I've spent my life in 3 major cities: Shanghai, New York, and now Boston.
In order to survive in any city, you must learn the ways of a City Girl. When I was 3, I was told to bite, then run away from strangers who approach me. I traveled from Shanghai to New York by myself when I was 12. By the time I was 14, I knew how to navigated my way through the subway stations. I had my first kiss at age 16. I am always alert of pickpockets from the corners of my eyes. I love the way the night shines not just from the moon, but from the bright lights of the skyscrapers. I believe jaywalking is the easiest way to cross the street. I take advantage of the fact that no matter how late it is, you can always find a place to eat. As you can see, the city has taught me well. But besides survival skills, the city has provided opportunities to witness some unique...things.
Thing #1: I think the best part of living in the city is the people watching. It's unbelievable how many crazy people there are in this world, and the unthinkable things they will do. The notorious Naked Cowboy in Time Square is probably the best example, strumming away on his guitar in his underwear in the middle of December. (I hear he's running for president now!) Or maybe the mirror lady on Westland Ave., who stares at a mirror nonstop, even when she's crossing the street. Even those mexicans that dogwhistle at any female creature that walks by. It makes me wonder, what are they thinking? Is the Naked Cowboy torturing himself in the cold because he's going through financial issues, or he just likes to show off his buttcheeks? Is the mirror lady self conscious about how she looks to everyone else, or just so arrogant that she can't stop looking at herself? Do mexicans amuse themselves by hitting on teenagers and old ladies alike, or do they think there's a higher chance of catching a fish if they put more bait on the hook?
If you have 10 minutes to spare, sit in a window seat in a cafe shop on a busy intersection, and just watch the people that walk by. Where are they going? Where did they come from? What are they thinking? Of course, you'll never get the real answer out of them. Just let your imagination fill in the blanks. When you live in a fast pace city, sometimes, focusing on other people's lives is the only way you can escape your own, if only for a few minutes.
Part 2 coming soon!