What can you say about a city with 24 million people? Nothing really, it’s too big and there are too many stories to tell. But photos can help explain the weird, wild and wonderful metropolis on occasion, especially ones that obliterate the already thin margins of personal space that locals here offer up. Engrish shirts, entire families on a single scooter, the weary, the excited, the startling circumstances that defy explanation. There’s no commentary or opinion involved, just Shanghai and its people… observed.

Alex Greenberg is the man behind the account, an American who moved to the massive metropolis of Shanghai some years ago and fell in love with it. Overwhelmed by the sheer number of stories that can be told in such a vast city, he decided to start a website where he could document the quirks and oddities of everyday life there, which he called Shanghai Observed. The page now has nearly 70k followers, and people can't get enough of his shrewd street fashion sightings. Scroll down to check some of our faves out for yourself, and learn more about Alex's project!

More info: Instagram | Facebook | Website

#1

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Kaisu Rei
Community Member
2 years ago

This shirt speaks to me

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As China's economy and influence around the world continue to grow, we in Western countries will gradually acquaint ourselves better with the language, culture and way of life of this vast and ancient civilization. As anyone who has ever been to China before will tell you, it really is an exciting, diverse and unique country!

#2

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Guild N. Stern
Community Member
2 years ago

I need this one.

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#3

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chi-wei shen
Community Member
2 years ago

They don't sugarcoat in China.

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Alex Greenberg moved to the massive metropolis of Shanghai some years ago and fell in love with it. Inspired by the many bizarre things he encountered every day, particularly the weird and wonderfully funny translations found on people's clothing, he decided to start a website where he could document the quirks and oddities of everyday life in the city, which he called Shanghai Observed.

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DforDorothy
Community Member
2 years ago

ME every day!

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#5

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DforDorothy
Community Member
2 years ago

This kid has seen some sh*t! 😂

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Living in such a different and interesting place means that he is never short of funny fashion material, and he finds himself confronted with all kinds of surprises every single day. "I’ve been in Shanghai for 4 years and I love how fast the city moves," Alex told Bored Panda.

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Charlotte Brine
Community Member
2 years ago

Low key she definitely knows exactly what her shirt is staying and she won't hesitate to start naming names!

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#7

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Charlotte Brine
Community Member
2 years ago

Haha love it!! I'm definitely borrowing this idea to put on a t-shirt

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"Shanghai has a great skate scene which is what drove me to move here in the first place. It's an amazing city to explore and stumble across startled circumstances that defy explanation."

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chi-wei shen
Community Member
2 years ago

...because pizza is easier to spot.

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#9

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Hans
Community Member
2 years ago

She has a point.

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"I started the account in November 2016. I made the account because I had just gotten a new iPhone 7, and it took surprisingly great photos. I also wanted to start a daily photo project. The daily photo project was focused on forcing me to shoot more street photography and shoot photos that would show daily life in Shanghai. Stuff my friends and family would be interested in seeing."

#10

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Withnail
Community Member
2 years ago

Drunks go to parties.

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#11

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Roy
Community Member
2 years ago

eat - machine

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"When the account started to grow and I gained a following I started to get submissions from other people at that point I began to post only the best of the best. The types of situations I like to share are ones that make you double take or say 'wtf.' One of the most common things I post on my Instagram is people wearing shirts that say ridiculous things on them."

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DforDorothy
Community Member
2 years ago

Didn't really work, did it?

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#13

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Withnail
Community Member
2 years ago

Marty is still waiting for the jacket to auto adjust to his size.

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"I'm guessing 99% of the time these people have no idea what the funny t-shirt says because they don’t speak English. This makes for an amazing photo because you often see a great juxtaposition between what the person's face says, and what the shirt says. I love hilarious photos and videos that instantly make you laugh or question what is happening. Shanghai seems to share that every day."

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Charlotte Brine
Community Member
2 years ago

My god! the overwhelming need for me to see what those look like from the front is almost killing me!

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DforDorothy
Community Member
2 years ago

Thanks for the positive thoughts!

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#16

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chi-wei shen
Community Member
2 years ago

Solid advice.

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Many people have speculated where the weird shirts and fashion sense comes from, and whether those wearing them actually know what they mean. Over 10 million people in China speak English fluently, however out of a population of more than 1.3 billion, that's fewer than 1 in 100 people. We will let you decide!

#17

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Reilly Beryll
Community Member
2 years ago

You’re not wrong!

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As a follow up to a previous post that Alex uploaded on Bored Panda, we decided to present some more Shanghai strangeness for your viewing pleasure. And although Alex is busy observing Shanghai, he still manages to keep an eye on his homeland too through his hilarious sister account, America Observed. Check it out!

#18

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Withnail
Community Member
2 years ago

Yo dawg I herd you like shoes so we put shoes in yo shoes so you can walk while u walk

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#19

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Withnail
Community Member
2 years ago

Don't happy/Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh/Be worry

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#20

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Withnail
Community Member
2 years ago

If you want to hang out, you've gotta take her out...

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#21

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Hans
Community Member
2 years ago

How would a court weight that in?

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#22

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ravina nimje
Community Member
2 years ago

may be she was in hurry or way too drunk

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CelestialPhilosopher
Community Member
2 years ago

oh dear

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#24

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Charlotte Brine
Community Member
2 years ago

I really want to believe that this is just the most bizarre coincidence to have ever happened and that non of these passengers are together, or indeed know who's giant face is on the suitcase they brought!

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#25

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Charlotte Brine
Community Member
2 years ago

Oh... um, ok, wow. That's quite uncomfortable to look at... haha

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#26

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-
Community Member
2 years ago

Cat owners, especially crazy cat ladies can relate

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#27

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Charlotte Brine
Community Member
2 years ago

Fashion police maybe???

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#28

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DforDorothy
Community Member
2 years ago

We'll get back To This in 10 years or so...

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#29

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Roy
Community Member
2 years ago

WTH???

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#30

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Charlotte Brine
Community Member
2 years ago

My "full of regret, why do I do this to myself every Sunday" shirt

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