Behind and right next door to the glitz and glamour of Shanghai, real people live their real lives in the old lanes. The first shock you get walking through the very old parts of town is the extreme narrowness of the alleys and the very small size of the overcrowded rooms people call home. It is quite a wake up call that I make sure I take myself through at least once a week so as not to be fooled by the fake reality that expats tend to exist in in a place like Shanghai.
And how many communication gadgets do you own and how addicted are you to them? Almost everyone I know flirts daily with at least one phone, one computer, one ipod, one ipad, one game with a wireless connection, among other newly invented virtual reality toys, and they spend a large chunk of the day engrossed in that world, that it becomes real. The virtual avatars, gravatars and buddy icons become as real as you and me (well you are probably virtual to me as I am to you anyway) and it is kind of scary. We are living the scifi movie that we watched and wondered at as children. These days you can even play a highly addictive computer game where you create your own alternate world and be with others in it, fall in love, meet new people, get a new career, that some end up preferring it to their real life and get sucked into it as they gradually lose their grip on their physical world. Just some thoughts that were triggered by the subject of my street photo.
Photo taken: a girl in Shanghai completely oblivious to me, the pedestrian and car traffic while texting