C919 passenger jet

A few days ago they tested the first made-in-China passenger jet C919 at Pudong Airport here in Shanghai.

This is the first large passenger jet made in China and it is expected to make its first flight during the first half of 2017. But let’s see, the maiden flight has already been delayed two times since 2014 due to production issues.

The plane aims to be a competitor to Boeing’s 737 and Airbus’ A320. China Eastern Airlines is the launch customer for the plane but the producer COMAC reports that they have received 570 orders for the C919 jet from 23 customers.

The market for passenger jets in China is huge, just the Chinese airlines will need about 6000 new ones valued approximately $945 billion over the next two decades. So obviously, as with everything else, Beijing hopes to replace foreign aircraft with domestically produced ones instead.

All categories,China

Electric scooters and 40″ containers

I have never driven as much electric scooter / moped as I have done the past 1.5 years in Shanghai. When I was 15 years old in Sweden and got my first moped I felt; “Ok, so this is not so exciting”, and didn’t really drive it more than to and from school. The first months in Shanghai I walked everywhere and I almost still do but I decided to buy the electric scooter to cut down the time to walk to and from the metro station in the morning and evening.

I paid around 2000 CNY for a brand new scooter and so far it’s been working as well as you can expect. The throttle gets stuck sometimes which is quite ok since the top speed is just a whopping 40km/h. The breaks function when they feel like it. But the inferior quality of my scooter is the least problem when driving it here in Shanghai, the big issue is the traffic.

Recently the traffic police in Shanghai have had some major campaigns to try to improve the traffic situation but I am not sure if there is any effect, to be honest. Just on my way back home today I encountered the following:

  • Several electric scooters and bicycles driving against traffic, the wrong direction.
  • Motorcycles driving the wrong direction zig-zagging between electric scooters, bicycles and pedestrians.
  • Cars running red lights (when a police car is in the intersection), and not to turn right.
  • Cars blocking the scooter/bicycle lane.

The key when driving a scooter or riding a bicycle in the Shanghai traffic is to expect the unexpected and keep your eyes open and look everywhere.

Some tips

  • Very quick you will realize that cars are the kings of the road here. Pedestrians, bicycles and scooter drivers are just obstacles for the cars to get around as quick as possible. If the cars had to yield for pedestrians and the other “obstacles” then the cars will line up quickly and nobody will move forward except the obstacles.
  • IMPORTANT ONE: Green light at the zebra crossing doesn’t mean much, cars will not stop.
  • Drivers seldom stop before turning right in China, even if the light is red or to yield to pedestrians. Oncoming traffic turning left into your crosswalk will also not yield. So green light for pedestrians really doesn’t mean much, look both directions before cross the street.
  • Many drivers in China lack experience as the Chinese usually buy their first car and get their license much later in life than Westerners.

Again. Walking, bicycle or scooter. Keep your eyes open and be alert, then you will be fine and can enjoy this busy city even though the crazy traffic.

All categories,China

A new app, pollution, language barriers and opportunities

Today I downloaded a new app on my phone to be able to easier take notes and make the classic “to-do lists” . I will try it for a couple of weeks before I tell which one it is and give you my review. I wrote this post in the new app and just copied and pasted it into the WordPress app. Quite convenient!

I got up at 5:30am today with a booming headache. Probably because I was outside for many hours yesterday when the air-quality was, to say the least, very poor. Growing up in Sweden I never really gave a second thought about the clean air, it is just something that we always have and nothing special. After 15 months in Shanghai I have realized how precious and how grateful one should be for clean air.

Like this morning I opened the balcony door to get some fresh air in to the bedroom. Five minutes later it smells like an old diesel engine been running in the room for hours.

The air is a problem here but there are many other parts of life in Shanghai that sort of makes up for it. You learn how to protect yourself from the worst pollution and still can find ways to enjoy life in this impressing city.

There are unlimited opportunities both personally and professionally here. While you are trying to catch some of them you will deal with said pollution, cultural differences, language barriers and more.

But isn’t it because of all these challenges one chose to live in a city like Shanghai? It adds some spice to life!

All categories,China