Temperatures reached a high of 37 degrees centigrade today in Shanghai. The streets were steaming, and the breeze felt like the caresses of a nearby fire. This city gets brutally uncomfortable during the summer months and still some of its residents must sweat for their money. They come back from their outdoor jobs with a sense of relief drawn on their faces as another hard day’s work is done.
You see them every day, at all times of the day, weekdays, weekends, working, toiling, sweating, carrying loads, in construction sites, cleaning streets, selling goods, resting on sides of roads, falling asleep in the shade to catch their breath. They are very important elements in the canvas that is Shanghai, a city rushing towards the future and using every resource it has to get there fast. It is one of the few cities in the world using the German designed Maglev train (magnetic levitation) that can get you into the city from the airport in 7 minutes, a trip that would take close to an hour by car… China has these good people to thank!
Don’t you love moments in life when you look at someone, a total stranger and without exchanging any words, a pure sense of joy is exchanged between you and them? It is almost a secret celebration of the fact of being human together. It really lifts me up when it happens, it brightens the heart and causes a lightness of being. These two workers were in the middle of their difficult task on top of a large construction site, they spotted me taking photos and they just burst with smiles and a contagious sense of joy, with their giggles echoing down the alley. They made my day 🙂