Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Pictures are Worth 1,000 Words

I know I haven't written recently much, but there are so many topics I still want to cover that I haven't gotten around to: the pains of changing my visa, the difference between being an "expat" and an "immigrant," the joys of being an American-born Chinese person and struggling with the language, starting work in a Chinese office...but I admittedly haven't gotten around to it.  I'll get to those in the future, I promise.

What I've actually been doing a lot of recently is taking photos in the subway.  I have a 45-minute commute one way, so I have a long enough ride that I can people-watch.  And people-watching in the Shanghai subway is...interesting.  For one, everyone is on their smartphone watching videos and they ignore people they're with or forget to actually get off at the correct stop.  I even learned the term for these people in Mandarin -- 低头族 (ditou zu), smartphone addicts, or I think the literal rough translation would be "those who keep their heads bowed."  (I learned this from listening to some podcast)

There's been some really funny/odd/disgusting things I've seen in the subway, and I've sent them to some people swearing I need to start a blog or hashtag, #shitiseeontheshanghaisubway.  So here are things that I've seen and observed.

There's the odd exception:

I took this photo today in the Lujiazui subway station at rush hour.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with Shanghai, Lujiazui is the financial district.  Normally at rush hour, this station is overflowing with people shoving and elbowing their way onto the escalator, and it's total chaos.  Today, it was like an apocalyptic movie with it being the first day of the Chinese New Year holidays.  There was hardly anyone in the station.  I basically just went around taking pictures of the empty city, but this is the empty station, which is very rare indeed.