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The City Does Sleep

Everglade's picture

(Photos from Chinese social network)

I was born and raised in Hangzhou, China, and I went living in Shanghai two years ago. I felt suffocated at first. Not that I was nervous about living in a metropolis, since Hangzhou was also a big city, but much cleaner and quieter than Shanghai. During the first week in Shanghai, I was claustrophobic of so many buildings, scared at how bare the streets looked without trees, and nearly car-crashed for several times because drivers never seemed to be aware of pedestrains' existence. And walking in the city that never sleeps, every neon-light was like a bullet to me, ruthlessly litting every inch of space around me, leaving nowhere to hide.

Two years went fast, and when I was about to leave, to my surprise, I felt wistful. I started to really take a look at the city, and found more than unlimited height and brightness. Traditional slow-paced life-style exists in alleyways that thrive among skyscrappers - these places are hidden and hardly noticed but when you look for them you'll always be amazed. And scarcity of trees wouldn't be much of a problem because people are more interesting than trees, and there are all kinds of people doing all things of wonder: a peddler selling peculiar little things that you think only exist in childhood memory, a man in a shiny dress dancing in CBD, a trendy boy patiently taking a walk with an old nanny wearing sweatshirt and holding a bamboo fan. And the excitement of seeing young ladies running down the street in their suite and high-heels, so hopeful and radiant with life, can make up for the danger of rushing cars. It became a riveting place that I couldn't leave.