Sophie arrived to Shanghai in August. She already spent a few years in this city about fifteen years ago; non-working partner, she prepared intensively the departure of the family and noticed how much Shanghai changed since her last stay. This time, she is not with three young children: the two oldest are students in European universities. She started again to study seriously Mandarin, practices gym in the Hua Shan Park (where she is the only Western woman), and enjoys the rich cultural life of the city. In her opinion, if you have an opportunity to work in Shanghai, do not hesitate one second!
Living in Shanghai is exceptionally easy…
This city is permanently on the move, very westernized, and offers, like any other metropolis, everything one may need: cultural activities (theater, concerts, museums, exhibitions, and movies), sport activities, restaurants… And shopping addicts will find their paradise in huge malls with luxury brands, global chains as well as local products.
Public transportations greatly improved during the last ten years; many new metro lines were created and make outings easier. Walking on the Bund, night and day, is fascinating, however other areas were renovated, parks and promenade ways developed: walking always brings rich surprises.
Charm and modernity
Nevertheless, beyond modernity, Shanghai managed to save its own charm, particularly in its historical center, thanks to the plane trees and quite streets of the ancient French concession, and also with its various open markets, its parks and their activities (tai-chi, karate courses, and chess or cards players). Nothing better for the ambiance than shopping streets at dawn, when peddlers sell fruits, vegetables, but also stockings, and other paraphernalia, when small local restaurants open on the sidewalk and serve their customers, when the street sings with the activities of everyday life.
Learning Mandarin, a real investment
The only difficulty when living in Shanghai is learning the language; if basic Mandarin, most useful for everyday life, are rapidly mastered when speaking, talking in a correct way, writing and reading require a real investment. However, English is still an option for those whose don’t feel ready.
Some may worry about air quality; I admit that the pollution index is sometimes much higher than the warning alert in France, but those days are few and far between, and we also have sunny days. There will probably be other warning alert days in the next few years; yet the authorities as well as the population worry about this situation, and it is predictable that measures will be taken to enhance air quality.
If you have been offered a job in Shanghai, do not hesitate, come to Shanghai- It’s the place to be. Everything is always on the move!