The vibe of Shanghai in the morning is simply fascinating. Kites flying in the sky, people working out along the river, the light bouncing off the glass of the skyscrapers, are all so vibrant, so alive.
I explored the oldest part of the city as I looked, just a river across, at the city skyline reminding people of Hong Kong or New York. These breakfast shops reek of happiness, and I even discovered a Peet's Coffee, a coffee shop I used to visit after a day's class at UC Berkeley (which is also where this coffee shop comes from). And to tell you the truth, I spent every morning I had left in Shanghai in this coffee shop. Every morning.
I can really find the most ordinary, yet the most surprising things lying deep inside this spider-web of streets and alleys, from beautiful buildings to antique stores, from little coffee shops to art galleries. Well, Peet's is just a perfect example of these "surprises". As a matter of fact, in Shanghai finding one of these shops is not at all difficult, but that's for another post.
After breakfast we went to IKEA as planned. Why? I was missing the food there. There is one phase of life where you treat IKEA as a giant restaurant which sells furniture and accessories. I am lucky enough I am still in this phase. We wandered in the store like it's a museum, interactive, immersive, where you can even lie on the bed.
Another plan for the day was to eat hot-pot. I am not a fan of it, but of course, not against it.
What's the icon of the city Shanghai? I would say it's Lujiazui, its skyscrapers: the endless, high buildings stand around people on the ground, making people so small and powerless. The feelings were totally different than seeing the skyline from across the river.
And shooting nice photos were becoming difficult, too. We ended up deleting most of them.
This was a really long day. I've re-lived the metropolitan life I missed, and experienced the role of a single person in such a giant city: and it might just be the time I digged deeper into the history and cultural aspects of Shanghai, which set the theme for the next few days here.