Strange Days

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Sunday was an odd day indeed. I woke up with a cold and was in two minds about whether to venture beyond Ajisen Ramen round the corner or just get some noodle soup and go back home to bed.

I could have done that. I could have just gone straight back home and watched back-to-back episodes of Mad Men and drunk copious amounts of tea.

But instead I dragged myself out because the Chanel Culture exhibition at MOCA was about to end and I couldn’t bring myself to miss it having known about it since before I even moved to Shanghai.

I even decided to walk into town because it was a nice day. This was my first mistake.

I was approached by a strange man who said he was the manager of a language school and insisted on walking all the way to to the gallery with me, before trying to get me to change a pound coin into Chinese money. I refused. He tried to get me to agree to meet him for a drink later. I refused. He tried to kiss me as he said goodbye. I got away sharpish.

Having joined the rather large queue to get in to MOCA, I finally got to look round at all the pretty dresses and Chanel-related objects. I then decided to walk back home.

This was my second mistake. Yet another strange man (or boy) approached me. He said he was 16 and from South Korea. “You look like Cinderella, and I am Mickey Mouse,” he told me, apparently unaware that the two have very little to do with one another.

Luckily he didn’t follow me for too long as apparently he had to meet his sister. He said goodbye and also tried to kiss me. I backed away and hurried on, glad to see him go in the opposite direction.

After this I managed to get home without any more madness occurring, but was sadly put off walking to People’s Square in future when I could get the much more anonymous subway. The Metro thus far appears to be relatively weirdo-free compared with the walk down Nanjing Road.

I later found out that the pound coin scam is quite common at the moment and my friend was approached and asked to do the same. Not sure whether they just want to change a fake pound coin into real Chinese money or if it’s a ruse to steal people’s wallets.

Anyway, there are plenty of friendly and helpful people around so all is well, I just didn’t happen to meet any of them on Sunday…

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