Sometimes it is easy to forget we have a city as our playground right outside of the door. We go from work to gym to supermarket to home and then do it all again the next day. It takes some energy – and a visitor who comes to visit you from America – to make realize how exciting of a place you live in sometimes.
After a great week of playing in my own city, I have fallen in love with my home once again. Shanghai, you can be pretty cool sometimes.
Tips for those wanting to be a tourist in your own home:
1) Research ahead of time. Just because you live here, doesn’t mean you know all of the details sometimes. Did I know where the bus was to Zhujiajiao? Of course not. But I did know to think that the more obscure location might be cheaper than going to the Railway Station to get a train ticket there.
2) Use your student ID. It will easily cut the price in half. Even if they say they don’t have student prices on their board of prices, ASK. Most times they will have something cheaper for students.
3) You have time. So take it. This is not a weekend trip of madness where you do not stop for two seconds. It’s OK to stop and go back and watch a really dumb episode of a show on TV. Or to decide it’s too cold to go outside at the moment.
4) Know when it’s a good idea to pretend to be a tourist and when it’s a good idea to show you know your way around. Good times to pretend you are a tourist and have never been here before? When people start to get mad at you if you bumped into them on the subway (shy smile and awkward giggle usually does the trick.) When to show you know your stuff? When the person at the market starts to talk about you in Chinese or you know you are being ripped off. March up, show them who is boss, and don’t take any of their shenanigans.
5) HAVE FUN! After a week of playing tourist here in Shanghai, I have a newfound admiration for this city, and right before I head off for my next big trip to Europe for a month, it is giving me hope and excitement to come back in February for the next semester of work.
- Wandering Around Zhujiajiao Ancient Town on Christmas Day (seattletoshanghai.com)
- What’s the Difference Between A Traveler and A Tourist? (investmentbackpacker.com)
- Chinese tourism: ‘Finally, we are seeing the world’ (theguardian.com)
- The U.S. Needs Tourists. Why Make Visiting So Hard? (businessweek.com)
- The Venice of China (shanghailens.wordpress.com)