Shanghai, China

Nanpu Bridge, Shanghai, China

I thought I’d gotten away with it, the old breaking and entering thing. Up to the moment I saw the fat girl in the mini skirt.

I’d just brazened my way past a bored security guard downstairs, hopped an elevator to the 22nd floor and then scurried up the dark stairwell up and onto the roof with whatever  stealth I could muster carrying a tripod, backpack of gear and creaking knees. But now we stared at each other across the abandoned and not at all open to the public rooftop.

I’m not sure who was more surprised, but I just smiled by biggest, dumbest smile, pointed out at the view and chirped “photo…okay?” and went about my business like I owned the place. She had just finished a cigarette and in her imagined privacy, was beginning to hawk up something that seemed to start from down around her pelvis.

Our mutually exclusive language skills kept any unpleasantness to a minimum. She unhappily swallowed, blinked, and went back inside. I gave a cheerful wave before crawling out onto the building’s ledge.

My second grade teacher wrote all the way back in 1967 that “Paul thinks rules are for others.” I often think of her at times like this, wondering if she had any idea how right she was.  Below me, a view of the double-helix Nanpu Bridge, scenically clogged with traffic, lay swirling and aglow in all it’s engineering glory across the Huangpu River 25 floors below.

Since I was here, I might as well take a picture or two.

Shanghai, China: October 30, 2013



Leave a Reply