Somehow its 5am in the morning and I’m clumsily stumbling into a plane, hair messily tied in a bun and luggage squeaking behind. It’s been a year and a half since I’ve been back to Shanghai but the routine still remains the same – skyscrapers and fields transforming into specks of colors before my eyes, entering into the evening black of the Pacific, 15 hours above the clouds…
I’ve always thought of distance as a physical representation of separation. 7,233 miles between the USA and China – add in the language barrier, time zones, and strikingly different cultures… its always surreal to wake up from a nap and end up on the other side of the world.
(picture: above Phoenix, Arizona, goodbye desert)
On the plane, I unexpectedly find myself doing things I would normally not. Watching (and falling asleep) to Marvel’s assortment of superhero movies, praying restlessly for the plane’s safety, and slowly become insane through the process of reading Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore (I’m not too sure if I came out the same person, odds are probably not).
(picture: the back of my grandmother’s apartments, mosquito’s paradise and my nightmare )
Stepping into Shanghai, I am hit by a wave of humidity and indistinct faces. I remember it used to be a lot nosier but on this rainy Monday night driving from the Pudong Airport, the volume has diminished to the pitter-patter of rain hitting the pavement.
(picture: the small alleyway right outside of the apartments, good luck with parking)
The humidity doesn’t stop us from our daily marketplace runs. Somehow, I’m a bad influence and our shopping cart ends up with 可爱多 mango ice cream cones, little stacks of pudding, and an assortment of lays and pringles (sizzling pork and beef curry flavored).
My daily supermarket haul! To be quickly devoured by my sweet tooth grandmother & I.
On every walk, we are often graced with the presence of cats and dogs.
Aww, look at his smiling face! Makes the heat a little more bearable…
Shanghai, it is a pleasure to be back!