Concert, Cafes, and Croissants
A new destination laid before me. On the cool evening before Christmas Eve, my girlfriend and I mounted aboard the long mechanical tubes of the metro. Skimming through dark tunnels as the myriad of other passengers glazed over their phones. The metro slowed down at our stop, Jing An Sports Center (静安体育中心). People, bundled up against the cold, all huddled out of the metro towards the stadium to see a concert of someone I've never heard of.
Just outside the stadium we were met with gates and guards. "I think this is where we separate". She scurried off towards the security check point, face full of excitement. The ticket was I gift for her. Probably one of the better gifts I've given her.
"Now, what am I going to do for the next few hours?", I thought to myself. My feet were planted in the suburbs of Shanghai. Where walk paths and roads were scattered among the tall apartment buildings and communities. Luckily, there were a few cafes nearby. Plotting the destination on my maps, I slowly walked. Taking in all the sights of this new part of Shanghai.
I arrived at a busy corner that only held one convenience store and one Starbucks. Little else was on this dimly lit street besides a pet store. So, my cold silhouette made it into the convenience store to buy some snacks and drink before parking myself at a table in the cafe. The hours went by with little progress towards anything. Although I did develop an appreciation for "working" in a cafe. The gentle sounds of Christmas music. The cozy lights above. And the temple like quiet only disturbed by the clanking of cups. I can see why so many go to coffee shops to get things done. The environment is ripe with a cozy concentration.
Glasses were tossed into water with a loud splash. Servers hurridly began to clean up after a long day's work. The cafe was getting ready to close. Checking the time, I noticed the concert was almost over. Packing up my laptop I headed towards the door. It opened with a blast of cool winter air. I alone walked the streets towards the stadium. Hundreds of people poured out of the stadium like armies emerging from a castle. Soon, a long line of fans flowed from the metro entrance out into the street. To my side, my girlfriend excitedly talked about the concert the entire way home.
Disney World Shanghai
The following days were filled with her cheerfully humming tunes as we cooked, walked, and shopped. All building up for Chrismas Day.
We woke up early. Ate good breakfast. Then headed off towards her gift to me. A day spent together at Disney World Shanghai. This was all the way at the end of Metro Line 11. You definitely knew you were at Disney. The metro had decorations of Goofy, Minnie, and more. Once you exited, you could see the castle in the distance.
Our day was filled with taking in the sights. Walking among the various themed villages, seeing parades, pirates, and other characters walk the streets. Of course we bought our fair share of souvenirs. A few hours in and our stomachs reminded us we needed to eat. So we stopped in one of the restaurants and ate some delicious noodles.
Even as we rode various rides, stood in line, and explored the sights. One thing kept getting my attention. The giant castle. A centerpiece no matter where we were at in the park. Standing in these themed villages, with people all around made it feel like we were in another world. Not transported to the past, like in a renaissance fair. A completely different world from ours. Where fun seems to be the only objective.
I've never been a crazy Disney fan, but the movies have obviously been apart of my life. Just as they are apart of so many people's lives. Coming here to just immerse myself in Disney's playful world felt nice. To get away from any worries the mind might bring. To simply walk around in silly hats, watching familiar characters prance around you. Seeing so many people smiling as they too lose themselves in whatever "magic" this place has.
To put it simply, it was fun. I'm glad we went.
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