Shanghai, the Bund. The key card of the hotel deeply stuck into my pocket I head up to the boulevard for an evening breeze. Confused by the jet lag that starts to kick in, or is it the bombardment of so many impressions. A couple of hours ago I landed on Chinese soil for the first time ever. The scale of the city, the people, the ceremonies, I am a stranger here. On the other side of the river a skyline so overwhelming, but with a scale that is hard to judge. Big, bigger, biggest. A room with a view that is.
Now, at night, the architecture comes alive. This is Las Vegas. Colorful lights everywhere, changing colors every couple of seconds. LED bill boards the size of buildings reflect in the water. The boulevard is crowded. People taking pictures. A language I don't understand and signs I can't read. My only reference are some numbers here and there and international luxury attributes parked in front of boutiques. Not fake, but with local touches. The blow of a whistle. A official in a uniform gesticulates and orders some tourists to keep their feet of the benches.
Colonial buildings on one side and the new powerful landmarks at east bank . In between I am caught in the mix, lost in translation,an extra in a Blade Runner-esque scenery. The deep bass of ship engines roll over the water, pitch black silhouettes slice through a bath of color. Raw materials on a journey to the next building site. China is booming and knocking in my head. I touched down, but did I land?