Normally, this blog is in Swedish. But some entries I feel can appeal to non-Swedish speakers too. So I write them in English. Like this one.
Not too long ago, somebody hurt me. I was very sad. In fact, I still am. A piece of my heart is broken. But anyway. When this happened, the weather was dreary. So I spent a lot of time inside, looking out into the gloominess, getting even sadder.
At some point, I felt I had to pull myself together and get out into the fresh air. Well, maybe ”fresh” isn’t the right word. I live in Shanghai, after all 😉 But I think you know what I mean. I needed a change of scenery. A change of air. A chance to get distracted.
So I took my camera with me and went downtown. To Hongkou district, a central part of Shanghai that isn’t as glitzy as the Bund or Pudong. It’s a bit run-down and devoid of popular tourist attractions. Hongkou is my favourite photo spot in Shanghai. There is a certain atmosphere about it that I like.
I wandered the rainy streets for a couple of hours. And believe it or not, but my mood lifted minute by minute. The misty, rainy sky made everything look dreamy, a bit mysterious and very intriguing. I took a lot of photos I am very pleased with. (You can see them here.) I was happy and excited like a little kid about all the photo ops that kept popping up on the streets that I walked. I really had a great time.
And now comes the best part. I found a pretty, smallish new sidewalk right by Huangpu river, and chose it for getting back to the car. It looked I was the only one using it – not very surprising, since it serves more sightseeing purposes than rapid movement…and since this wasn’t exactly popular sightseeing weather.
After a couple of 100 meters or so, I suddenly saw a big, yellow umbrella before me. As I came closer, I saw that it belonged to a well-dressed Chinese man in his fifties. He was standing at the balustrade, quietly looking out over the river and the city. Now and then, he took a slow sip from a soda bottle. Other than that, he didn’t move. He looked so serene and peaceful, and somehow, that made me very peaceful too. And happy, of sorts. To see this business guy taking some time out. On his very own. With a quiet, barely noticeable, smile on his face. For me, on that particular day, there was something very comforting about his presence.
I stopped a couple of meters from him. Leaned against the balustrade and shared the view with him.
The photo above is what we saw.
When I came home, and went through the photos I had taken, and saw this particular one, the first thing that went through my head was:
Let there be light. Over Shanghai, and in my heart.
And that is my story.