With the World Expo starting in May, the city is scrambling to make improvements before anticipated visitors pour in. Girly bars that line a couple of streets have been boarded up, road construction abounds, and new subways lines are on the way.
One 'improvement' that has everyone talking about is the crackdown on pajamas - a quirky part of the culture here. It's very common to see locals walk around in their pjs out in the streets. Nice pjs mean status, an obsession for many Chinese (Strangely enough, walking around with a Starbucks coffee is also conveys status since the drinks are relatively spendy here.). It's sending the message, "I'm well off enough to buy these pjs to sleep in!" No one bats an eye at someone stepping out in their pjs to grab something from the local market, or strolling in the busiest parts of the city.
Here are some pics of pjs out in the streets: http://shanghaiist.com/2009/10/30/around_shanghai_pajama_fights_cat_s.php and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/3723539/Chinas-pyjamas-police-fight-Shanghais-daytime-love-of-nightwear.html.
I say, who cares about the pj wearers! Perhaps the pajama crackdown committee should focus on some more important issues like personal hygiene and manners...