I wouldn’t call Shanghai a pretty city. Despite all the shiny buildings, there’s an overall lack of finesse, a roughness that comes with looking so far into the future that there’s no attention to detail. But sometimes you’ll walk around the city, and despite the whirring madness going on around you – the honking horns, weaving taxis, daredevil e-bikes, pushy pedestrians, and wailing children – you’ll find a sense of peace. It’s the kind of peace that doesn’t come often in one of the world’s largest cities, and seems almost awkward in the context.
Shanghai, for all its downfalls, has its moments of triumph.