Shanghaiist has been hearing a lot of rumours of late of dodgy, well, more dodgy behaviour along the Tongren Lu bar strip south of Nanjing Road. This morning, Shanghaiist was forwarded an email by our golf-enthralled editor via one of his trusted acquaintances. The email contained details regarding the assault of two expat males on Tongren Lu this week.
Peter was beat up pretty badly and left unconscious in the alley/parking lot behind the bars. He doesn’t remember what happened or how he got there. Martin got beat by the bouncers at Judy’s. Both have recovered and seem to be fine. The local authorities? They did NOTHING.
There were some earlier incidents also mentioned in this email, including an attack of an expat by a begging gang after withdrawing money from the Bank of China branch near the Kerry Center on Nanjing Lu. The full and detailed account of this incident can be found on here on Shanghai Expat. Here’s a few excerpts from this long account…
When I left the ATM enclosure I was suddenly accosted by the mob of kids and women carrying babies, I made my way clear of them and crossed the street at Tongren Lu. Suddenly a woman was trying to get into my right hand pocket to steal my money. I caught her hand and held it up. Suddenly I was attacked from behind by a group of 4 women, one I think was a Lady man, hitting me on the head with high heel shoes and I don’t know what else. I was dumbfounded, couldn’t believe what was happening…
… The area where this happened is where a lot of foreigners go to hang out eat and drink. There is only 1 ATM in the area and now it is a target for unscrupulous beggars and thieves who will hurt their victims. I managed to hang on to my things. The others weren’t so lucky. Looking back I probably should have handed over my cash, but I didn’t even see it coming.
ShanghaiExpat honcho Michael vouches for its authenticity, but we can still see how it looks like a chain letter. Personalities on the Shanghai Expat forum website have been discussing this email for a few weeks now, and other encounters expats have experienced on Tongren Lu over the past few weeks.
Similarly, Shanghai blogger Colorwolf (Eric, also known as Skyline5k on SHExpat) found himself on the wrong end of a Good Samaritan inspired act.
Well, busted up hand, face & teeth later, I certainly found something to do. (How my computer survived, I’ve no clue!) A gang of locals were out there, sticks, chains, pipes & all, and they were beating the living **** out of a laowai (foreigner). Tongren Road cops didn’t do a whole hell of a lot.
So I did. Stupid Stupid me.
Anyone who’s lived in Shanghai knows that the Tongren Lu/Nanjing Xi Lu strip, particularly in the evenings, can attract the worst that Shanghai has to offer. Aggressive beggars bearing children, pickpockets, prostitutes who try to jump into taxis with you are among the unsavoury types you sometimes encounter there during the evening.
Violence, particularly the lack of violence, amongst the evening scene in Shanghai has been one of those positive qualities that attract people to this city. The concern Shanghaiist feels stems from the common theme amongst all these rumours is the apparent inaction by authorities to deal with such incidents along this strip.
If you go to Tongren Lu in the evenings, take some of this advice in hand. The growing rumour mill surrounding the nightlife on this strip is getting louder. Be careful.
Photo of much happier patrons on Tongren Lu by 2dogs was found via the Shanghaiist Contribute page.