Friday, February 25, 2011

hanging in shanghai

Today was the first (of many to come) that I spent outside of the campus walls and in the wide world of Shanghai. It was unsurprisingly very cold, but today I really appreciated the beauty that comes with winter in a big city. The streets are lined with bare trees, naked without their foliage they scratch upward to the grey smog sky. People appreciate the value of warmth and its relativity to life. Scattered along each street, plumes of steam from massive bamboo dumpling cookers signify crowds of construction workers lining up for nourishment. The metro is well heated, and sleepy people slump themselves down to get from one side of Shanghai to the other. It’s very real, it is a living, breathing working city. The people do their jobs as individuals with reason and importance, yet there is a collective conscience – a kind of hive mind in which everyone is aware of everyone else. This city might fool you with its looks, lulling you into the sense that it is just like any other, but the people that fill the space also fill the space with something especially unique to Shanghai. 

This old man drew my portrait when I was on the metro. No fee, no hassling. He just enjoyed the work.

This man had a rickshaw filled with rabbits and guinea pigs and small birds. Wheeling around a pet shop through the French Concession.

Each alleyway presents you with a alternative scene of life. The ordered streets give way to something entirely different in just a few steps.


  1. So Shanghai has those creepy pruned trees too!
    They're all over France. Freaked me out a bit.. all the witch trees everywhere. Lots of them all knobbly where they've been pruned over and over. I didn't realise trees needed pruning? Bizarre. Glad you're enjoying the intricacies of your new home.

    xo Holly

  2. Bri,
    don't you just love all the layering of textures and colours. Have you found the best dumplings yet? Can you keep warm enough? Have you found that great restaurant we took you to, in the french quarter?? x


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