One big café

There’s anonymity in crowds. The urban cacophony of Shanghai creates a wall of sound that absorbs everything. It’s pleasant, like a big café. And with a population of 24 million citizens, you never have to worry about onlookers, because you’re likely to never see them again. When someone cuts you off in traffic, there’s no need to look back and argue, because tomorrow there’ll be dozens of other drivers on the same piece of tarmac. When someone skips the queue in the subway, why bother to argue? The moment is gone. Don’t let anything that happened in the past influence the future. It’s the sheer size that drowns everything while you float along. Jordan Baker, in Fitzgerald’s ‘Great Gatsby’, says it best: “I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.”