Shanghai: This city, the largest in the world, was never on my bucket list. Now, I want to go back to hang out and discover the promise it revealed on an abbreviated trip. What a wonderful town! Just an off-the-top assessment: this city was born global and has embraced, unlike Bombay, its international heritage.

上海: 世界最大的城市,以前从未在我的旅行计划中。现在,我希望回到那小住一段时间,以发现更多上次简短旅行带来的惊奇。多么伟大的城市!简要来说:上海具有与生俱来的全球化和包容性,不像孟买,是一个国际遗产。(最后一句求指正)

So here's the thing: you land at the Pudong International Airport and get the sense of desolate grandeur and last-mile incompetence that you see at Delhi's T3 white-elephant terminal. The difference is the immigration officials all looked very professional; there were no casual "supervisors" hanging about; no officious flunkies escorting VIPs; the security men were real, not guys scratching their privates.

情况是这样:飞机降落在浦东机场,你会见到和德里华而不实的T3国际机场一样的豪华和ast-mile incompetence(?)。不同的是这里的海关人员相当专业;这里没有偶尔出没的监督员;也没有马屁虫逢迎大人物;安保人员是真正负责的,不是搜刮手下的家伙。

Our designated chauffer was waiting with a graphically soothing placard; young fellow who spoke English and was exceptionally polite. He drove us on wonderful, well-lit expressways to our hotel. We couldn't see much of the city because of the smog but the lights on the highway were bright and we zoomed into the Pudong city center with the smoothness you can only associate with Western transit.


My lack of enthusiasm for the trip-to attend an Asian PR conference-was challenged by my two daughters who accompanied me. "Get over it, Dad. It'll be great," they chorused, brushing aside my concern about language and my Indian jaundiced eye. I was just 13 in 1962 when China delivered the knockout punch that sent the burgeoning republic of India into a tizzy from which it is still to recover.


On my own, I would have checked into the hotel, attended the conference and done the regulatory sightseeing, eaten the standard five-star hotel food and come away marveling at the city with its colored-light modernity. With my daughters in attendance, we traipsed through the Huangpu and Xuhui districts and saw parts of the city that I probably would never have visited, especially when the day temperature was two degrees Celsius and windy.

如果是我自己,我应该住进宾馆,出席会议,然后参加 安排好的观光,品尝5星级酒店的美食,带着对这座绚烂的现代化都市的赞叹离开。 因为女儿们也在,我们漫步在黄埔和徐汇区,如果不是她们我可能永远不会到这些地方,更别提日间气温只有2℃,而且有风。

Shanghai is seared in my memory because of my daughters; the one is the mother of my precocious granddaughter; the other a New York sophisticate. They are so cool and so well-informed that I just let them take me here, there and everywhere. We walked through the old town, wandered through Xintiandi, the upscale part of the French Concession neighborhood that also boasts of the home of the suave Zhou Enlai (Chou En-lai), who served as the premier of China from 1949 t0 1976.


Zhou was the interlocutor for Jawaharlal Nehru at the Bandung Conference of 1955, in which the first principles of the Nonaligned Movement were articulated; a year before in Peking (now Beijing), Zhou signed with Nehru the Panchsheel Treaty, binding India and China to an agreement of peaceful coexistence.

周总理是55年万隆会议的参与者,那次会议缔造 了不结盟运动。54年周恩来和尼赫鲁在北京签署和平协议,确定中印和平共处。

As we walked through Xintiandi, I marveled at the restoration; here was a city that embraced it European heritage…so unlike any Indian city. My time in Shanghai was cut short because of a family emergency but we did get a chance to walk around People's Square and take in the Bund, a gorgeous esplanade on the Huangpu River, with its barges and bridges.

From the Bund, you can see in shimmering watercolor impressionism, the high rises of Pudong, which my girls called the Gurgaon of Shanghai; looking to our back, we saw the traditional Tudor-style buildings, including the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, where we stopped to have afternoon tea.

在我们走过新天地时,我惊讶于古迹的修缮,这座城市包容了它的欧洲遗产, 不像印度的任何一座城市。因为家里急事我们的上海之行被迫缩短,但幸好我们有时间游览人民广场和外滩,这是黄埔江畔华丽的广场,江中游船往返,江上大桥横亘。从外滩看去,江中波光粼粼,我的女儿称为“上海Gurgaon ”(Gurgaon德里的卫星城 )的浦东遥遥矗立。往后看,传统的都铎建筑赫然在目,沃尔多夫 阿斯托里亚宾馆矗立其中,我们停下里在里面享用了下午茶。

We walked and walked, marveling at the sheer exuberance of street life even in the cold two-degree-Celsius weather. As we followed Nanjing Road to People's Square, I kept thinking that the Bombay of the 1950s that I knew and loved could have become like this, except power-grubbing politicians, venal bureaucrats and apathetic citizens destroyed it and condemned it to be a slum.

我们走啊走,惊叹即使2℃ 低温也阻挡不了的热闹繁忙,从南京路到人民广场,我不停的在想如果不是无耻的政客,贪污的官僚,冷漠的居民将孟买毁成了一个大贫民窟,我深知并热爱的50年代的孟买也可成为这样。

Unlike any city in India, Shanghai seems to be livable for the average citizen; you can actually walk the streets, which you cannot in any Indian city; its riches seem to have been shared with the people. Roads, sidewalks, gardens, public art and mass transport; they have it all in spades; they also have preserved and enhanced their colonial heritage. "Inclusive growth" is not a slogan here; it's real.


In the most superficial assessment, if one is to compare to Shanghai to Bombay (and frankly, there's no comparison), it is clear that Shanghai is in a totally different league, comparable to Paris. Duh! It is called Paris of the East.


Shanghai has almost 24 million people compared to Bombay's 21 million. There can be no question that life seems to be hugely better in the Chinese city. These comparisons are impressionist, I grant you. There's no mistaking, however, the dignity of common people and the preponderance of public goods. If Bombay is part of a democracy (and this is dubious, given the thugs of the Shiv Sena) and Shanghai of an authoritarian system, then without any survey or anything, just looking at the ground reality, I'd rather as an ordinary citizen be living in Shanghai.

上海2千4百万人口,孟买2千1百万 .毫无疑问,上海的生活优质的多,我承认这个比较完全基于直观印象。然而不会错的,普通人的尊严和公共设施的数量说明一切。就算孟买是皿煮的一部分(鉴于有像Shiv Sena 这样的暴徒,这点也是勉勉强强),而上海是集权体制,不需调查,只看看基本现实,我愿作为普通人生活在上海。

In the end, two things stood out. One, the Chinese political system, opaque though it is, seems to throw up decisive leaders, committed to enhancing the public interest. Two, the life of citizens seems to be light years ahead of the daily hassles, slum culture and criminal violence in Indian cities.

最后想说2点:1 中国政体虽然不透明,但貌似提供了强有力的领导人,为提供公共利益而努力; 2. 市民的生活比吵吵闹闹,充斥着贫民窟和暴力犯罪的印度城市好上几万倍。

As for the race between India and China, I am saddened to report India never even made it to the starting line. It is very likely, as a friend told me, that India is to China as Mexico is to the United States.

至于中印之争,我只能无奈的说印度从来没站到过 起跑线上。就像一个朋友告诉我的,印度于中国就像墨西哥之于美国。


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