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www.iselong.com 作者:青年参考

  Would you want to stay here 16 years back?

  By Janet W.S Suryasta-Cheung

  I remember in 1989 my parents told me I was to move from my little house in Leeds, UK to a place called Shanghai. Shanghai? Excuse me, where is that? Every weekend I knew that my mum would take me to Mac Donalds for a Fillet o Fish as a treat. That was about to all change.

  I arrived in Shanghai back in the days of Liang Piao ( Ration tickets) and FEC ( Foreign Exchange Currency). It was strange to me why we were not allowed to buy rice, flour and sugar without these little blue, orange and yellow tokens. Since there were very few toys to buy or anything I could read or watch on TV my mum would give these to me to play, in a way sort of like monopoly money. Till this day I still have some of them left, now they would be considered part of history for China and part of my childhood history as well.

  In 1990 they opened the first KFC along the bund. By now I was able to speak mandarin, and had grown accustomed to finding bricks and sticks to build forts with my friends. There really wasn’t much else to do, besides riding my bike to the Zoo which was right next to my house in Long Bai Hong Qiao. Hong Qiao was a deserted area, no development and surely not the glamorous little self contained city that it is today. Walking into KFC, I thought I would finally have a little piece of home. I asked kindly and excitely for French fries, pointed enthusiastically at the photo above the cashier. I was answered with “sorry that is just a photo, we don’t have fries”. Slightly heart broken, I decided that Mashed Potatoes would do me just fine, after once again pointing to the photo to the left of the French fries, I was replied with “NO that also is just a photo for decoration”. Feeling more and more despair, I realised it was chicken or chicken or nothing at all.

  How times have changed since then. Now you can walk along the streets and be greeted with KFC, Mc Donalds, the newly opened Burger King, on every single available corner.

  I went to school in SAS (Shanghai American School) back in the day when it was still located in the No.3 Girls school on Jiang Su Lu. There were just a handful of us lost children, that had moved from Western cultures, into something very alien. I specifically remember there was only one 9th grader. The poor guys year book photo was of him and himself only. We had a small play ground, and our cheerleading group used tree branches as pom poms. I have been told that there are 1 or 2 teachers still left in shanghai from back in the day. However now they are teaching in a state of the art campus, known around the world. Our small little niche of foreigners has turned into a full bloom world that resembles and almost surpasses some of the best universities around.

  When I left Shanghai in 1992 I never looked back and thought I would ever return. I cherished the memories I had, and the friends I had made, but this was all before the times of MSN and AOL chat programs. The promises to write letters drizzled over the years, and soon enough I lost contact with anyone and everyone I knew. I never imagined that after 13 years of moving around finishing middle school, high school and University I would find myself sitting here in the midst of Lu Wan Area. Baby im back, and boy have things changed.

  Shanghai now is the place where people flock to for business, vacation and to gain an “experience”. Each day I am bombarded with friends from all over the world, asking for advice on how to get to shanghai and stay here. Visitors that come always come back, friends that leave, always find a way to return. Had you asked people over a decade ago if they wanted to stay in shanghai, the majority would have said they wanted to leave as soon as possible. But these days, foreigners are buying up apartments and houses, heavily investing money here, and trying to build actual lives here. Its amazing and beautiful to have seen the city progress into what it is today. A central part of Asia that people must visit if they are anywhere in the “East”.

  Pudong has changed from Padi fields and empty barren land, to the futuristic city filled with buildings that are architecturally challenging. The pearl TV tower looks like something out of a comic book. I once sent a photo of it to a friend in New York, and he asked me if I had been playing on Photoshop again, he simply didn’t believe it was a real building. Hong Qiao has become Team Taiwan and Foreigners glorious haven, with supermarkets that resemble the ones in their home countries, and housing complexes that could have been shifted straight from Spain. Long gone are the times of separate currency for foreigners, long gone are the times where people sat and waited to leave Shanghai. Now it is all about how to stay and make a life here for themselves.

  Having left Shanghai in 1992 from the old Hong Qiao airport where even the trolleys could only be used from getting out of a taxi to the main entrance of the airport, I returned to something out of this world. Landing in PVG (Pudong) I walked out into a city that I no longer recognised. It was almost as if I had never been to this city before in my life. I am glad to say that I have returned to Shanghai, and I am glad to say that I have had the hard experience of how it was before the times of Champagne and Caviar.

老外看中国:上海 16年前没有香槟和鱼子酱   我记得那是在1989年,父母告诉我,要将英国利兹的家搬去一个叫上海的地方。上海吗?不好意思,那是哪儿?在英国的每个周末,妈妈都要带我去麦当劳。所有这一切从此都要开始改变了。   我到上海的时候,还是有粮票和外汇券的时代。当时我觉得很奇怪,如果没有这些蓝色、橙色和黄色的代币券,为什么就不能买米、面粉和糖呢?由于那时在上海几乎没有什么玩具可买,也没有什么我能读的书,当然也没有电视,妈妈就让我玩这些彩色的纸。直到今天,我仍然保留了一些,现在它们被当成中国历史的一部分,当然也是我童年记忆的一部分。   1990年上海外滩有了第一家肯德基。此时我已会说普通话,同时也已经习惯用砖块和棍子,和朋友一起建造堡垒。那时真没什么可做的,除了骑着自行车去公园玩,这个公园就在我所住的虹桥附近。那时候的虹桥一片荒凉,没有发展的迹象,当然更没有今天这样的五光十色。   有一次在餐厅,我很兴奋地点了法式烧烤,并狂热地指着收银台后挂着的照片。但是我所得到的回答是:“对不起,这只是照片,我们不提供法式烧烤。”我的心受到了些微地打击,好吧,那就点土豆泥吧!我再一次指向照片,这次的回答是:“不,那只是照片装饰而已。”   时光飞逝,十里洋场已经大变样儿了。现在你沿着马路走,到处都是肯德基、麦当劳,还有新开的汉堡王(Burger King),在每一个街角几乎都有它们的身影。   我曾就读于上海美国学校,这里活跃着一群有些迷失的美国小孩,他们从西方文化进入到另一种截然不同的文化中去。 我们有一个很小的操场,啦啦队用树枝当作荧光棒来加油。有人告诉我,仍有一两个当年的老师还住在上海。然而现在他们在一个艺术院校执教,在世界都很有名。而我们念书的学校,已经变成了一个非常热闹的地方,甚至几乎超过了周围最著名的几所大学。   当1992年我离开上海时,我从来没有回忆过什么,也不认为还会再回来。我珍惜这段回忆,和此时所交的朋友。但这些都发生在MSN这样的聊天软件出现之前,分手时通信的承诺说了一遍又一遍,但很快我便失去了和朋友们的联系。我从来没有想到,在四处完成了初中、高中和大学的13年后,我竟然身处上海卢湾区。宝贝,我回来了,天啊,这个城市已经天翻地覆。   今天的上海是一个人们因为做生意、旅行和获取某种“阅历”,而聚集在此的地方。每天我都被世界各地的朋友团团围住,他们用各种问题炮轰我,询问如何到达上海并留在这儿。游客来了之后还会再来,离开了朋友总是想方设法地回来。10年前如果你问人们,他们是否想留在上海,大多数人一定会说他们想离开,越快越好。但是今天,外国人在这里大规模置业和投资,试图在这儿建立真正的生活。能看见这个城市进步成今天的模样,是一件让人兴奋和美好的事情。   浦东从一个寸草不生的地方,变成一个未来派的城市,充满了各种富有挑战性的建筑。东方明珠电视塔看上去就像一本漫画书中的形象。我曾经送了一张电视塔的照片给住在纽约的朋友,他问我是不是用photoshop做出来的图片,他根本不相信这竟是一座真的建筑。虹桥已成了外国人聚居区,这里有许多和他们的国家类似的超市,住宅区的风格也可能从西班牙移植而来。外汇券的时代一去不复返了,人们迫不及待地想要离开上海的日子一去不复返了。对外国人而言,现在的一切就是如何留在这儿,并在这儿开创新生活。   降落在浦东机场,我走入这个我不再认识的城市。就好像在这之前我从来没有来过这个地方。我很高兴地说,我回到了上海,我也很高兴地说,在没有香槟和鱼子酱的时代,我曾有过那么一段艰难的经历。(本文作者现居上海,为电视节目主持人)

资料更新时间: 2006-2-25 14:16:11
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