some of the personal stories by people who once lived in Shanghai during wartime over here.
A little history lesson behind the term “ghetto,” you may not know – the term ghetto originally referred exclusively to walled Jewish Quarters, where Jewish people were required to live by law. Jewish Quarter of Venice was set up in 1516 (although, the first ghettos were in Spain and Portugal at the end of 14th century). Having a section of a city in which Jewish people lived was considered extremely tolerant and permissive, since the standard at the time that Jewish people weren’t allowed to live anywhere, and if you saw a Jewish person after dark you were legally allowed to kill them. The establishment of the ghetto mean that there was a safe place for the Jewish people, who came to Venice fleeing the Inquisition Poland and the Ottoman Empire. You can read more about the history of the word, ghetto, over here.
02. Muslim Noodle Shops
Watching my noodles being made right in front of me at a local Muslim soup joint will be one of the things I’m going to miss when I leave Shanghai. Not only I’m all about the pulled noodle, the local Muslim joints are among the very few places where I can eat dumplings that are not made of pork.
Don’t get me started on the sandwich. This is my lunch.
03. Chinese New Year
Honestly, Chinese New Year simply wouldn’t be the same anywhere else. I haven’t seen so many fireworks in all my life. It didn’t matter which angle I faced – there were fireworks exploding right before me. Although, I would like to sleep at one point….
Also, I may not be a much of a shopper, but when it comes to huge discounts – I’m going to take an advantage of it.
04. My Local Salon
When I returned to Shanghai, I had to go back to the same hairstylist I’ve been going to for the past year. Sure, I went to another hairstylist for about a year as well, but he moved back to his hometown in another province.
My favourite part about going to the local salon? Getting my hair shampooed, of course. I honestly had some of the best head massages at my local salon.
05. Architecture – the old & the new
Dawen and I used to run at the Bund after work together. I liked seeing the early 20th century buildings as I jog pass the crowds. I may now live in another area of Shanghai, but I at least have good memories around the Bund.
07. My favourite local Chinese restaurant
I used to go to my favourite restaurant in my old neighborhood to get their delicious vegetable pies.
A cat decided to join us. Unfortunately we’re still a cat-less couple….for now. I will have Maine Coon. Scratch that. I will adopt any cat that needs a home. I realize we’ve been befriending cats, lately. Here’s another picture of a cat at the same restaurant:
08. Sesame treats
I honestly thought peanut would be my favourite – till I had sesame, that is. Sesame at least is good for your skin!
09. Take Out
Sometimes I don’t feel like going out to eat, so I’m all about ordering food and have my meal be delivered at my door. The plus side is that the food I can order is beyond pizza and egg rolls.
Not only you can order your delicious meal, you can also order your groceries as well as flowers.
10. Art Galleries
I went to an art museum in Shanghai for the first time with my husband and his former co-workers in April of 2013. I admit, since I moved to the vibrant city, I have been inspired more ways than one. Lately, I have been writing again. Mind you, I haven’t written in years, so it feels good to have that spark back into my daily routine.
If you go to the slaughterhouse turned tourist destination, you can always go to Central Perk to have your caffeine fix while watching episodes of friends.
It’s true that I still consider myself a total newbie. I first stepped on Shanghai’s soil on March first of 2013 and I continue to appreciate the life I have for myself here. If you’re also living in Shanghai (foreigners and locals), I hope life has been good to you as well.