The flight from Seoul to Shanghai was thankfully at a good time of day, a short and easy two hour flight into Pudong Airport followed by a quick 10 minute trip on the 431 KPH magnetic levitation Maglev train – the fastest in the world – to the city centre.
My first Shanghai spitting experience however preceded getting the train and for this short post, as a taster, I thought I would just relate my field-notes for that first afternoon:
‘Straight off the plane, inside the airport, Chinese man with family and laden with duty free turns, puts down his packages and does a double ‘snot-rocket’ onto the floor. Not big ones or loud’.
‘First hour in hotel well dressed business man in shirt and tie waiting for the lift in the lobby suddenly leans down, hocks and spits in the waste bins outside the lifts’ [seen here]
‘Quick 10 minute walk around roads near to hotel, two men hock and spit casually onto the floor’
On subsequent days the impression given by this first afternoon was both reinforced – there is a lot of spitting in Shanghai and it can be surprisingly ‘in your face’ – but it was also increasingly informed by different patterns and factors not immediately obvious to the casual observer. Watch this space.