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Quiet Monday

October 8, 2017

Dear Sarah,

It was hard to say exactly how it became clear, but as we stepped out of our new little apartment and onto the streets on the first day of the National Holiday week, there was something undeniably…holiday…about it.  The city was not preparing for work.  A small, gray haired woman managed a pole twice her size to calmly hang a pink comforter on a clothesline soaring above her as the breeze touched it lazily. The people on bikes looked about them with grins, observing their surroundings, riding in little packs we hadn’t yet seen in Shanghai.  Some shops were open, some closed. 

Adam shared with me that it was estimated that 700 million people would be traveling in nearly two days – twice the population of the US all at once.  We weren’t sure if we should expect surging crowds or a ghost town.  Perhaps it all balanced out and people just switched location.  We, too, were on our day off that first Monday, and so we wandered the streets with the people and smiled at the muted sidewalks and sat for long coffees.  There was somehow an invitation for spring cleaning and staying near home in the no-longer-heavily-hot daylight of monsoon season.




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