Shanghai, the bustling metropolis, is an eccentric amalgamation of East-West influences and it is a city that won't fail to surprise when you take a close look into its nooks and crannies. Whether that surprise is pleasant or not, is not for you to decide.
This is also where I find myself for the next 5 months.
I still get slightly taken aback when I tell people that I'm currently living in Shanghai, China. Of all the places in the world, I am at the one country that I would have completely brushed aside as a ridiculous notion if you told me this is where I would be a year later.
But I didn't write this post to bemoan my own circumstance. This may come as a shock to many but Shanghai has been quite a refreshing and invigorating experience thus far!!!
I've visited Nanjing Xi Lu 南京西路 - a commercial street, The Bund 上海滩 Tian Zi Fang 田子坊 - a square lined with meandering alleys that lead to quaint shops, Yu Yuan 豫园 - a slice of Old Shanghai etc. and I realised that while it is not be the most developed, it may well be a city chock full of endless possibilities. It is quite exciting how the traditional and orthodox can coincide with the strange and unorthodox. Although this mishmash is not as culturally diverse as cities such as New York, it does cast an interesting identity upon the metropolis.
Simply put, Shanghai is that 21st Century hip Grandma who swears by superstitions but dresses up like she was born in SoHo.
Extra points to Shanghai for this dope tasting Sea Salt Lemonade. It's only 4RMB and it tastes like nothing I have ever drank before. AMAZEBALLS.
Of course, it hasn't been the smoothest transition. There were a lot of hiccups along the way and yeah, the three of us took turns to be frustrated . However, we were insanely lucky to have received so much help from JW's Uncle who has been living in Shanghai for twenty years. He took us out for amazing dinners and even loaned us his PA/Driver who was indispensable to us in settling accommodation and whatnot. We call him Shi Fu and he looks, walks and talks the part of a China movie star with swag (think aviators, slicked back hair and loud shirts) He's really cool and was really patient when I stumbled speaking Chinese throughout all our conversations.
Right now, the three of us have been settled in our apartment in Minhang and we haven't killed each other yet. So that's always good to know. Just kidding, Jorji and JW have been great apart from the times where they gang up to bully me.
Will update when I can! The Great Firewall of China is truly great.
If any of you are in Shanghai, hit me up and drop me an email - firstname.lastname@example.org or anything! xx