15 November 2007 | Tanya Goodin

There are nine million bicycles in Beijing

And God knows how many in Shanghai. Neil and I have nearly run into all of them! Honestly if we get back in one piece I shall be astounded. Allegedly there are 180,000 deaths from road accidents in China every year. We both reckon that’s just the number for Shanghai – every week.

In just one day (today) we were involved in a near pile-up with a man in a white van and a half-blind old guy on a bike (the same culprits the world over). And as taxis in China don’t seem to have any seat belts in the back seats and there’s no discernible speed limit it’s always a white knuckle ride.

On our day out with our property consultants, the girl who drove us round at one stage just stopped dead in the middle of a 4-lane highway, got out her mobile phone and jabbered away asking for directions. Cars just swerved around her and no-one even hooted or shouted in protest. I tell you something, it’s made me totally chilled about driving here when I need to. Doing u-turns, going the wrong way up one-way streets, swerving suddenly for an exit you’ve missed, none of it would faze the other drivers here one bit.

So sadly it’s our last day and we’re off out now to Shanghai’s most glamorous nightspot, Bar Rouge, thanks to the astoundingly impressive Laura who planned our itinerary with military precision and has made sure we’ve seen everything we need to see as well as getting all the work done.

Neil and I both agreed we’ve found the Chinese incredibly welcoming, hospitable and charming. As a country, and a city, it’s just confounded and exceeded all our expectations. I’ve totally fallen in love with Shanghai and can’t wait to come back again soon, lucky really as we now have an office here 🙂

Tanya Goodin

Tanya Goodin

Founder of Tamar