This post originally appeared on a previous personal blog. I’m republishing it here with the original post date.
Shanghai is a city that drives me crazy often enough. It’s dirty, crowded, noisy, and defies logic at every turn. But then I go for a walk at night and it feels better. It’s totally different, while remaining within the framework of its essential identity, like a negative image of itself. Late at night, there exists in the city a vacuum created by the intensity of the day. A measured lethargy that moves like cool molasses and liquified emptiness. The lights play games with the smog. Stray cats play games with loose feathers and snack on animal remains in the deserted market streets. Back rooms are full of neighborhood majong games, high rises filled full of restless and exhausted families. Walking darkened sidewalks, I float in the fluid void between all of its varied pieces.