Even before I was back in Shanghai, I knew I would go back to LA again.
It’s part gut feeling; part knowing myself too well.
Shanghai adores money too much to want to curate and cultivate talents.
LA adores money and fame nonetheless, if not more. But I feel that there are creative people daring and brave enough to be able to find a footing there.
LA is large enough to not to be distracted except for the gleefully California sun.
Shanghai is large too. But it’s too crowded to give a damn about craving space for creative people who aren’t the usual suspects: people in advertising and marketing. [Translation: people who work from 10 to 2 am who dress creative, talk creative, act creative because they have a business account to spend on.]
Shanghai is like New York in people density and busyness. But most Shanghai people are busy chasing money to pay off housing, imported baby powder, cars… to prove to their families and friends that they are leading a good life.
LA folks care about cars too. I’ve lived on Wilshire Blvd so I have had my share of vroom vroom symphonies. And yet, I feel okay to not own a car, or to own a second-hand car. Some don’t even care about new furniture. I’ve sold quite a few pieces of furnitures to students and fresh graduates who live on a budget.
In Shanghai, I buy everything brand new. It doesn’t even occur to me to look for second-hand stuff…
In the end, it’s not a race. It’s finding a good fit for oneself.
Some are lucky to be born into the city, the country that compliments their personality. While others have to search a little harder and longer.
And yet, the in-betweens complain about the place they were born into but never try to move elsewhere for a change.
I love Shanghai. It’s my hometown. But I don’t love it enough to want to live here forever even though my family is here.
I love LA. It’s the love of my life. I love it enough to leave my family and friends behind, again.