'Du you must be Hai! Sascha's 'Shanghai vs. Chengdu' expat analysis, round 1

by China Travel
Posted: September 6th, 2010 | Updated: May 23rd, 2011 | Comments
New China Travel blogger Sascha Matuszak comes to us (and our Shanghai HQ) from a long stint in Chengdu where, as legend has it, Tang Dynasty poet (or Smurf). Since we're Shanghai expats we've been riveted by Sascha's tales of a land where the food is cheap and delicious, where you can go be in "nature" within mere hours, and where people occupy themselves with something called "leisure" (rhymes with "pleasure," he says, though our boss says it rhymes with "seizure"). They also engage in many interesting activities that don't have to do exclusively with making tons of money, he claims. Weird, yes, but then again China's a big place, they tell us, and apparently there are all kinds of people out there! Anyway, one of the many things that we like about Mr. Matuszak is the writing he's done for Chengdu Living, an excellent site focused on... yep, you guessed it: the terrible plague of NASCAR-viewing-related spontaneous couch-smothering deaths afflicting the American lower-middle class in recent years. All that aside, Sascha continues to contribute to Chengdu Living, and his most recent post is of particular interest to those engaged in the ongoing group project of creating a comprehensive laowai taxonomy. It's titled A Tale of Two Cities: Chengdu vs. Shanghai, and it's pretty much all about how Formula 1 racing fans tend not to accidentally smother themselves to death on their couches but are increasingly subject to life-threatening accidents involving stationary bicycles and sporks. He also muses a bit on his early impressions of his new hometown, casually dropping pointed observations of "the Hai" such as:
It's a fashion-money-sex city in many ways, but its the fashion of the 20-something sex kitten, constantly changing her hairstyle, not the more mature diva, whose honed style influences the kitten.
Honestly, we have no idea what he's talking about (he's using, like, metaphors or something?) but we do kinda like the sound of all that "sex" stuff. Anyway, for the rest of the comparison (we're promised more in the future as Sascha better gets to know his new megametropolis of a home), head over to Chengdu Living....
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