When I arrived here back in 2013, I had no idea how much I would fall in love with you. I came here to start a new career and a new life in a new country. I have been impressed over the years with how you, majestic Shanghai, have given me opportunities to grow and develop as a person.
You have become my second home and I am grateful for this. Everyone is different; some people have families, some people have only spouses, some people have significant others, some folks have pets, some folks have none of the above. This is a city that can fit everyone in some way.
Below is a list of things that have impressed me and made me fall in love with Shanghai:
- Feeling a sense of safety when I am out at various times of a day or night.
- Meeting and engaging with people from all around the world. I love the ability to meet different people from all cultures and backgrounds here.
- Strolling down a myriad of streets all across the city that have unique vibes to them, such as Wazi Alley in Songjiang or Old Street in Qibao.
- Appreciating a delicate balance between modern buildings and older, traditional style buildings in all parts of the city.
- Having excellent, well-trained, polite doctors and dentists in clean, modern hospitals whom I can get appointments to see when I am ill.
- Attending an array of various beautiful and enchanting parks such as Guilin Park or Gucun Park.
As someone that enjoys food, I love being able to go to a variety of restaurants and eat different cuisines from around the world. Shanghai has an Indonesian, various Indian, Italian, Korean, Italian, American, etc. restaurants to appease my taste buds and cravings. Also, I love being able to have access to some of my favorite foods from back in the US by way of City Shop, BLT Supermarket, Carrefour or using the Epermarket food delivery app.
I have found a sense of community here by joining various Toastmasters clubs here. I found a sense of community by meeting and networking with people from The Shanghai Literary Review and Very Open Mic. I can tell my personal story on stage via Unravel Storytelling platform. I can practice meditation by attending various mindfulness events either in person or online. I can even attend a nightclub, jazz club and many bars to satiate my desire for recreation.
Shanghai, China, I love you. There is no other city in the world like you. You have helped me grow, you have helped me mature, and you have helped me continue on in my journey and development as a human being. I am deeply grateful and humbled. Shanghai, thank you.