Beijing or Shanghai?

This week’s trip to Beijing proved to be the most challenging, if a trip can be called such. The weather gave each of us a fierce fight. As soon as we arrived at Beijing Nan Station and met our guide, Erik, we were immediately told that the next morning we would leave at 8 am for the Great Wall. According to our itinerary, the Great Wall trip was scheduled for later in the week. Unfortunately, with the possibility of snow, the trip had to be earlier.











It snowed the morning after we returned to Beijing. This day was meant for touring Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. We walked through two-inch deep water with our umbrellas in hand, each shouting loud expletives along the way. Having been able to take many beautiful pictures at other tourist spots, this day proved to be most challenging. Thankfully, the other days were much better for sightseeing and shopping. While I enjoyed my time in Beijing, I do not see myself spending much time there in the future. The people are less fashionable and overall China’s capital seems less like a global city than its southern counterpart, Shanghai.

Having visited Suzhou, Taiwan, Nanjing, and now Beijing, I am realizing that I am thinking the same thing after each trip. I miss Shanghai. The idea of returning to my “home” fills me with excitement. After traveling to these places, I asked myself, where are my tall buildings? Where is the nightlife? Of course I compare it all to my experiences in Shanghai.

Can I consider Shanghai specifically Chinese? Granted it is in China; therefore, my previous question cannot be disputed by territorial definition. What about culturally? By Chinese standards, Shanghai is a fairly new city filled with many internationals, visiting and living in the city. Many restaurants and clubs cater to the western audience. The buildings even resemble those seen in Europe. I guess Shanghai has captured my heart just like New York City did this past summer. How will I ever be able to leave this place?