The essentials of life are few: food, drink, shelter, mobile phone, and air. The last we tend to forget, since we take it for granted. But here in Shanghai, the largest city in the world, you long to breathe normally.
You feel it as an acid burn at the back of the throat, it even darkens the air; Shanghai is submerged in smog. You drown in it. Whether you can eventually get used to it, I don’t know, but I’ve been coughing since my arrival two days ago and I long for a cold, clear and windswept mountain top.
Was it worth it, the construction of this monstrous city? When you visit the Shanghai Museum and see what came before, you wonder if what happened was progress.