The Beach, Jin Shan

It’s DECEMBER already………. Wait, what?! Where did 2011 go? Even though it’s almost impossible to believe, the chilly weather is reassurance enough that it is definitely time to break out the winter wardrobe (if you haven’t done so already) OR migrate South… That’s what I recently did in Guangzhou, where it was a beautiful 80 degrees; Shanghai is a chilly 50, while Beijing is unbearable with 30 degree weather and wind.

Times like these make me wish I were on a beach somewhere, which is funny because Shanghai literally means “on the ocean” so technically I live on a ‘coast’… I rarely see it though because Shanghai is MASSIVE, and the beach is hours away from the city’s center… Jin Shan Beach is highlighted is in the map below (all the pins denote where I’ve taken pictures, so you can get an idea of where Shanghai proper is in relation to Jin Shan):

But even though I dream of the beach and warm sand at cold times like these, I don’t necessarily dream of Jin Shan Beach… Sure, it’s where my friend Alex Meyer became the first US swimmer to qualify for the London Olympics, but it’s also the place I had to bare witness to this (pun intended):

This was the first thing that greeted me after I finally made it to Jin Shan Beach to watch Alex compete in the 10k Open Water World Championships, and even though my eyes were obviously offended, I did what any good blogger would do: I took pictures.

After getting a bit closer, I realized that this lounging fellow wasn’t even donning proper swimming gear… Rather, he was just wearing his underwear, which was wet and coated with the semi-fine sand that Jin Shan Beach offers its beachgoers.

So now every time I feel like I want to escape to a beach, I rethink my options… Good beaches are certainly limited here in China (Hainan is definitely the best), but from Chinese Fashion History we can see that the beach used to be a glamorous, refined place.

The quality of the beach is definitely important, but the quality of the beachgoers is equally, if not more, important. On the outskirts of the beach, I saw a guy carrying a murse for his girlfriend whose shirt read “Steal the trend”… It was almost as nauseating as the fellow is his underwear above. So hopefully when you, dear readers, migrate South or go on a cruise this winter, you won’t have to bare such visual assaults as I had to go through (and just made you go through with me, haha!).

Best Dressed Generation:
Gen X – 180 points
Gen Y – 175 points – 30 points for downgrading the beach as a pastime for Chinese people and the foreigners that occasionally visit = 145 points
Gen Z – 105 points