I’m taking it as a sign

So I haven’t been in Shanghai even 12 hours yet, and I’m already ready to write volumes about it.

I’ve been looking everywhere for that hard Shanghai edge that I remember, that I have been dreading… and I haven’t seen it yet. When I got in the cab today to go back out to my housesit, the cab’s passenger seat TV that is usually screaming in my face was already muted. I’m taking that as a sign.

For dinner I had a chicken pot pie at Simply Life downstairs. The pie was peppery and perfect, and it turns out that their business card is my perfect "driver I’m lost, take me to this place" card.

So hanging out with Davidico this afternoon was awesome, he is the greatest. He’s encouraging me to speak more Mandarin with him, but I get too excited. Besides, when I’m with Davidico, all I want to learn is Shanghainese… it sounds so freaking cool to me.

I have also been feeling an overwhelming sense of nostalgia for the Sunday Night Dinner crew; like I want to write letters to them and tell them how important they are to me. LIke, I already did, I already wrote letters to them. Believe it. Also, the kind people that got me through the crazy times… Amber, Kiwi Jim, Esti, Frank, I wish they were all here.

Yide massage was great, but different; harder than I expected, more expensive than I remember. They take credit cards now

Bar Constellation was great but different; they had big u-shaped sofas and no more black lights.

I feel great; but different. I feel more grown up, more comfortable in my own skin here. I originally booked this trip to Shanghai to go shopping and see some old friends, but it’s starting to feel more and more like I’m on a spiritual journey, looking back at the huge crazy leap of faith I took back in 2007 when I moved here.

JP Villanueva | Shanghai

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