Have I told you yet that I was completely head over heels about Shanghai? I love the city! I have more stories to share about it and tonight, I want to start with where did I spend most of my RMB (psst.. it’s Tianzifang), but before that — I am featured on this week’s Travel Tuesday. There is a blog icon and all! I jumped a little when I saw Tina’s tweet during my commute. I am chuffed, happy and honored. Thank you Tina!
It was my first afternoon in Shanghai, after we dropped Vi at the train station, Yin was in charge of me. “I will bring you to my favorite place,” she said. I was curious. Seven years of befriending and sharing a city with her I never heard of a favorite place of hers before.
We took the subway and got down at.. umm somewhere? It was a hectic period and the subway had all the rainbow colors, but this time I didn’t need to concentrate. I was with a local, born and bred. We walked up and was greeted by a small crowded lane. I still didn’t know what was so special about a narrow lane. That narrow lane, with a couple of stores, turned out to be an entrance of a maze of stores and restaurants and arts and love, all combined in one place. That moment Tianzifang became a favorite of mine too.
I couldn’t stop squealing with delight over small stores that sell cute stuff. I kept asking Yin what was that, what was this. I told her I want that and this and more of that. Tianzifang has so much of cuteness combined; I had a minor shopping spree. I shopped for myself and for them whom I could think of giving. I made excuses to shop; baby shower, long lost friend’s birthday gift, considering daily meditation. I bought postcards, friendship bracelets and tea. I almost bought an iPhone cover that wouldn’t fit my phone; I couldn’t resist getting because it was so cute. Yin had to step in and stop me.
She sensed that it was time to rescue my RMB. It was still my first day and I have nine more days to live together with the foreign currency. She suggested we go to a coffee shop. I was torn, I couldn’t believe this place has a coffee shop! And yes, I would very much want to try but, on the other hand, leaving all those cute stuff?? I finally followed Yin after I made her agree to let me shop more later.
We walked into smaller lanes and ta da there were a few coffee shops actually. We entered Kommune. You guys, where I came from communism was not necessarily encouraged (choosing my words carefully here) but the place was a gem! I felt so politically incorrect. Naughty even! Yet at the same time, sipping coffee from a communist themed coffee shop in the city claimed to be the birthplace of communism felt like the coolest thing to do.
Tianzifang was a feast for my soul, not so much for my wallet. I went there again before I went back. This time by myself (wasn’t as fun as exploring it with Yin). Next time I come to Shanghai (oh there will definitely be a next time!) I am heading straight to Tianzifang from the airport with a short stopover at Yin’s because I am so gonna drag her with me. I need her to put a stop when the geographical shopaholic in me goes overboard.