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Shanghai is a strange city. Most of it is nondescript modern architecture, not as ugly as Dubai but really not very attractive unless you are on the Bund. But in between the high rises are wonderfully decrepit streets where you can experience Shanghai the way it was, at least for modest people. If you want more elegant nostalgia, you need to go to the French Concession where the grand colonial mansions are. Anyway, on the poorer streets, you will see people drying their underwear on ropes hung between trees, or outside their windows, or drying their socks right on a cart from which they sell bonzai trees.

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