Déjà vu

I’m back in Shanghai for a one month – working with my ex-company, living in my ex-apartment, walking around in my ex-city. It’s been three months since I left Shanghai for Dali, and nine months since I stopped working. I’ve been back to this ex-life for two days and I realise a couple of things. Firstly, I have missed my friends greatly. I missed that everyone is within a five block radius and shows up within half an hour wherever you meet. I miss the sheer number of friends and randomly bumping into them. I miss hanging out in general and I miss the banter. Secondly I concede that Shanghai is still a formidable opponent in the battle of common sense. I showed up to my first day of work hungover because the amicable catchup with friends ended with shots. Felt like utter rubbish the entire day. Note to self: Not good to reek of alcohol when meeting clients for the first time. Actually not good to reek of alcohol ever.

Thirdly I’ve been reminded how expensive life in Shanghai is. I have spent more in the two days back here than I have in the last two weeks. The taxi to work is 25rmb each way, a Wagas pasta is 50rmb, even a cheap-ish dinner at Di Shui Dong sets you back at least a 100rmb. 100rmb is roughly what Arthur and I spend on entire week over there. I am determined not to take another cab in my days here, at least I’ll save money on that. I charged up the ex-scooter but realised the back tire is kaput. 140rmb to change it, sigh.

I miss Arthur a lot. I knew I would but I thought it would be only after weeks of meeting up with friends, dining at new restaurants and after a handful of all-nighters at Ding Dong’s KTV that I would start to pine. But I’m pining! I guess it’s extra nostalgic being back here without him especially when I have the exact same routine. Missing my cats heaps as well. Doesn’t help that it’s my first Friday night back in Shanghai and I went to bed at 8pm with a terrible head cold. Maybe it’s harder for the body and mind to speed up than slow down. But I also suspect it’s because I ran out of hot water halfway while washing my hair. Twice! I’ve had a perpetual headache for the past 2 days before falling ill, could it actually be the bad air? Perhaps all this talk is not just hype. Perhaps it’s not as effortless as I thought to jump right back into the swing of Shanghai.

I do miss the superstar weekend schedules we always seem to have here though, without even trying. This afternoon there is a BBQ at O’Malleys, at night a dinner with friends, followed by a birthday party at a bar closeby. Sunday I had a brunch planned with Christina, but we are both going to May’s baby’s 100 days lunch celebration instead. After which we’ll check out Leticia and Clara’s batabasta brand at FYESTA@Jiashan Market organised by Sylvie. This will be followed by a racelette dinner at Doris ad Nico’s to end the weekend. Somewhere in between I need to move into a room at Sebbo’s, get a haircut, a massage, a mani and pedi, it’s no wonder one is never too sprightly in Shanghai on Monday mornings!

It’s 7.50am on a Saturday morning right now and the drilling has started outside Doris’s apartment, there’s a cat on heat somewhere close by and none of it is helping my head. Think I’m going to get out of bed and look for some meds. I am craving for some xiaolongbao too. Perhaps I can also pick up a vibrator from Family Mart for that poor cat.

Here are some photos since I’ve been back. Look forward to lots more now that I am a happy owner of a new iPhone! Thanks to my iPhone gang – the guys at work who all came along and made sure I didn’t get ripped off!






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