I knew that China was making rapid progress, but it was beyond my expectations. Ferraris on display in Hard Rock and Internet cafes serving as showrooms. The guide said that even for children that don't know of Mao Tse Tung are sure to know of Mos Burgers. Despite the cost of 8.5 chinese currency for a hamburger, they are crowded with people. Wherever you look, you notice high rise building construction sites. Amazing!!
There didn't seem to be any really wonderful and wierd things, the guide said she uses it, in the town the Internet Cafe has opened and at the exhibition there was a lot of interest in the internet related shows. But it seems that for the general person, connecting up with internet is still in the future. Computers are more expensive than in Japan (most electrical items are more expensive, it's due to the duty) You'd need 2000 chinese currency for a provider and their attachments. This is equivalent to 1 months salary.
I saw a lot of Shanghai Santana's and the previous model Charade. The reason being that all the taxis were one of the 2. Both are manufactured in Shanghai. The Shanghai Santana is apparently around 1,000,000 Japanese-yen. However, due to the customs tariffs, Japanese cars have the price tag of around 4,000,000 Japenese-yen.
Road information is a shamble, and most people don't take any notice of road signals. Crossing the road tries your courage. Cars, people, bicycles, mini bikes and scooters, motorbikes are all mixed up, running along together. It seems that recently mini bikes are popular, and if the machine is less than a 50cc, you don't need a license. Chinese produced bikes cost about 50,000 Japanese-yen and Japanese made bikes are double.
Road paving is bad and because the suspension and seats of Chinese made cars are inferior, by only sitting in a car takes a lot out of you!! In China too, they have a car insurance policy which has to be renewed every year.
There are CD's and LD's, but the most common are cassette tapes. In big cities, there were many kids with headphone stereos. There is nothing that isn't in Japan.
According to the guide, compact cameras cost around 200 chinese currency. In Shanghai's Yaohan, Chinese made single reflex cameras were about 1,000 chinese currency. A Japanese Tiara was 2,990 chinese currency, because the guide wanted one. It solves a mystery why there is always many Chinese in Yodabashi Camera!! It appeared that there were no digital cameras and the DS-7 was very rare. At least Yaohan was selling reversable film and seemed they could deal with E-6. There were many Kodak and Konica mini labs around the town.
In the towns there was everything. But in the suburbs there was nothing. The gap between the rich and the poor is becoming wider and really nobody knows what to to. Car fumes, dust and pollution are becoming a problem in the bigger cities. The guide we had originally planned to have (the guide that my friend has every time) had bronchitis so couldn't show us around.
China is dramatically changing. However, this creates problems. A country close by and a country to watch out for in the future. (It's also just my opinion because I've fallen for Shanghai). Rather than just looking around various places, I think the highlight of the trip for me was being able to hear information and allsorts from the guide in the raw!!