The first night I was in Shanghai, I could feel a lot of eyes swiveling to rest on me as I walk down East Nanjing Road. Shah attracted some stares too, but perhaps it shouldn't be this huge surprise; in a sea of local Chinese, coupled with the absence of the swarms of foreign tourists there—a common sight in most countries I've been to—we were bound to stand out more than usual!
Things took a turn though when we went to Beijing, in Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City to be exact: people approached us, asking to take photos together. Fo realzzz. It was extremely hilarious but also very awkward, but we just didn't know how to say "No" as they seemed harmless enough, except I did decline when an older man asked if Shah could be out of the photo so that he could take a photo with me with his arm linked to mine. (At this point it was a legit "Um NO THANKS" for me!)
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I found an amazing local brand in Shanghai called Meters/Bonwe (yes, with the slash and all) who, to my delight, did a collaboration with Disney! They have the best affordable Disney clothing, much preferable over of the super-kitschy ones I see in Disneylands. I mean, I like a little kitsch, but even I have limits, guys. Lucky for me, Meters/Bonwe coincidentally had a 30-60% sale during the time that I was there so I could fit a few of their items into my shopping budget, including these Minnie Mouse sweater and Mickey Mouse patch jeans.
I had no plans to buy a bag but I saw this striped black-and-white sling bag at a Zara near my hotel and my weak shopping wills just could not resist. It reminds me of Beetlejuice too much to not buy. (PS: In case you didn't know, I. LOVE. BEETLEJUICE.)
I don't know if this is ridiculous (if it is, no one should care though) but the reason I wanted to visit the Forbidden City more than anything is I'm a huge fan of Mulan. The Disney movie, yes, in case anyone's confused, so it's not completely senseless for me to wear a Disney-themed outfit, is it? The Imperial City in the movie is heavily influenced by the Forbidden City (have a look here!), and I so badly wanted to have a look at the staircase that inspired the sweeping steps where Mulan had that touching scene with the Emperor, but the line to enter the City was a total nightmare.
I can't mention Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City without noting the importance of those places in China's history: before I arrived to Beijing, I read up a bit about the political / historical events that took place in the square (which are very sad, and a little gory to be honest) and the stories of the Forbidden City are certainly quite fascinating. I'm not going to get into the events/stories here but it certainly put things into perspective, after reading what little I could. I knew nothing about either place prior to my visit and if you're the same as I was before, well, what's Wikipedia for? It would have been something to enter the city to deeper absorb the history there but alas, it wasn't our time to visit it. In the future, perhaps!
Wearing: Meters/Bonwe sweater and jeans | Sense of Place coat | Adidas Stan Smith shoes | Zara bag