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 subscribing to China related podcasts. I want to go back to my West (Sichuan) and the North East.

The bug these days is that the visa is around 100 USD and it is only single entry. They are also far stricter about where you stay - no more wild adventures.

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 there is some optimism (we think that the things will keep 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 China of that time. It was my China.

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