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July 25, 2010


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Casey Freeland

What the what? So, how hot can it possibly be? It's 110 here and no one is rubbing their belly. That is odd.

Love the terminator masks though. Those rock.

I'm going to sell sunscreen in Shanghai and make a fortune.




Actually, don't the Shanghainese use sunscreen, too? Perhaps it's a generational thing?

Anyway, thanks for the post--very well timed given the brutal heat we're experiencing on the U.S. East Coast. I had actually been thinking about doing a post on a similar theme for my blog, Seen the Elephant http://seentheelephant.blogspot.com/, which covers not only the expat life but the challenges of coming home again (should you be so foolish!). Since I spent some of my years abroad in Japan, I was going to list the habits the Japanese have developed for enduring the worst of the heat and humidity. I think I may link to your pix!

p.s. Does Shanghai have high humidity, too?

Kristin Bair O'Keeffe

You're right. Folks in Shanghai do have access to sunscreen. There's loads of it for sale at all the grocery stories, pharmacies, etc. I suspect that for some women, sunscreen is still too expensive...a luxury item. For others, the additional protection (sunbrellas, masks, hats, etc.) is insurance.

Many women in China want to have the whitest skin possible, and most facial moisturizers include a "whitening" agent.

I talked to my male Shanghainese trainer about this the other day, and he said that most women in China would consider it an insult if you refer to their skin as brown or tanned. (He's made that mistake before and learned his lesson.)

So...on one hand, you have all us Westerners trying to get a tan...get a little color. On the other hand, you've got Chinese women trying to get as white as possible. Grass is always greener, isn't it?

Seentheelephant: Love your blog. Just started digging into it and am looking forward to reading more.

P.S. And oh, yes, it is unbearably humid in Shanghai. I have curly hair and resemble my gramma's 1973 Chia pet most of the year.

ML Awanohara

Thanks for the compliments on http://seentheelephant.blogspot.com/. It's a new venture, so I need all the elephant hugs and other supportive gestures I can get. In any event, I plan to add yours to my blogroll today!

p.s. I'll be posting an interview next month with a friend who is a great China lover!


Sunbrella! Love it, definitely stealing that.

Here in Dalian it isn't as hot, and though we definitely have some sunbrellas, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of concern about it. The men all love to pull their shirts up over their bellies, though!

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  • Kristin Bair O'Keeffe

Kristin Bair O'Keeffe
Shanghai, China

I live in Shanghai, China, with my Irish
husband and Vietnamese daughter.
Throughout the past four years, I've
crisscrossed the globe more times than
I can count, and while doing so, have
discovered what a kooky, miraculous,
and lovely place our world is. My experiences
enlighten me, inspire me, and crack me up.