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I remember the first couple times I came to Shanghai on business with JWT in ‘05 and ‘07.
I got up early one morning and took the nearest metro for half an hour out of town. I wound up somewhere near Longhua temple and yes, it looked pretty much the same as the station I’d got on at. Shanghai clearly didn’t end. Perhaps that’s the premise that brought us here and I’ve only just kind-of managed to prove it wrong.

Fascinated by the near destitute worker-bees in their garage-door shops I hung out by a line of grubby washing next to an exposed electricity substation and watched the blue overall world go by.

I took this photo, it was as far away from my world as I could imagine without people having extra limbs or animal heads.

A few years later and we’re out on a meandering ride through the suburbs. I’m smacked with almighty déjà vu. Here are the same couple of shops, with the same people and same telegraph pylon jauntily sticking through their showroom. All that’s changed is a couple more shops on either side, a new sign or two and the addition of safety railings.

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