I edited it quickly.
Xiaxia nong, Shanghai
I have been living in Shanghai for years. It is said native Shanghainese consider people from other areas in China provincial because Shanghai is the richest city in China, and as one journalist puts it, "a fusion of tradition and Western bling."
Before moving to Shanghai, I was a bit worried that Shanghainese might look down on me. I grew up in a city too, but it is really small and cannot hold a candle to Shanghai. I might look corny, and Shanghai women might dress themselves like fashion models, but when I got to Shanghai, I realized all my previous worrying was a waste of time.
In my eyes, most Shanghainese are friendly. When I told this to my Chinese friends, they were surprised and some even rolled their eyes at me. The bias Shanghainese had against people from other parts of China might have been true in the old days, but it's not like that today.
I don't have a good sense of direction, and so I often have to ask the locals how to get somewhere. Most warmly show me the way. I remembered being on a bus late at night and having to ask the driver which bus to transfer to. To my surprise, several fellow passengers answered in unison. A couple who got off at the same stop as me/I enthusiastically gave me directions and told me to hurry up or I would miss the last bus. Such things have happened many times.
Yesterday, a doorman at our company forwarded me a letter. I said, "Xaxia Nong" (Thank You) in Shanghainese as he left. A big surprising smile exploded on his face, "Wow! You can speak the Shanghai dialect so fluently", he said, and then poured out a string of Shanghainese to me. I felt a bit embarrassed because my Shanghainese is very limited. Many Shanghainese have a similar reaction to me when I say Xiaxia Nong to them. They are so easy to pleased.
Thank you, Xaxia Nong, to all Shanghainese and to Shanghai.
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