Ode To Joy - Life in Shanghai

  • 1147
  • 11
  • 4
  • English 
May 16, 2016 00:10
The “Ode to Joy” I am referring to here isn’t the piece of music composed by Beethoven. It‘s the title of a TV series in China, which is very popular right now. The series is about the lives of five girls who live in Shanghai. The neighborhood they live in is called “Ode to Joy.”

I normally don’t watch TV series because I think they're a waste of time. But when all the people around me are talking about this series nonstop, I have to know what it's about, otherwise I won't be able to get a word in. In order to save time, I started by first watching the first few episodes, then reading about the plot online and then finally watching the newest episodes to finish off the series. :)

Living in Shanghai is very expensive. It is nearly impossible for young people to buy an apartment unless their parents are rich. So, five girls who come from different family backgrounds make the show both complex and interesting. Rich people in China are super rich, so it's no surprise that they afford real estate in NYC, Sydney, or London. For example, it has been reported recently that a young Chinese college student spend 31 M Canadian dollars to buy a luxury house in Vancouver.

I’ve been to Shanghai several times, and I don’t like the city. People have to work extremely hard to make enough money to afford an apartment, without which they are otherwise not able to obtain what's called a "hukou", which in turn means they're not "really" Shanghainese in the eyes of the law. Because of this, there're some social services and rights that they're not entitled to. Thus, the folks in Shanghai are making the tradeoff of exchanging incredibly hard work during a major part of their youth for a ticket to some uncertain, future lottery.