Rain brings out something fascinating. Suddenly, the streets are filled with even more colors than usual, everyone has some sort of protection which ranges from the practical, umbrellas, to the ridiculous, plastic shoe covers.
It rains a lot in Shanghai. I am sort of used to a lot of rain from living in the Netherlands, but that does not make it any more fun most of the time. However, some things make the situation different here.
I do not really bike with an umbrella here, mostly because it is a lot busier and chaotic on the roads. The biking skills of the Chinese are quite limited, combined with wind (I have a friend who cannot even hold an umbrella against the wind when walking. You know who you are) does not make for very favorable circumstances to bike with an umbrella in.
Moreover, rain ponchos are very popular here. Ranging from plainly colored, hip and with patterns to the cheapest plastic ones which make you look like an ad hoc performance art project.
But the rain poncho is not the only fashionable item that became a business project for rainy days, shoes and boots are highly diverse here as well. It ranges from the lower, watershoe-like model that reminds me of my youth, to heeled short booths in all colors of the rainbow, normal height rain boots and knee-high horseriding-like ones. And the most recent incarnation seems to be plastic shoe covers which should still ‘show off your impeccable sense of fashion’.
So rainy days make for some of the most fashionable ones over here. Such diversity does make those days a bit better.