I haven’t met an unpleasant person in Shanghai, period. I’ve had teenage classmates robbed in broad daylight outside Macy’s on Broadway, a friend attacked for just walking home from a party in Copenhagen, and experienced the French in general in Paris. Shanghai Pudong district is nothing like that.
Yes, there are probably more sinister things happening outside of my view, but life in general is totally safe. A shop keeper can leave her sister’s daughter in her shop while walking me over and helping me out in another shop in an otherwise quite seedy market, and I had people stop me and instruct me to move my wallet from the front pocket in my bag, because it was too easy to steal.
Someone noticed a person following us around the market the other day, maybe curious, maybe waiting for the right time to lift our pockets, or maybe making sure that no harm came to us. A policeman has now several times helped us out when entering a taxi, writing down the cab number and saying something firmly to the driver. Cab’s that by the way always cost the same 14 yuan from hotel to pool.
There is a lot of bull in politics, I’m sure both here and back home in the Faroes, and around the world in general. This is probably a terrible terrible system, as grown-ups have told me since I was a little kid, but all I’m saying is that from this viewpoint on the streets of Shanghai, they seem like good and hardworking people. I respect that.