Shanghai is crowded, loud, grey, and ugly. It's a lot like New York: very trend-conscious, busy busy busy, everyone rushing everywhere, no time to look you in the eye or have a friendly conversation. Sometimes even Northern Chinese don't get far in the shops if they don't speak Shanghai dialect. That said, the weird Old World European flavor of The Bund is oddly appealing. Shanghai has always been China's most metropolitan city, and so it's popular with a lot of foreigners. Maybe that's why Chengdu is my favorite city in China. Oh well, I have a Shanghai Hard Rock Cafe shirt anyway. :p

Okay, let me modify my opinion somewhat. Every day I was in Shanghai, it was hot, grey and drizzly. If I come back to Shanghai in the sun, maybe I'll feel differently. I did feel that it has a lot of the worst traits of Chinese and European mega-cities put together, but that combination is what most people love about the place. (Though a lot of Chinese strongly prefer either the North or the South...) And for the record, we just ventured into the HRC because it was right across from our hotel (the JC Mandarin) long enough to get a couple t-shirts--the entrance was full of hookers and trendoid Chinese/tourists.

Anyway, if you go to China, you certainly shouldn't miss Shanghai. Lots of the more recent history of China there, and a truly unique feel to the place. Just don't let it be your only experience with China, just as Tokyo shouldn't be your only impression of Japan.
Shanghai (上海), which means 'by the sea,' is China's financial center and currently the place I call home. The center of the city is divided into two areas by the Huangpu River. Puxi (where I live), literally "west of the river", continues to expand as the original business center. Pudong, to the east, is a new business district, and is growing rapidly with the construction of business offices, residential complexes and manufacturing buildings.

Contrary to what Wintersweet is saying, Shanghai is anything but grey and ugly (sorry :p). Yes it is loud and crowded, but only because it is a large city and all of them are like that. There are over 14 million people packed into that small place. There are many areas in Shanghai that are anything but grey and dull, such as downtown (Nanjing Lu, The Bund, French Concession, and the new Hongqiao area where my house is). Those places are often full of life and color.

Shanghainese is a wacky dialect, but having learned it, I still use Mandarin in Shanghai because it is easier for me. If they are rude to me for using Mandarin (a rare thing these days) then I walk away. I think rudeness all over the world might be related to living in big cities.

It is a big metropolitan city, but once you start talking to people they are often a lot nicer. Having lived there for 5 years, I have to say it isn't a bad place. BTW, the Hard Rock Cafe in Shanghai sucks. You should eat at Tony Roma's upstairs instead. :)

A slang term for the act of drugging and kidnapping someone to work on a ship, derived from an old practice decades ago of kidnapping sailors to man ships bound for China.

Nowadays, the term can be used to refer to someone or something that has been taken in an unexpected and unwelcome direction. You can be shanghaied by your Aunt Gladys into painting her house. A project can be shanghaied by a manager to make it more profitable but less useful. A meeting can be shanghaied by people who want to discuss something that's not on the agenda. And this node was shangaied away from a decent discussion of a Chinese city by this writeup.
Shanghai is the largest city in China. It is located in the southeast corner of Jiangsu Province; however, Shanghai itself is considered to be its own region rather than being considered part of Jiangsu. The Huangpu River runs through Shanghai, seperating the city into east and west parts. Most of the old buildings in the city were taken down to put up residence housing, so Shanghai has a very modern and urban feel to it, although there are some remaining places where older architecture- both Chinese and western, can be seen.

Due to Shanghai's location at the mouth of the Yangtze river, Shanghai is an extremely important trading center for most of central China. Hence, a great amount of people are employed in shipping and importing-exporting. There is a very strong international presence in Shanghai as many foreign companies like GM and Volkswagen have set up large headquarters in Shanghai. (Shanghai, a city, has the second largest economy in the country, only behind the province of Guangdong) has the However, due to the fact that Shanghai is one of the most expensive cities in China (second to Guangzhou), recently many companies have been investing in cities like Suzhou and Hangzhou, which are close to Shanghai but much less expensive.

Living in Shanghai is not bad. There are people there from all around the world, so it is China's most international city. Still, it is very crowded and noisy- but there is also lots to do. The best thing about Shanghai is probably eating. Most every type of Chinese food, including Shanghainese food, Hangzhou food, Cantonese food, Beijing food, and hotpot can all be bought in Shanghai. Furthermore there are a fairly large amount of foreign restaurants that serve Japanese, French, German, American and Italian food. (My personal favorite is the all-you-can-eat Japanese restaurant- anything on the menu in unlimited quantity, plus all the beer and sake you can drink for about $15 US)

Besides eating, you can either sing karaoke (the Taiwanese karaoke chain, Cash box, currently has three stores open in Shanghai) or go clubbing (which can be somewhat sketchy). Also there are many tea houses, where one can go to drink tea and play cards, or one can go play mahjong, although I would recommend learning to play well first as people usually gamble when they play mahjong. Also there are places to go online(people are sometimes surprised when I talk to them online and I tell them that I am in China- e.g. "they have computers there? aren't you afraid of being oppressed by the chinese government?" ^_^), go rock climbing, numerous gyms, parks, video arcades, computer game centers (counterstrike and starcraft are the most popular games) old temples (sometimes very touristy), etc.

Getting around in Shanghai is pretty easy. Taxis are ubiquitous and fast(basically all taxis in Shanghai are volkswagen santanas), and still not extremely expensive. There is a generally a hierarchy of taxis (different companies have different colored taxis) which is as follows:

  • blue-green and white taxis are best and most reliable, the drivers know directions best. Also now there are volkswagen passat taxis, also green.
  • gold/yellow taxis are decent, although of lesser quality overall are still usually good.
  • blue, green and red taxis depend on the driver, sometimes they are OK, sometimes the driver just came to Shanghai from a farm someplace and doesn't know where anything is.
  • Also, there are Hongqi taxis, also red in hue. The Hongqi is "the best" domestically produced Chinese car. As such, these cars were formerly used only to carry dignitaries and government officials. Nowadays however, Shanghai has one taxi service that uses them. The hongqi looks sort of like an Audi and is a lot roomier than the Santana.
Also in Shanghai, there are a lot of buses that go everywhere, and a subway system that is useful for travel through the heart of the city- there are now 3 lines (two north-south, one east-west.)

The best weather in Shanghai is in the middle of fall and in the middle of spring. Winter is damp and chilly, and there is no heat because Shanghai is in "south China"- only cities north of the Yangtze and Luo rivers get heat in the winter- and summer is oppressively hot and humid with mosquitoes everywhere. Shanghai mosquitos are a lot faster flyers than their American counterparts and they tend to hide in dark places and wait until one has turned out the light and gone to sleep before biting, so it is a good idea to burn some sort of citronella or use mosquito netting, or you could do what i do, which is use my old copies of Xinmin Evening news, Shanghai's #1 newspaper, to kill the little buggers.

Shanghai is my favorite city in China because the food is good, living is convienient, and the people are interesting.

Shanghai is a card game generally played with two decks of cards - jokers left out - and four players. You can play the game with five players and add another deck, and add two decks with six players (and so on), but this is not recommended.

The game consists of ten hands; eleven cards are dealt to each player each hand. As in Uno, the player with the least amount of points at the end wins. Deuces are always wild. After the cards are dealt, the rest are put face down in the middle of the table. Then the dealer turns up one card to begin the discard pile (more on the discard pile later).

As in Rummy, cards are put down on the table in sets (for example: three Kings) and straights - or "runs" (for example: 4,5,6 and 7 of Clubs). However, the cards are not put down to acquire points. Rather, they are set down to get out of your hand and avoid acquiring the points for the cards. The following is a breakdown of which cards are worth what points:

  • Aces - Fifteen points
  • Face cards - Ten points
  • 10 - Ten points
  • 9-3 - Five points
  • Dueces - Twenty points

The order in which players take their turns is clockwise. The first person to play in each hand is the player to the left of the dealer. Players take turns being dealer, usually who deals is to the left of whomever had dealt the previous hand. A basic turn is this: a player may choose one card from the face-down pile, or pick up one card in the discard pile that the previous player put down. The turn ends when the player discards one card. This can be more complicated when we get into Buys, but I'll get to this later.

Each hand has a specific requirement for the player to meet before he or she is allowed to put any cards out of their hand onto the table. For instance, in the first hand, you may not lay down any cards unless, by virtue of drawing cards from the face down pile or picking up cards the previous player has discarded, you acquire two sets of three. This can be three matching cards of any suit, i.e. three Kings, three fours, etc. If you do not acquire the requisite sets of cards needed for that hand before one of the other players go out (play or discard their last card), you are stuck counting all of the points in your hand and you are considered "Shanghaied."

The following is a rundown of the requisite cards needed in each hand to be able to lay down any cards. Sets are always three of a kind of any suit. "Runs" have to be sequential cards of the same suit. You will notice a pattern in that the number of cards needed to be acquired goes up by one each hand. Knowing this can also help you remember what is required each hand lest you forget.

  1. Two sets of 3 (6 cards)
  2. Run of four, a set of 3 (7 cards)
  3. Two runs of four (8 cards)
  4. Three sets of three (9 cards)
  5. Run of seven, set of three (10 cards)
  6. Two runs of four, a set of three (11 cards)
  7. Three runs of four (12 cards)
  8. Run of ten, set of three (13 cards)
  9. Three sets of three, run of five (14 cards)
  10. Three runs of five (15 cards)

Once you acquire the necessary cards, you may lay down those cards as long as it is during your turn (once you discard, the turn is over). You may play additional cards if:

  • You have plays on your own cards (if you garner a necessary run of four, for instance, but you have ended up with more cards in that run, by all means play those cards, get them out of your hand as quickly as possible. Like, if you have a 4,5,6 and 7 of hearts, but you have an 8 and 9, play those, too!).
  • You have plays on cards other players have set down. For instance, after you have played the requisite cards, and you have a ten of hearts, and another player has a run of 6, 7, 8 and 9 of hearts, play the ten on their run. Or if you have a five and another player has put down a set of fives, put your five on their set.

It is of the utmost importance if you have cards that play anywhere play them as soon as possible. Once you play all the cards in your hand, or play all but one and can discard, you are out, you count up no points for the hand, and everybody else counts up what unplayed cards/points they have left.

You may have noticed that after the sixth hand, the number of cards needed exceeds the eleven that you are dealt. This is where the rules of Buys come in. If any player, with the exception of the player to your immediate right, discards a card that you need, you may "buy" that card. This requires that you take that card, and one card from the face-down pile. As you can see, beyond the sixth hand buys are necessary and sometimes you may need to buy a card even if you don't need it. But there's a catch. You cannot buy the card if somebody ahead of you in the turn rotation would like to have the card, or if the player whose turn it is after the card is discarded would like it (or, not willing to "sell" it). Concurrently, if the player before you discards a card you and you would like the card, you pick it up and say "I'm not willing to sell it" or "tough shit," --whatever floats your boat. There are a limited number of Buys you have for each hand, depending on the hand. You may only buy three times the first seven hands, and four times for the rest of them. (Four buys start with the run of ten, set of three hand). Once you're out, you're out. Another way to look at this is that the first seven hands, the maximum number of cards you may have in your hand is 17. The max for the last three hands is 19. One more minor thing on Buys: when the dealer turns up one card to start the discard pile, he or she may buy that card if nobody else wants it.

A few rules on the deuces: They are wild, as previously mentioned. Standard wild card rules apply, like they cannot account for fifty percent or more of the run or set you are trying to accomplish. IMPORTANT: You can acquire deuces from the table. For example, if another player has set down a run of four with deuces, like a 9, 10, deuce, Queen of spades, and you have the Jack of spades, you may insert your Jack into the run, take that deuce, and do anything you want with it. Like if you had a Queen of hearts, and there's a run on the table that goes up to a Ten, use the deuce as a Jack and play that Queen! Remember that keeping the deuce is risky, as it is twenty points if you are caught with it. And, as always, you may not do this unless you have already put down cards, i.e. met the requisite set of cards for that hand. This (switching out to grab a deuce from the table) will work in any run, but will not work in sets.

Important Notes and Strategies

Remember to play all the cards you can play before your turn is over. If you discard, and see something you should have played, sorry, you're screwed. And if somebody goes out and catches you with that card or cards, you're doubly screwed.

On rare occasions, the face-down pile will be depleted without anybody going out. In this instance, the hand is over, everybody count up your points.

Use those deuces and use them wisely! Get them however you can. Sometimes if you are desperate for a deuce, you may want to try buying a card in the hopes that the card you draw from the face-down pile will be a deuce.

Buy, buy, buy! Especially in later hands, sometimes you may want to buy just to be buying if you just aren't seeing the cards you need. I have played with people that will, in certain hands, have a "standing buy," i.e. the first time somebody gives them permission and nobody ahead of them wants the card, they snatch it up. It is imperative to buy beyond the sixth hand, as previously stated.

Aces can be played as Aces or Ones! It is rare to want to use it as a One, but you may if like. This also requires actually using a deuce as a 2, which is a bit of a waste, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Deuces cannot be discarded. Not that you'd want to anyway.

This game can get downright mean as some of you might have already guessed. Fits of rage can and will result from somebody in front of you snatching up that one, beautiful card you need to buy that will complete your set and allow you to go down. Just try to remain calm.

Remember: it's just a game.:)

Shang`hai" (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Shanghaied (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Shanghaiing.]

To intoxicate and ship (a person) as a sailor while in this condition.

[Written also shanghae.] [Slang, U.S.]

 

© Webster 1913.


Shang`hai" (?), n. Zool.

A large and tall breed of domestic fowl.

 

© Webster 1913.

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