With the winter being the “dead season” for tourism here in Shanghai, visiting as a sort-of tourist sure makes you feel appreciated. When I visited Nanjing Market, aka. the five-story tall mall of “fake” name brand goods, every clerk followed after me chanting “souvenir” or “Prada.” They sure know how to make a girl feel special.
Going back to Yu Garden, which is kind of like Time Square in the sense that none of the local residents want anything to do with it, the streets were completely empty and silent in the cold of winter. All you could hear were an announcement telling visitors to pay attention to their belongings due to the city’s pick-pocketing problem on repeat. Yet, every single shop was open and staffed. Chinese people take time and money very seriously, so shops stay open as long as people are conscious. However, the boredom had every clerk snacking, staring into blank space, or immersed in their iPhones. As someone who once worked in the service industry, I completely understand that feeling of being stuck in the daily grind of a purposeless job.
Time would just go by so much faster if it was busy.
But as someone who never appreciated crowds, I don’t mind the tranquility. I feel like I got to experience Yu Garden for exactly how it was meant to be experienced.