Shanghai 2016: Thames Town + 祝我生日快乐

After reading One City, Nine Ghost Towns, I had wanted to go to at least one of these infamous Shanghainese ghost towns. So ytd, me and jiahui travelled to Thames Town 泰晤士小镇. It took us around 2hrs to travel there from our dormitory near the city centre, so it really is far far away. But it was less deserted than I expected it to be, and less like England than I had expected, too.

I was just wondering, would it not be a bother for the people who live in Thames Town that so many people walk in and out of their neighbourhood every single day? We treat their housing estate like a tourist attraction, snap away with our cameras and subject them to the tourist gaze. I am not sure if I would like that if I stayed there. 

There was also this wonderful bookstore in the Town. There were seats in every section of the bookstore for readers to browse through their books while having a cup of coffee, so it felt more like a library or a book cafe rather than a place where books are actually transacted. I can see how it would be a wonderful place to chill at, if not for the fact that it was a public holiday, and therefore way more crowded than it should be. 

At night, we went to a bar, and the clock hit midnight, and that ended the year I spent as a 21 year-old. Special thanks to Boon Kee, Jiahui, Cristina and Denysse for spending the first hour of my life as a 22-year-old with me, and for getting me a cake that was not free, and for making this bday different from any of my other bdays.