Kapi-Mana News : December 20th 2011
14 KAPI-MANA NEWS, DECEMBER 20, 2011 OPINION MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR! From Summerset at Aotea The team at Summerset at Aotea wishes everyone in and around Wellington all the best for the Christmas season, and safe journeys over the holiday break. We ll be here right up to Christmas, and the non-statutory days between Boxing Day and New Year s Eve. With the Christmas rush over, what better time to take a relaxed look around our village? We d love you to drop in for a cup of coffee and some Christmas cake, any time before or after Christmas. We can show you around and talk through a number of options we have available right now. These include brand new 2 bedroom apartments, ready to occupy now! Available now • 2 bedroom apartment, $270,000 • 1 bedroom care apartment $140,000 Please feel free to drop in, or, if you wish to make an appointment, call Alan Mathews or Dawn Nelson on 04 235 9613. You ll nd us at 15 Aotea Drive. Summerset recognised as Australasia s best retirement village operator two years in a row. STOP PRESS! BRAND NEW APARTMENTS T northcityshoppingcentre.co.nz Wi N 0 R ail M A a a N Ci i C . CONGRATULATION TO OVERLAND FOOTWEAR! Fell in love with Shanghai but . . . SHANGHAI SCROLLS ANDREA O'NEIL Street smart: Shanghai's ingenious street signs mean you're never lost in this huge city. How time has flown -- my time in Shanghai is over and soon I'll be back at the coalface of Kapi-Mana News. Living in Shanghai has been a sensory overload -- I'm bursting with descriptions of experiences I couldn't fit into my previous columns. So I thought for my final missive I'd list the highlights and lowlights of living in Shanghai. Love it The exchange rate: China is kind to Western wallets, which makes a nice change from my early 20s back- packing around Europe, when I could hardly afford a coffee, let alone meals in fancy restaurants and regular foot massages. Safety: I feel safer at 2am in Shanghai than at 10pm in Wel- lington. In nine weeks here I barely even worried about pick- pocketers. Of course, criminals face harsh punishment if a foreigner is the victim of violent crime. Ladies' nights: Any night of the week you can find an expat bar offering free unlimited cocktails to the fairer sex. The only downside is the drinks are usually fluorescent pink moon- shine, which doubles the severity of your hangover. Informative street signs: It's hard to get lost in Shanghai. Street signs tell you the name of a road in Mandarin and English, whether the road leads north, south, east or west, and what street numbers lie in each direc- tion -- genius. Expats: While I made a couple of good Chinese friends here, the cultural and language gap means expats tend to social- ise with other expats. You couldn't wish for a better crew than Shanghai's 1400 fun, suc- cessful and generous Kiwis -- watching the Rugby World Cup here was a deeply New Zealand experience. Leave it Iffy smells: There's no denying it, Shanghai pongs -- of urine, sewage and, worst of all, stinky tofu'' street snacks. If the city smells like a toilet, I'll leave it to you to imagine the appalling state of Chinese toilets them- selves. Human crush: The only time I feared for my life in Shanghai was in a subway carriage at rush hour. Food scandals: Paranoia is hard to suppress when Chinese newspaper stories reveal that everything you eat, breathe and brush your teeth with is con- taminated or causes cancer. Poverty: Stepping around a prostrate beggar in the subway station is not a happy start to the day. China has a minimal social security net and there's little foreigners can do to help the down and out bar guilt and pity. Aggressive sales people: I had to steel myself to shop at Shanghai's markets. Sales people are determined to the point of physical aggression, and barely allow you to peruse their goods before demanding a sale. Spitting: Every Chinese male aged over 30, and many women too, spit on the ground every few minutes. The sound of hoiking will haunt my dreams for years. But of course, the pros far out- weigh the cons and it's hard to resist falling in love with Shang- hai. I'd like to thank the Asia New Zealand Foundation for the opportunity to work here. Andrea O'Neil has been in China on an Asia Foundation scholarship, working for the Shanghai Daily. She returns to Kapi-Mana News in the New Year.
December 13th 2011
December 27th 2011