Two weeks ago my friend Cecile asked me whether I wanted to go to the beach the following day.
In my mind I thought yes! Great! Are we renting a car, taking a bus or what?
I was also a little dubious because I have been to Chinese beaches before, and they are my idea of typical beach nightmare: being locked in a square foot of sand with jabbering tickling the ears right left and center…
Well dear friends, it turns out there is an amazing pool/beach right along the Pudong river, a 30rmb taxi ride from my apartment, inside a residential complex called Shimao riviera gardens. 120rmb gets you in which is a hefty price to pay, but in this heat and far away from any decent beaches, this makes for a great Sunday chill out hub.
Another Chinese perk is that whereas in Europe, we prefer a ‘don’t litter’ policy, in China, it is the opposite with a ‘clear up after’ mindset. You can drinks beers in the pool, play ball, smoke cigarettes, whatever takes your fancy. Of course this transforms us slightly into littering monsters but unfortunately as an expat in China, you kinda get used to the idea that there will always be someone cleaning up after you…
We are now over 173,000 expats living in Shanghai (out of a population of 23 million!). This is a number sufficiently big and on the constant rise for there to be many businesses sprouting solely targeting expats. With a defining expat trait being chilling, having fun and enjoying life, they will probably aim to quench these lusts, creating more and more “expat-destined” hubs and services that don’t really exist back home.
We already have Mealbay and Sherpa’s, the food delivery services which pick up food from any restaurant of your choice and deliver it straight to your door (you can order anything from Ice and liquor to a full roasted chicken). Shanghai has fantastic pools, brunches and foreign restaurants and I’ve been the the cool docks beach which is basically the same thing as Paris Plage. Now this discovery of the playa and wave pool at Shimao is the new highlight of my stay here!