Just near Outside Shanghai

Zhaojiajiao Watertown
Zhaojiajiao Watertown

Most anyone (even locals) can agree that it feels good to get out of Shanghai. Admittedly, I don’t do it often enough. Having just come back from Chicago, I can’t really complain, but before I left, well uuuggghh. Especially at that moment with work, play, and the impending deadline of defending my masters dissertation in front of an academic board looming over my head, the nightlights seemed to have been suffocating me in a claustrophobic cloud. A bit back, on the off chance of a sunny day, I had the chance to visit the water town of Zhujiajiao, only 45 minutes and 14 RMB(~$2) away on a direct bus near people’s square. It makes a perfect day trip if you just need to get away from the hustle and bustle of those god awful honks and horns of our lovely city. It’s a quaint town with small shops and artsy finds. I bought a red plastic rose ring for 5RMB, discounted on account that the shopkeeper found me to be “hen piaoliang.” Yes, this detail must be mentioned, mostly for self-affirmation

New friends from Fudan
New friends from Fudan

What you’ll find here is a nice break to collect your thoughts and breath fresher air for the day. Take advantage of going here with a group of fresh new faces to meet some different and interesting people, hopefully even have an extraordinary conversation. I went with a group of friends, researchers at Fudan University, and the mix was a good one. We talked politics, religion, science, art, photography, etc. With the scenery of a bright day, it made the whole trip worth it, and upon crossing a bridge even lucky. Women selling goldfish said that throwing them back into the water from the height of the bridge would bring good fortune. I just couldn’t believe my luck! As superstitious as I tend to be, as soon as someone offered, I quickly grabbed a bag and tossed some in. You can also take a short 10-minute boat ride and see the city from a different angle. Not anything out of this world at the water town, but that’s the point. It’s a relaxed divorced state from your day-to-day life in Shanghai, and sometimes, that’s just exactly what the doctor ordered.

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