Out on the streets in Shanghai a few hours before a Metallica concert, yes a Metallica concert! How I managed to get tickets to this one still surprises me. One thing about traveling through China is that it’s almost impossible to move around in a cab without a post-it in your pocket with the place you want to go written in Mandarin. Simple things are very hard to explain, let alone telling someone to buy tickets for you on their taobao website (the Chinese equivalent of ebay where you can probably find aircraft engines for sale) and having them fedex it across the state to a hotel in Shanghai where you’ll be staying for the night. The problem exacerbates when the only words you know in Mandarin are hello, cold beer, pork, beef, chicken, toilet, receipt, and thank you in that order.
Anyway, I got the ticket and I was so excited that I landed in Shanghai very hungry and a good 2.5 hours before the show. To me, hunger is a powerful force – it makes me walk miles together just to eat at a highly recommended restaurant. And that’s how these photographs happened. I was on my way to Din Tai Fung (DTF), yet another god level international chain from Taiwan, whose claim to fame is their steamed pork dumplings. How good these dumplings are will be discussed in another post but Din Tai Fung was about 1.5 miles away from my hotel and to get there I had to cross the older part of town rightfully called Old Town.
This area is a street photographers dream. The streets are filled with vendors with all kinds of food ranging from the exotic to the questionable. Some photos may be disturbing to some viewers so I hope you’ve had a light lunch. As I strolled through these streets, I kept making photographs stopping only to ask the one’s that looked angry if I could take their photograph. I got shouted at a few times but I took the picture anyway. Sometimes, not knowing the local language is a good thing.
The irony in all this – I got lost and I never managed to find Din Tai Fung that evening and left hurriedly to find my way back so I could get to the concert on time, still hungry.