Returning to this city after an extended absence can be a jarring experience. Most jarring of all is how Shanghai, with its frenetic pace of change, redefines the word “extended.”
In my case it was a three-week vacation, and the shocks began on my very first drive through the city, which has been lit in recent days by spectral sunshine bearing down from blue and unaccustomedly clear skies.
When I left town, cranes and heavy equipment were still laboring loudly over the large work site at the end of my street. On the day of my return, as I rounded the corner, still groggy with jet lag, a casual glance in that direction was followed by an immediate double take. [Full Text]