January 2, 2020

A return to Shanghai

Back in Shanghai after 16 years.

I didn’t get a chance to spend a lot of time out and about, but I managed to go to a bookshop to see what people are reading. I felt that the selection was tamer compared to what I used to see in bookstores about a decade back. The only trouble with coming back to China is that now I realise how much I missed China after defecting to Taiwan. Suddenly, I am borrowing library books on China, I am suddenly subscribing to China related podcasts. I want to go back to my West (Sichuan) and the North East. The other hassle is the visa is around 100 USD and its only single entry. They are far stricter about registering where you stay.

I sometimes think that all places have a certain time where they kind of exist in a twilight zone - you can steal a little bit of chaos and we think that the things will keep getting tending towards less rigidity. I think in China that time was the late 1990s and 2000s. Surely, China is more affluent now and I have no doubt, most people have a higher quality of life. It is just that the selfish me wishes for my China of that time.

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