Pissed in Their Pajamas

Trip Start Aug 25, 2010
Trip End Jun 29, 2011

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Where I stayed
Koala Garden House

Flag of China  , Shanghai Shi,
Sunday, May 22, 2011

The title is a quote from Sam.

As we were walking down Sichuan Bei Lu this morning from our hostel to the Starbucks near Luxun Park, we saw two Chinese men in pajamas carrying several bottles of cold beer in each hand.  They were starting the day early and didn't bother to put on real clothes first.  More power to them.

The pajama-wearing in public is a strange thing about China.  Charles says the story is that pajamas are a sign of wealth carried over from the Cultural Revolution.  Many couldn't afford pajamas at the time so the ones who could made sure everyone else noticed, and still today, being able to go about in pajamas all day is a sign that a person doesn't have to work.  We've seen the daytime pajama-wearing in every Chinese city we've been to, but the fad, if we can call it that, is particularly strong in Shanghai.

Sam had to leave Shanghai before Charles and I did because he had to tutor.  So after he left, Charles and I did some speedy souvenir shopping.  We didn't really want to, not because we didn't want to buy for friends and family at home, but because the area in Shanghai that specializes in souvenirs is so crowded, particularly with foreigners, that one has to push through walls of people to get through the small pathways between shops.  It's a madhouse and if I never see it again, I won't be upset.

Speaking of foreigners (and my prejudice against them...just kidding...kind of) when we got in a taxi yesterday and the driver realized Sam could speak a little Chinese, instead of complementing Sam's Chinese, as a driver normally would, this particular driver said "Ni shi zhongguo ren!" - "You're Chinese!"  After almost nine months of living in China and being called out as waiguoren ("foreigners") on a near daily basis, this little moment made us feel really, really good.

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