Sunday, December 14, 2014


One thing of note about Shanghai are the crowds. This isn't a surprise when you consider there are over 24 million people living in Shanghai. That makes it the largest city in the world population wise, although there is more room for the crowds of people compared to some of the other more populated cities.

That doesn't change the fact that it is crowded. Especially when all these millions of people are doing something popular, like traveling on the metro, going grocery shopping or site seeing at the Bund.

The day after I wrote my post about the metro system, I used it and encountered a huge line trying to squeeze onto an already crowded train. This was at Zhaojiabang stop on line 7 where I was transferring from line 9. This is typical of most trains during rush hour.

Carre Four & Tesco

When we first moved into our apartment we had to make trips to crowded places in order to live. The first night was quite hectic because on top of the full day of work, the moving out of the hotel and into our new apartment and the paper signing, we had to go shopping to purchase items to make living possible. A lot of these items were put of until the weekend, but there were some necessities, like bed sheets. Our first stop was Carre Four, the international shopping market that originates from France.

As advertised, it was crowded in there. We had a list of things we wanted to get to go with our bed sheets as well such as eating utensils, plates or bowls and cookware. We were tired of eating out so much, especially because we had been ordering pizza on a regular basis because of a lack of other delivery options. We were too busy to go out at first.

When we exited Carre Four with our bags of goodies stored in the shopping cart we had difficulty finding a taxi. We asked some people who either didn't understand us, or know where we needed to go to catch a cab. We pushed the cart out towards the front of the mall where the main street was and we were greeted by an angry Chinese man who was yelling at us about something. He did not want us near the street for some reason. We then headed away from him along the curb closer to the store and to our surprise he followed us. Some people asked us what was going on and we told them that we didn't know. They talked to the guy but then never told us what his problem was.

We thought it was done but moved on down the curb in search for a cab and the little, old and angry Chinese man continued to follow us. A guy in a black car asked us if we wanted a taxi. We had been told the black taxis are rip offs because they don't have meters, but at that point we just wanted to get away from our new angry Chinese friend. Plus, we didn't have far to go so the meter wouldn't have even moved if there was one so I knew how much the fare should be. Once we loaded the cab with our stuff the Chinese man came and took our cart away. Turns out he worked for Carre Four and just wanted to make sure our cart didn't leave the store property. We never got our 15 cent deposit back.

If we thought Carre Four was busy then there isn't a good adjective to describe Tesco. Tesco is very similar to Carre Four, except more people seem to use it. There were people everywhere. We avoid Tesco because it's just too busy.


What good is moving into a new apartment without a trip to Ikea? All of Shanghai has only 2 of these Swedish furniture retailers which means the Ikea we visited was for 12 million people to shop in.

It too, surprise surprise, was quite crowded. The layout of Ikea also does not lend itself to housing several people all at once. It has narrows paths with aisles of goods on display. You could only move so fast as people were always stopping to browse some furniture sets. We had a list of things to get, but not a lot of furniture. We were interested in a desk lamp as well as some cooking and baking items.

We found the lamp we wanted and brought it home with our other Ikea purchases. That is when we discovered that the light bulbs were sold separately and the bulbs for the specific lamp were only found at Ikea. That meant another trip through the maze of Ikea.

This actually turned out to be kind of fun. Michelle and I started to race through the Ikea store, knowing we were only there for the light bulbs. We would weave in and out of people, up and down aisles that were less occupied in order to beat the other to a certain location. Instead of allowing the crowds of people be our frustration, we turned them into our challenges. I'd like to think I was the better Ikea weaver, having made it through the crowds of people the most efficiently.

We found the light bulb and were set to bring it home. Once we set the new light up we discovered that there is a second light switch in the room, within reach of the bed. As a result, we have never used the Ikea lamp.

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