So…I’m in Shanghai. Been here for a week. Felt a little lost and lonely in the beginning. But I’m finally settling down a bit. Anyway….first impressions, ahoy!
1)No stinks and no smells…except in the food section at department stores. Coming from Mumbai, a city known for it’s bizarre odorous melange of garbage, drying Bombay Duck and carbon fumes, I really like the fact that my nose can’t detect anything unpleasant about Shanghai. Of course, that way it also loses a little in terms of personality, which Mumbai has in plenty. But I guess I’ll discover and identify the ‘personality’ by and by.
2)No one brushing up against me on the pavements and no one x-raying me with their eyes from top to toe. This, all ye women out there, is a wonderful relief! I finally feel I can stop being on red alert 24/7.
3)Friendly people. I’m not sure what I was expecting. They might’ve ignored me or they might have stared at us in the welcoming way that we have back in India. But they smile! They smile at me in the streets as they pass by! They come and speak to me sweetly in Chinese (for all I know they might be cursing me. I know no Mandarin. But I like to think that they don’t.).
4)Fashion slaves. Yep…plenty of them around! Women mostly. Strutting about in high heels, dressed to the nines and lipsticked and blushed to glory. They look lovely and it’s a pleasure looking at them. But honestly…do you need to wear all that make up and those Jimmy Choos when you go out to buy milk?
5)Shopaholics. Plenty of them too. Everywhere I go, I see people shopping. At all times of the day, every day of the week. Even furniture shopping at Ikea!
I think I’m going to enjoy myself. I hope I am. I already miss India too much.