I think I unknowingly fell for Shanghai while I was there. I feel like I stumbled upon it in a drunken stupor by agreeing to visit it on a whim when Leon and Zach asked me along. It wasn’t a planned extravaganza and I didn’t quite have any major expectations for the trip apart from having a great time with friends. It turned out to be way more than that though.
Shanghai is one of those enamoring places due to its unapologetic sense of ambition and drive. The air is pregnant with an energy that’s almost electrifying. I remember visiting the Bund, there were hoards of people all raucous with joy; there was even a group of people who dressed up as Santas for international Santa day laughing and cheering against the cold air. It was beautiful. It felt like a movie and even though I was tired from the lack of sleep I felt my spirits soar. It was lovely, being part of a crowd that celebrated everything and nothing at the same time.
The city exudes a sort of charm that I’ve not encountered in quite some time and that’s precisely how it caught be off guard. I’ve been relatively unimpressed for the longest time so it felt like a breath of fresh air to be swept off my feet the way I was. I think I tried to fight it initially, to not be taken in because I’d only be there for a week and I wouldn’t want to end up missing the place, but it weaseled its way in and I guess on hindsight I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I was told that a major attraction of the city was that it had an atmosphere of impending change about it. Its true, it feels like it’s on the precipice of change, the calm before the storm. I hope things go well for Shanghai, I hope it fulfills its larger than life hopes and dreams.
I found it hard to leave everything behind at the end of the week. I had grown to care and it killed me that I’d most probably not revisit it for a long time to come. Over the years I’ve come to find geography to be a terrible thing. The space-time continuum does nothing but impede connections that would otherwise be possible.
For now I don’t quite know how to deal with the separation but I imagine things will get better, most ironically, with time.