I heart SH: pedestrians beware

I miss Shanghai. There are definitely parts of it I would never miss, but of the cities I have been to in the past few years, there was something very endearing about it. Last night Chris flew back from Memphis, Tennessee and due to his late night return I decided to be the horrible wife and not make the drive out to the airport to pick him up. While I am always exuberant to see him after he is gone (regardless of how long he is away), I am exhausted that late at night, and it is best to keep me in my pajamas on the couch then driving in the rain. So — he took a cab. Which reminded me of taxi’s in Shanghai.

There is one thing that is the complete opposite in Shanghai than Portland (and many cities in the United States). Pedestrians do not come first. Cars do, and taxis can be aggressive. If you are on foot, beware. Even if you have the right of way at a cross walk, do not trust that it is truly your turn. It was something that I had to constantly remember, as it is so different from the United States. Taxi’s can range from chill and quiet, to loud and maniac drivers. I guess the same could be said for cabbies in New York City. In Shanghai they honk all the time and especially if a pedestrian or cyclist is in their way, and often yell at everyone and everything in their vicinity. (Not that I could understand what they are saying, but you can tell by the tone). The exact moment the stoplight changes from red to green the horn is blaring, not giving anyone a second to be distracted.

While I never saw a single accident, there were quite a few times when I saw near misses. Somehow though they glide through the streets and dodge people and cyclists left and right without any harm done. They have a poise and agility about them. In some ways they make cabbies in New York City look like they are little league in comparison. There must be some unwritten rules for how people drive because somehow (and I could never explain it) it all works out.

Since some foreigners cannot rent cars while visiting China (probably a good thing) they are reliant on public transportation, car services, or taxis to be transported to each destination. Or, as we often did, walk. I cannot imagine if you added drivers from the rest of the world into the mix. What chaos that would be. Now, what it does make me ponder is why the United States lets almost anyone with a driver’s license in the rest of the world rent a car and navigate our roads. Does that make sense? It makes you think. I will say one more thing:

I got nothing on taxi drivers in Shanghai.

Check out my divot

My grandma loved watching golf. She would watch it most Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Over the many years I spent time with her, and eventually lived with her off and on, I learned quite a bit about golf rules. Somehow though I never played golf. I have been to driving ranges, and played my fair share of putt-putt, but a full round of golf has never happened in my life.

Last Friday I went golfing for the first time. Yes, can you believe it? I had an absolute blast, and so far I might be a new convert. It started out as a gorgeous afternoon and 70 degrees at the beginning of May, what Portlander would not be stoked to be outside? As you can tell by this picture, the sun eventually hid behind the clouds and it cooled off a bit. Still a perfect day for a nine holes of golf. I was with colleagues who were patient and taught me some of the basics (of course so many more things to learn). I now understand a bit more about an iron, driver, and a putter, and I think I quasi know when to use each club.

I even had one or two initial drives down the green. As you can see by the photo of me, not all swings were successful. Actually on most holes I tee’d off quite a few times before I actually hit the ball. The photo shows during that swing that I took quite a bit of earth, aka a large divot. Notice the chunk of mud/grass sitting on my ball. Yes, I may have no idea what I am doing, but at least I played with all power and zest. By the way, do not ask me how many different balls I used (and lost) in the course of nine holes.

I will definitely be visiting the driving range to practice, and would love to venture back this summer. Bring on the sunny days so I can see if the excitement is a short-lived adventure or if it is my new summertime exploration.

Any golf pointers for me?