Big cities have this way of resembling beehives, busy, constantly moving. Most of these urban centers are jarring, fast, harsh, noisy, and unforgiving to all that is slow. Not Shanghai. Shanghai has a gentle flow about it, where people just glide by on their bicycles, slow enough to examine life around them and nod with recognition at friends in their neighborhood. A bicycle and tricycle culture, so much is moved around on wheels. As long as tradition lasts, this will be (at least to me) the greatest charm of Shanghai.
For those of us who live in big cities, life can be overwhelmingly abrasive. The speeds we are forced to run at, the massive amount or impressions we need to process on a daily basis, the number of people we meet and pass by, the so many obstacles we have to navigate around to get from one point to the next, all these things force us to run fast and to move at the speed dictated by the engine of the metropolis.
I have recently discovered that you can enter a bubble where the world slows down, a magical dimension, where the city can become gentle, ethereal and its humans like butterflies fluttering by.
There are so many places in the world where life is slow moving and where people are not scurrying around from train to office, to market, to bar, to home only to wake up and do it all over again. It is almost as though they are there to balance the high speed of the cities that might cause the planet to spin out of control. So is the beautiful old village of Xiping near Guilin, where a card game could be enough to add thrill to the day.