My daily commute takes about 45 minutes. I typically arrive at work around 1:30 and stay until 6pm. I walk from the Donghua campus to the West Yan’an metro station which only takes about 10 minutes. I board the number 2 train towards downtown for one stop. Then I transfer to line number 4 and ride the train for 4 stops and get off at West Nanjing road this is the downtown area of Shanghai. I get off the train and have a mile to work. This sometimes feels like it takes hours because of the humid heat of Shanghai’s July. Everyday the temperature is around 95 degrees with a real feel of over 100. But most of the time I do not mind the walk because I walk past multiple cute restaurants and coffee shops that I stop in if I have time. I walk into the Hongan Mansion where my office is on the 7th floor. The commute back to campus is a lot more hectic. I typically get to the metro station around 6:30 and board the line 4 train. The train cars are so packed that when the train jolts forward you don’t need to hold on to any handle because the people are packed so tight it provides that stability. Some of my teachers and fellow classmates will joke about the “阿姨” (directly translated to aunt, people will use this term for most middle aged woman) and how they know exactly where to put their elbow into your back to push on to the train. The lack personal space and pushing on my day to day commute is common but you get used to it pretty quickly.
The metro system in Shanghai is so amazing. The trains have air conditioning which helps on the super humid days. The trains are also kept impeccably clean which is a nice change of pace compared to the NYC subways. Probably my favorite part of my commute is walking around the West Nanjing area on my way to and from the metro station. I walk through an area right outside the metro station with shops and restaurants. Then on the next block is a more traditional street with apartments and everyday I see people hang their laundry out. Another plus of the location of my job is that the Starbucks Reserve is only a 10 minute walk and is open till 11pm. I have started to go there after work and do work or homework before I go back to campus. Typically around Pitt I will walk everywhere I go and occasionally take the busses or an Uber. Shanghai has a version of Uber called Didi. Didi allows users to not only call a ride but on the app you can also hail a cab, call a driver (they come and use your car to drive you home) and so much more. Overall I like my commute even though the weather somedays can be too hot.