Just arrived in Shanghai! First impressions so far…. lots and lots of chinese around here! The density of population is simply insane, a random stroll in the street or a walk in the subway feels like you are entering the highway and once you are on it, there ain’t NO turning back… well, unless you want to end up glued to the floor.
Also, taking the subway in Shanghai is super cheap, (around 1$) but its a real commando course : with a population of I-dunno-how-many-millions, each hour is rush hour, the trains are PACKED and it literally feels like you are trapped in a stampede.
At first I was shocked, I politely gave way to other passengers and waited for less crowded trains. IN VAIN. First of all, there is no such thing in Shanghai as an overcrowded wagon : if you thought you couldn’t get in the train, the 3 Chinese who took your place and are now squeezed inside, cheeks pressed against the windows, will definitely prove you wrong. The second rule: in the end, the only way to get places is to play it the hard way, the chinese way. And that’s when it gets brutal.
It’s everyman for himself. You push, shove, dodge saliva deposits, give a little elbow here and there, and firmly stand your ground. Hey, nigga’s gotta survive. Don’t bother saying ‘sorry’, the notion of personal space is almost abstract to chinese people, they wouldn’t understand why you are apologizing.
After a while, it kind of gets amusing, it feels like I’m in a Nintendo game racing and fighting for my life. But still, it’s an energy-sapping experience and I usually need 3 shots of coffee and several aspirins to recover from this morning commute!
*the drawing has absolutely nothing to do with this, I know…