Goodbye Shanghai

As much as it sucks to see my summer come to a close (I love how it’s November and I’m still calling it my summer holidays), I am quite excited to go back to Switzerland. I look forward to all the new classes I will be taking and all the traveling I will be doing. Even more, I look forward to seeing how I will adapt to this environment with a new perspective on life. Will I go back to my old ways- watching TV shows and bumming around all day? Or will I actually take action and do something with my life (like I should have been doing for the past 3 years I have already been there). I hope the latter will win over.

Before I say goodbye to Shanghai, I would like to recap the amazing three weeks that I’ve been having here. As I noted in my other post, being back in Shanghai has been extremely healing for me. I feel myself getting better every day, and this will only improve when I am in Switzerland. Sure, I still have the constant questions of “what did I do to deserve what I went through?” or “will I ever be good enough?”, but I try to not let it bring me down. Because the real question is: will I ever be good enough for myself? That is what I will be working on.

Honestly, I could have wallowed in my depression these entire three weeks. It is the perfect place to do so. I could have locked myself in my room and watched TV shows all day (because that is how I block out my emotions). I could have easily stayed at the bottom of the pit and continued to dig that hole. And that is what the old-me would have done. But I chose not to do that. I chose to pluck up my courage, and just live in the moment.

And boy did I. The first thing I did was to award myself with an upgrade to business class on my A380 flight from Dubai to Shanghai. I was contemplating at the Dubai airport after a tiring 6-hour trip in the Dubai mall. I had to think twice because it included a fee, but I’m glad that it only took me 15 minutes to decide (thanks to my friend over whatsapp who went “just do it!!”- my mum was also supportive, though she replied after I paid). It was the best decision I made. From the time I decided to upgrade to the time I got off the plane- I felt like I was the elite (even though I was dressed in tights, t-shirt and had a backpack on). The business class lounge offered private showers- with towels, slippers, toothbrush kits (they had an abundance of these in every bathroom!!), charging docks at every seat, direct boarding from the lounge, and best of all- free food and alcohol. So of course I piled up my plate for dinner with a nice glass of wine. And I went for seconds. Even after I was stuffed, I went for the fruits. Then I moved to another lounge area and got some amazing bar snacks and hot chocolate (and packed a few delicious looking apples). When it was time to board (which took all of 5 minutes, unlike the usual half an hour), I made an embarrassing mistake. See, there was an elevator JUST for business class. But me, being the smarty pants that I think I am, got in the elevator with the shorter line. So when I frantically stabbed at the “2” button and it wouldn’t light up, the guy in the elevator gloomily said “you have to go on the other elevator”. Oops. Honest mistake, right? When I got off the elevator, I marveled at every step I took, as if I was stepping into New Delhi for the first time. Even though it was just a stupid hallway, I realized I was walking towards the upper deck. The Upper Deck!!!!! You barely felt the take-off and landing. My excitement grew as I stepped on the plane and saw these amazing private seats that I only ever dreamed about. I sat down and goggled at everything around my seat as if all was made out of gold. The TV screen that was so ginormous I did not need my glasses to watch Man of Steel (you also get amazing noise-cancellation headphones); the private charging station, the little table to my left, another tiny screen to control the volume of the TV and some other things that I never figured out, and the private mini bar (!!). There was also a compartment to put your shoes. But the best part- the seat reclines. All. The. Way. Until you are lying flat on your back. You can snuggle comfortably with the big wooly blanket you’ve been given. You even get a mattress that your flight-attendant graciously installs for you shortly after take-off. I did not even bother checking where the life vest was; at that moment, I would have died a happy woman.

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Piled my plate up
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Best raspberries/blackberries ever

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Yeah I fit right in

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Upper deck!

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I would caption them, but it messes the order up. Do take note of the businessmen in their suits and then my outfit; the upper-deck boarding where I panicked in the elevator. Also, the crab cakes were amazing.

Once I arrived in Shanghai, everything happened in a flurry. With lunches and dinners, chill time and shopping time, I had lots to do every day. Before I had to leave Shanghai (Singaporeans can only stay for 14 days without a visa) for Vietnam, I did some pretty touristy things, and I am not ashamed! These days were spent with great company and I lived. I really just lived in the moment. I did whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted with no restrictions. There was no second-guessing- I just went for it. Here are some amazing pictures of Shanghai

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Puxi at night
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Looking back at Pudong
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Nanjing East Road
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Yes I do
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Haha dork:)
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There was some drumming show going on
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Pudong from the bund. Beautiful.
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The underground tunnel to Pudong
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Up on the SWFC- view of the soon-to-be tallest building in Shanghai
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Obligatory reflection picture

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We went from Nanjing East Road pedestrian street (which never ceases to amaze me), to the bund. We took the underground tunnel ride to Pudong- the ride was amazing! So touristy but so worth it. Afterwards, we spontaneously decided to go to the 100th floor of the SWFC. It was spectacular as we also went during sunset hours.

Then it was off to Vietnam for me. It was such an amazing with such luxurious treatment from my dear friend, Enna. She was the best host one could ever ask for, and it was so fun being with my friends from university again. I remember I was sitting in our presidential suite of Silk Path Hotel, relishing in the moment. We were all sitting in front of the TV, having amazing red wine and I was just so content with where I was in my life- with where I am in my life. I remember writing down in my notes “just being in the moment with them makes me want to be a better person. It makes me want to heal and rise above.”

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Best Pho ever.
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Goofin about in Enna’s Auto TT
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Enna’s home-made Vietnamese food. All organic because they grow their own pigs. Amazing
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Yay all of us with self-timer
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All of us again at Sofitel
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Next morning’s breakfast
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Apparently it was some graduation day that day. So we took the chance to take pictures with the local girls.
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Believe :)
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Soon after, lunch
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At the returning sword lake
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So cute
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At the Vietnamese market

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Eggs that haven’t hatched.

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Thank you ladies and gentleman for bringing so much happiness and content into my life for those three days:)

Then I was back in Shanghai for another 5 days. These few days consist of doing errands and last-minute shopping. Friday was my favorite day:) It’s rare that I can be with someone and not have to be conscious of my every move. So I thank you for letting me be myself. I hope to continue this streak in Switzerland.

So here’s to an almost 24-hour journey from Shanghai to Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi to Geneva, Geneva to Lausanne (the weather change is going to kill me). I’m still quite excited to go back, even though I won’t have any clothes in my first week. Who cares about clothes when you will have awesome company and….. wine?

My next post will be from the most expensive country in the world! Have a great Saturday/Sunday while I am up in the air, 40,000ft above all of ya’ll!

One thought on “Goodbye Shanghai

  1. […] Spending my birthday here was amazing. It was one of the quietest birthdays I’ve had since I turned 18; I caught up with a high school friend for lunch and met up with two university friends for dinner. I lazed around most of the time I was in Shanghai, recovering from my experience in Seychelles. I also met someone amazing, and I haven’t looked back since. Pictures from my previous blog post :) […]

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