Shanghai’s Frustrating Side

I’ve had a frustrating day. Some of that I should blame on Lonely Planet hyping things that weren’t so interesting after all… some of it is just Shanghai. Cabbies refusing to take you places even when you show them the Chinese text… a subway system that’s 90% doable but 10% completely incomprehensible… and touts and hawkers who just do not let up.

Now some woman in the Internet room at the hotel I’m staying at is vociferously arguing with a guest that all the PCs are the same. She claims the PC that takes 15 minutes to load Gmail and wouldn’t even access my site (because it’s so bug-infested and hasn’t had the OS reinstalled in years) is the same speed as every other computer in the place. The scam is that they always direct guests to the buggiest, slowest PCs, which takes more time and costs more. Something about the woman snarling at me that every PC is the same made me really, really angry.

But I know I’m having a bad day, and probably reacting a little unfairly. I even growled at the cabbie when he gave me too much change, thinking in my exhausted confusion that he’d ripped me off. Bad day, yes.

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