Things I Love About Shanghai: An Expat’s Point of View

Shanghai is such a cosmopolitan city. When you’ve lived in other parts of China, even in big cities, they pale in comparison to the marvel that is Shanghai.

The urbane feeling in the middle of China when you’ve been living in a city of a smaller caliber makes a big city foreigner like myself feel right at home.

My Background 

Originally from Miami, I moved to Qingdao, my husband’s hometown, at the end of 2010.

Qingdao is a big city, however compared to Shanghai, it looks like a small town. Shanghai gave me access to just about everything I’d been missing from home.

My husband and I married immediately after finding out we were pregnant with our first daughter. And our honeymoon was in Shanghai.

My Favorite Food: Xiaolong Bao

One of the things I’d wanted to do when we moved to China was see pandas, so my husband planned us a trip there. He also took me for the famed soup dumplings known as xiaolong bao.

On every subsequent trip we made back there, I demanded them daily.

An International City

Another reason I loved Shanghai was that it was the place my parents always wanted to meet us. They’d come to Qingdao many times to visit, but with no direct flights, it was more difficult to get to. They could take a direct flight from the states to Shanghai much more easily. So we’d just hop a plane and meet them there.

Because my parents have high standards, they generously put us up in a 5-star hotel on the famed Bund where we were spoiled rotten. And that is exactly why I love Shanghai.

It’s an indulgently decadent place that was light years ahead it seemed of Qingdao, a city that by all considerations was a big city, yet it felt nothing like Shanghai did.

Fancy restaurants, upscale life. It’s all right there in Shanghai. It even had a Mexican restaurant which, during the time I was living in Qingdao, there was none to be found. It’s easy to love Shanghai for all the things it has.

Final Words

I loved going there to recharge when I couldn’t make it all the way back home because it made me feel less foreign, and sometimes when you’re living in China, that’s all you need, even if for a few days.

Sometimes when you’re living in China, that’s all you need, even if for a few days.

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