There is a fantastic New York Times piece on author, Emily Prager's, relocation from Manhattan to Shanghai. "Settling Down in a City in Motion" is a provocative and humorous account on the Day in the Life of an expat in China. Here 2 or 3 things I learned about dwelling in Shanghai:
- Like in Cuba, after the Communist Revolution of 1949, single family houses in China were converted into multifamily dwellings (5 people could potentially live in a single room)
- These multi-family dwellings are now being converted back to singles
- Unlike NYC, when you rent a place in Shanghai, the landlord gives you house warming presents (Emily's land-lady gave her a TV and cable!)
- For every neighborhood lane there is a lanekeeper who watches over the lane.
- Floors are regularly waxed, "a gleaming floor is a sign of prosperity"
- Never wear shoes indoors
- Privacy is mental vs. physical
- Buy fresh food and items daily, or as needed. "[people] do not hoard and their homes are not full of items they never use". (I love this)
- And so much more, so read on...