25. March 2012

Boxing Boats on a Shanghainese Sunday

The city proper of Shanghai is home to 20 million inhabitants (see here and here). Unsurprisingly, despite of its density, the urban area goes on and on. Nevertheless, if people want to enjoy nearby green areas in their spare time, they have at least the public parks.

As I visited Shanghai Zhongshan Park (上海中山公园) on a Sunday, I found a variety of activities going on; singing, chamber music, dancing, jogging, sports, kite-flying, helicopter-flying, badminton, modeling, photographing, juggling, strolling, picknicking, playing Mahjong, playing cards. Also people were riding rollercoasters, driving bumper cars, and steering boxing boats. The latter are electric boats equipped with bumpers to avoid accidental damage. The name boxing boats is probably an ad-hoc Chinglish name. But since the boats and their usually either very young or rather senior drivers often bump into each other, this Chinglish term seems appropriate.

While I found the park not to provide any escape from the ever-present noise of the Shanghai urban area, I enjoyed watching the multitude of activities and the cheerful participants.