Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What's That? Wednesday: Laowai Street

Today I was able to spend some time at a favorite street in Shanghai, Hongmei Pedestrian Street also known as Laowai Street.  "Laowai" is basically slang for foreigner/white person/outsider, etc.  There is a bit of debate as to how offensive the word is, but at this point I just find it amusing.  

"Wai" (pronounced 'why') in Chinese means "outside".  To go outside, I would say "waimian".  And, in a Chinese family the bride's parents are "waigong" (grandfather) and "waipo" (grandmother) because they are "outside" of the groom's family.  The bride joins the grooms family and leaves her own family.

On Laowai Street there are many, many different restaurants and it is a great place for a Westerner to grab a bite to eat.  As Jamie pointed out to me, each restaurant should serve good food because competition is stiff and patrons can walk next door if they don't like what they're tasting.  So far I've enjoyed burgers from the Blue Frog and sandwiches and salads from Bastiaan Bakery.  I have it on good authority that the Thai restaurant is also quite good.

Some day I'll write about the Hongqiao Pearl Market across the street...

Looking down the alley,
there's actually another alley at the end
and slightly to the left.

Looking down the other direction.

It's hard to see, but up on the sign it actually says
"Laowai Jie".

1 comment:

  1. I am interested in the Iranian restaurant, but it makes me nervous that no one is ever eating there.