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Tales from Shanghai

We are finally in Beijing with my mom, who arrived in Shanghai a few days prior to meeting up with us. She spent most of the time hanging out with my Shanghai cousin and her family. While taking a stroll with my cousin, my mom spotted a lady in her 40s, walking her bike on a busy Shanghai alley. My mom did a double take, squinted, and then, incredulously, finally asked my cousin: “Is she wearing…PAJAMAS?” “Yes,” my cousin said apologetically. “The government has been running ads on TV and putting up flyers everywhere telling people not to wear their pajamas outside their house. It’s just not working.” Because my people tend to exaggerate or rely too much on hearsay, I had a more accurate source ractify this. Andreas, our German who lives in Beijing. He shook his head and said: “Yeah, that’s actually true. There were ads. There were flyers. People are still in their pajamas out and about.” Go figure. Now I understand why there are so many sleepwear stores all over China, with elaborate displays of pajamas sets.


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