So, today was a day to observe random crazy shit on the streets of Shanghai.
First, with the rain from Typhoon Fitow pouring down all day, you had to carry an umbrella, right? Little did I know there was “umbrella etiquette” to be followed or else incur the wrath of little old ladies. Stepping into Starbucks with my dripping umbrella, the lady at the door started yelling at me, of course in Chinese so I was oblivious, and the baristas were snickering as she let loose on me with a tirade. I just waltzed up to the counter to get my badly needed Americano but later realized when she lit into another customer and pointed at the umbrella that she was the one cleaning up after all the stupid foreigners dripping on her floor. Then, when we went to dinner at Din Tai Fung, the hostess literally wrestled my umbrella away from me, despite my rabid protests, and “checked” it, giving me a claim ticket so when I left I could take away the offensive yet necessary item without it fouling their beautiful floor. What the hell-who checks an umbrella!!! Meanwhile even though there are plastic bags at every entrance to sheath the offensive umbrellas, all the buildings are leaking like sieves even though most are upscale and new. We saw buckets everywhere tonight. Lesson learned–umbrellas must be closely monitored and behave themselves, lest they be taken away to solitary confinement.
Onto another curiosity–there are bumps in the sidewalks everywhere. I was told these are for the blind to be able to get around efficiently. Cool but I have yet to see a blind person using them and they are seriously crazy to walk on, especially in heels. But good idea I guess???
Finally, if you want to buy stuff online here you had best get a local credit card. We got HSBC international cards thinking that would take care of us. But as I tried to buy One Republic tickets online today and could not because I didn’t have a correct form of payment, I was reminded that nothing in China is going to be easy or make sense at times. Where there is a will there is a way and I will keep trying to find tickets but it ain’t going to be easy for sure.
I have a feeling that every day I will be surprised and appreciative of crazy stuff like umbrella etiquette. What’s next???