What follows is a translation of Wang Anyi’s essay from the late 1990s called “’Shanghai Style’ and ‘Beijing Style’”. I found this essay in a collection called Searching for Shanghai and, because I am fascinated by the endless comparisons between these two cities, I translated it here. To my knowledge, it’s the first time it has ever been translated. In a separate post I’ll write more about what I actually think about the points she raises.
I’ve lived for a long time in both Beijing and Shanghai and within the last couple of weeks have had classic nights out in both cities. Since expats are continually comparing the two cities, I thought I’d write up what a classic night out means for me in Beijing and in Shanghai.