There are secret neighborhoods scattered all over downtown Shanghai that’ll take you to other countries. And sometimes to many countries at the same time. Walk along the industrial area of the Suzhou Creek where there’s an almost invisible mix of Anglo-Saxon, French, Japanese and Chinese cultures that resulted in a distinct “Shanghai” style that can be traced through architecture and lifestyle. Can’t see anything among the modern apartment blocks? Go into a little alley. Stop at Macao Road #660 and go behind the wall. Don’t be afraid, there are enough security cameras to take care of you. You will see a hundred years of history. Japanese kids playing in the British houses some eighty years ago. Socialist workers going home after a tiring day in the Shangtex factory. And an old man doing Tai Chi by the road as if time has stopped. But time hasn’t stopped. It never stops in Shanghai, or anywhere for that matter. [András Gál]
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