The streets in Beijing are broad and laid out in order like a grid with Tiananman Square as the center, which gives Beijingers a good sense of direction. While in Shanghai roads are knit and wandering. I find myself dwarfed on the street of Beijing.
If the traffic in Shanghai is as slow as a turtle, the traffic in Beijing is terribly slow like a snail, from time to time in rush hours, especially on the streets that run through or around the Tiananmen Square. The situation turned slightly better after the control measures were taken over even-odd plate numbers of automobiles in Beijing.
House Number plate:
It is difficult to look for a house or building in Beijing even with address, because in most cases the number plates are not found. In Shanghai, each building is labeled with a number plate.
Let alone those constructions with history, the buildings in Shanghai are high and nice-looking generally. In Beijing many buildings are grand, various in design, wonderfully blended with tradition and modernity.
In Beijing I have to go to supermarket for a weekly purchasing not because I am economical, but because I always have difficulty finding the place to buy something I want. In Shanghai the so-called convenience stores are every here and there. I go to supermarket only for big stuff.
Be a down-to-earth person when walking in Shanghai. The droppings of pet dogs hidden somewhere at the corner are like “roadside bombs” in this metropolis.
I find few Beijing natives working in restaurants, while in Shanghai it is not unusual to see Shanghainese, even in their fifties, work in restaurants as attendants or cooks.
Even though I am plain in food, I still have to say that I am happy in Shanghai for at least the sake of food and snacks. Compared with food in Shanghai that is really tasty and exquisite, the food in Beijing is more of the filling of stomach.
Taxi drivers in Beijing were known for their talkativeness, especially in topic about state affairs. But it is questionable if this remains practice anymore. As I see, they are generally quiet but sometimes I got trouble as a non-Beijinger. In Shanghai, taxi drivers are complaining but professional.
I don’t think I received more than a dozen one-Yuan coins in the past two years in Beijing. On the contrary, it rarely happened to receive one-Yuan note in Shanghai. It is said that Beijingers prefer note because it is carry-home. However, in Shanghai the coins do help because there are many self-help facilities that better accept coins.
It seems incumbent in Beijing for any young man to give their seat to an unable person, whether physically handicapped, aged, minors or pregnant. In Shanghai, it seems that only a small group of people have this responsibility.
If the density of crowds in the subway train of Beijing is quite heavy, it is suffocating in that of Shanghai.
When Shanghainese talk in their dialect, a Beijinger is totally isolated, because Shanghai dialect sounds exclusively exotic to a non-Shanghainese. Whereas, Beijing dialect sounds similar to standard mandarin.
There are more private cars running in Beijing, though many of those vehicles are of economical level. It’s so all because the expense to own a car is far more expensive in Shanghai, in terms of parking fee and above all the license tax of bidding for a plate number that almost amounts to half as much as the cost of a small sedan itself.
The carriage tugged by horse can be seen, even on the main streets of Beijing. These carriages are actually mobile stalls selling fruits, in most cases. The pedlars take advantage of their horses because of its maneuverability to the inspection of local police. Running in the flow of traffic in a metropolis, the horse-driven carriage is so striking as the horse looks quite free running, ignorant of traffic constraints. :-))