Things we love about Shanghai include its great subway system, fantastic nightlife, and its green and walkable city streets. But then there are the taxis... and have you ever tried getting a cab in Shanghai? First there is the matter of flagging one down in a place where convention demands that taxi lines are formed in parallel to the road. And assuming you wrest one from the masses and clamber in? Well... then your adventure has only begun.

Learning Chinese? Our lesson today is all about over-specifying when giving directions, a skill that is actually quite useful to have regardless of where you end up living in China. So if you're learning mandarin and already know the basics, join us for a show that will help push you beyond them and towards more upper-level fluency. And if you have any questions, please do let us know in the comment section below, or by email at service@popupchinese.com.
 said on
August 9, 2012
Hahaha Shanghai isnt really like that everyone, we just love messing with the dopey northerners!
 said on
August 11, 2012
@Maxiewawa,

Ha ha! Hhhmmmm, maybe Shanghai IS like that.
 said on
August 11, 2012
Usually the really clueless drivers ended up being from the opposite side of the city. For instance, a driver who usually drove in the Zha Bei district ended up in Jiang Zhang Gao Ke district by dropping someone off and they didn't want to waste gas driving back to an area they were familiar with, so they ended up driving in Zhang Jiang Gao Ke district.

I think perhaps that you guys are just Shanghai haters. When I think of the relationship between Beijing and Shanghai folks I'm reminded of the scene in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, where the right hand man of the gangsters says of the two Northern burglars as he walks away, "F***ing Northern Monkeys". The burglar is meanwhile saying, "Southern Fairies". My students in Shanghai liked to talk trash about Beijing folks all the time.
 said on
August 12, 2012
@eion_padraig,

As a Beijingner, I don't have any problems with Shanghairen. I just find a bit difficult to understand what they say :)

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
August 13, 2012
The lesson I've been looking for!
 said on
August 13, 2012
那个路口。。。 will remember this!
 said on
August 13, 2012
@fncis.chen,

很高兴你喜欢 :)

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
August 15, 2012
Less than 24 hours after listening this podcast I took taxi from Shanghai airport... and there it was: xiao guai and da guai! Amazing to understand at least something what they say, ha ha! Well, to be fair I today had a shanghainese taxi driver who was nice and spoke decent mandarin and we actually managed to have proper conversation. Rare case though, in my experience
 said on
August 15, 2012
@maminglei,

Love to hear your story :D This lesson is actually based on my true story. My first 上海出租车司机 story was about repeating three times 复兴中路. No exaggeration :)

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
August 17, 2012
@echo,

I should tell you how I once had bad China day while visiting Shenzhen and then one 混蛋 tried to cut into queue right in front of me in Costa. 我就很自然的而标准的对他说“排队去!”,真让了旁边的人都吃惊。Really made my day and I was feeling super happy for having studied that beginner lesson. It's always rewarding to be able to use newly studied vocab in wild, but it by far feels the best when you can tell somebody off. So keep it coming, Popup team!
 said on
August 18, 2012
@maminglei,

太棒了!干得好!That's exactly what our goal is :)

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
August 22, 2012
My taxi driver experience in Shanghai in 2001 was quite positive. I was helping to conduct a tour by fifteen US high school teachers of major cities in China. On our last afternoon in Shanghai, I decided to take a taxi to a spot that no one else was interested in, the Longhua Revolutionary Martyrs' Mausoleum. I stopped a taxi outside our hotel and told him (in my halting putonghua) where I wished to go. He nodded, and off we went, in what seemed to be the most direct route, from my checking of the maps.
 said on
August 22, 2012
@joemillerzh,

Frankly I did have a lovely experience with taxi driver in Shanghai once too. The driver apparently was enjoying his life. After trying to convince me why girls should marry Shanghai men, he started singing! And had been singing like he's doing karaoke until I got to my destination.

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
September 6, 2012
there doesn't seem to be any way to contact this site, the e-mail address doesn't work; I'd like to pay the money to be a member but I don't have a credit card, how would you feel about being paid by a Mastercard debit card?
 said on
September 7, 2012
@afisher21,

Hi, weird, it seems no problem with my email.

I'm afraid we can't accept debit card. Do you have paypal? We can use that instead.

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
September 24, 2012
over-specification of directions in Shanghai is so true... i take a cab everyday to shanghai train station... I usually tell the driver: Wo yao qu Shanghai huoche zhen....every so often the cab driver responds... "there are 4 train stations in shanghai, which one do you want to go to?"... the first time this dialogue came up, I almost missed my train trying to explain there is only ONE "shanghai station"... the others are called west sh, south sh and hongqiao. Now I just tell them "wo gaosu ni... yi zhi zou!"... it is so annoying...
 said on
November 22, 2012
How about the 那边的?

It sounds like he is saying "knee barndee"

Is what he's saying the common Shanghai way?
 said on
April 2, 2013
hey! how do u write the last saying "i don't get it" or "don't know" in hanzi? is it wo3 bu4 ji2ng chu4 in pinyin? (i guess not :D)
 said on
April 2, 2013
@silvano.senn,

It's bu4 qing1chu5. Note the fifth (neutral) tone on the last character. If you pronounce it in the fourth tone as if it is a standalone character the word will sound over-pronounced and wrong to mainlanders.

Best,

--david

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