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avant-garde_chauvintist wandering through the garden of ideals

The last few hours

CHINA | Sunday, 13 July 2008 | Views [809]

I arrived in Shanghai this morning at 8:15 for my last 24-hours on Chinese soil.

It feels appropriate. Like I've come full circle. I'm leaving the same port that I arrived in 17 days short of one year ago. Twenty-five days short of the Olympics. It happens in 11.5 hours.

After I arrived, I headed to the H&M of Shanghai. I easily remembered how to get there from the last time I was in Shanghai (for my birthday). It wasn't open, though. Too early. I walked around looking for an ATM and a some breakfast.

I found the breakfast, but not the ATM. I headed back to H&M to get a swimsuit. I decided I needed a little splurge before I hit the beaches of Thailand.

I searched the first floor. I search the second floor. I FINALLY found a selection of swimsuits on the THIRD floor of the store. I choose a few that were cute and went to the fitting room.

I argued with the manager about the store rules of H&M (He was insisting that I couldn't try on swim suits. I pointed out the hygentic plastic. I told him I've been to H&Ms all over the world and I know this is not a company rule [sort of true]. I told him that it wasn't a Chinese rule either. Eventually he gave up. I didn't even have to yell.)

I bought the choosen one and went to meet some friends. One of my couch surfers is in Shanghai right now because she's going to Europe this summer. She's taking a few days rest before crossing the continent. We had lunch and spent the day tooling around the city.

A very pleasant final day in China. On the way to the airport, I recognized the first things I ever saw in China. I remembered looking for the upturned eaves so stereotypical of Asian architecture. I remember finding only apartment complexes that looked so similar to The Venue.

It was like picking up the little bits of popcorn that I'd strewn about so I could find my way home. It certainly won't be a direct route, but I've made my peace with China.

Until next time, Zhong Guo, I'll be thinking of you...


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