Yesterday was Valentine’s Day in China and much like the states, it came with all the requisite flowers, restaurants and dates you’d find in the west. People were walking the streets with bouquets and street vendors everywhere were selling flowers.
A couple of us from the office tried to go to dinner at Grand Gateway, across the street from the office and were quickly rejected by a teaming mass of humanity unlike any I’ve ever encountered. Typically to get to Grand Gateway from the office, it’s easiest to take the subway tunnels under the street from Metro City and to the exit Xujiahui station gate 14. There are a set of escalators that lead from the station in to the mall. Normally it’s crowded as things are in Shanghai with people everywhere, but last night was a whole other ball game.
This time, there was a mass of people about eight bodies wide and maybe 20 deep all pushing their way for the escalator. After suffering through that we made it up only to have half our party stranded at the bottom as the security guards reversed the direction of the escalators to stop the flow of people and disperse the crowd. For the half of us that were upstairs, it was complete chaos where all the balconies of the building in the middle foyer were full of people, eight stories high looking down at the performance on the ground floor. It was just pure unadulterated Valentine’s day chaos.