It has been a depressive month in Shanghai, not just because of the cloudy, cold and rainy season or the detached people, but also because of my personal status. It’s not the perfect time to start a new life, or, to get back to my previous life track.


I try to recall how I used to keep my life running in the city, but everything appears unfamiliar to me. I seem to have lost every intention to meet people or to embrace the ups and downs, as well to welcome the diverse universe, like I usually do…

I don’t intend to make myself less vulnerable. The truth is I don’t even recognize myself when I look in the mirror. All my energy has been drained out like a dying flower.

And then he showed up. He has his hair dyed into a brown color, “you will see the shiny golden hairline under the sunlight”, and his front head is covered like the movie stars from Korea and most of the times he wears an overwhelming smile. Sometimes I am not sure what other things can I read in his eyes or on his innocent smile.  He is so simple and everything appears just lying in front of me, like a nude girl in a museum’s painting.
He used to live in the same place for over 26 years before moving to Shanghai. He was never aboard; he doesn’t have any foreign friends; he used to go to work following the same route; he used to have the same friends from school, and he used to have the same routine schedule, even the same meals every day.
Once awhile, I resume the excitement in different challenges, the extraordinary life, meeting people around the world, enjoying the atmosphere and the smell of a new city, always searching for the next place to be temporarily settled down, and always learning how to say a proper goodbye or a new hi.

We can barely be considered friends, and our life path wouldn’t probably cross if we didn’t work in the same company. He doesn’t even know which city I am coming from, which cuisine I like or which my favorite movies are. And yet, he never asked.

He never asked me what are those colorful cotton strings on my wrist, he never asked me why I am feeling down sometimes, he never even questioned my intention to ask for his company. He is simply there whenever I need his “silence company”, without having conversations like I have with others. We never talk about the future,  careers, or life perspectives. He is the person who is just living the moment, who is not worried too much of the unknown future, and I really appreciate the space he gave to me and I truly admire his great attitude towards life.

His silence company reminds me how much I have and I should pack my unorganized life together in any time soon as I should pay more attention to present and live with it.

I call it power of silence.

Photo by Carol Huang
Photo by Carol Huang
  • Zvonimir

    Hi Carol,
    We have common friend from Malaysia Ng Siew Cheng. She sent me link of this page and I saw that she wrote text about cemetery in my country. I read few of your posts, you are very talented for writing. There is something in your texts that can get people involved to read more and more. Maybe same like with movies when they make sequels:). You have your unique way of writing, expressing yourself from inside and pictures are also very nice. I also write blog about traveling but it is not so professional. Just keep up with writing, you are doing good.
    Best regards,

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