Dating the City

 Despite the fact that we all coexist in this metropolis, this jam-packed city made of more than sixteen million sometimes, somehow, the air around me smells of detachment.          

I currently live in one of the busiest downtowns of Shanghai; Jing An District and work in another; Xujiahui. Jing An is constantly crowded with hoards of people, any given time of the day. Xujiahui, recognized for being the centre of information technology is packed with the masses going, coming, to and from work especially during the hours of nine to six, Monday through Friday. Point being, I am persistently rubbing shoulders with other bodies yet, sometimes the feeling of loneliness channels through me.              

Perhaps this feeling is roused by the fact that at the end of the day, when I return to my simple, quiet side street, home feels a little too mute for my liking. It was my choice to single handedly take on Shanghai. Yet, I find the price you pay for independence is forfeiting something profound.

I adore living a hectic lifestyle in this impressive city. I would also adore having someone to share my simple pleasures with me. Someone who values all the vibrancy this city has to offer, someone I can vibe with. The fictional Carrie Bradshaw once said “since there’s no significant man in my life, I’m dating the city.” I can’t help but draw parallels from that particular quote to my current situation.               

However, I can’t date the city forever. And to know my boyfriend is dating sixteen million others floods me with discouragement. My man not only possesses a black book, he’s expanded to a red, green and blue one.

Then I ask myself do I really want to date someone whom I have to share among the larger population? Someone whom has unpredictable mood swings and shows them by clouding the days with rain showers and gray skies?  Someone who is scared shitless to stand still?                

Shanghai is constantly changing, growing, evolving and expanding. The city needs to chill out, sit back and breathe.

I can recall one time, last year, when the city was overworked and exhausted, and for the hour that followed, everything and everyone slowed down. I felt invisible and others were invisible to me. It was pleasant, it was noiseless, it was relaxed and it will probably never happen again.      

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~ by deliciousnoize on December 27, 2007.

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