I’m not a stranger to the greying streets of Shanghai. Over the past ten years, I’ve learnt to familiarise myself with it’s hastily bricked roads and massive traffic junctions, serving as a mobile and very vocal baggage to my father’s already large entourage. So today when I found some place new to discover in this city I felt I already knew, it was pretty magical.
1933 老场坊 is an old slaughter house set awkwardly on the edge of Shanghai’s city centre. Despite the European design, it’s painted an artless shade of cream and grey that’s ready to merge into the monotonous city background. But colour aside, the slaughterhouse does have a pretty intriguing architectural setup that’ll mount scenes of cattle trotting up ramps and to their imminent deaths firmly into the forefront of your brains.
Funny enough, the building now occupies itself with the likes of fancy cafés, pretentious theatres and event agencies that draws in a crowd full of high spirits and an obvious lack of superstition. Weddings and birthday celebrations are common and despite the wintry air and eerie chill, they seem hopeful, perhaps even joyous, enveloped by a positive aura that I cannot seem to radiate.
Most of the building feels empty even though a dozen shops are holed into it’s walls, making one feel as though the attempts at trying to mask the old stench of the slaughterhouse only serves to excavate its history and elucidate.
Too lazy to think of a title, so almost all my blog posts bear the lyrics of a song I’m currently listening to. This time, it happened to be Back for Good by Take that, but I am obviously listening to the Boyce Avenue cover of the song. I have a feeling I’m turning into a fangirl soon.
I used to take real photos, like real real photos. Not the kind taken by the crappy camera on my crappy phone, but the kind where I spend 5 minutes thinking, 6 minutes adjusting and 7 minutes reviewing until I manage to capture the perfect shot of the subject. Perhaps when life is constantly spiralling out of control, you just don’t have the kind of time to carry around a bulky camera waiting for the perfect lighting, perfect subject and perfect backdrop for the perfect picture. But then again, there’s no such thing as perfect right? If there was one thing I’ve learnt from photography, its that the best pictures hide in the most unlikely of situations. So you should always be ready. Another reason to add “Take more photos with Dorothy” on my New Year’s list of resolutions.
Today, the four of us got so bored of staring at each other after three consecutive days of meeting up. It made me wonder if I would be able to spend the rest of my life with the same person without being tired of the curve of their brow, or the depth of their eyes. Would I be able to sleep next to the same person without tiring of their scent or the angle of their spoon? Perhaps boredom is what drives lovers away from each other into the arms of strangers. But if we could all just stick to the boredom a little longer, we might be surprised to find that at the end of the boredom lies familiarity, which is what all homes are built upon.