You know how people always say that the first of anything is always the hardest?
In my case, it was my first time travelling; alone on top of that.
So, the first day of being in Shanghai? It was horrible. I repeat, horrible. It was the hardest day of me being there. What makes it so hard? Because I realized I knew nothing. Nothing at all.
The person in charge of taking care of my well being there decided to leave me for a couple of days thinking that it was the best for me. Oh boy, if only she knew how wrong it was. It was the hardest month for me and she decided to leave me alone so I can have some time to ‘cope with Shanghai?’ I’m not sure whether to call her a caring person or just ignorant.
So there I am, with absolutely nothing to do, nowhere to go, and most importantly, nothing to eat. I was so hungry and it was the fasting month then. I was suffering from lack of nutrient and I was craving for a lot of food, but there is nothing I can buy because I don’t know where to buy it nor do I know which one I can eat.
I was lonely, hungry, annoyed and absolutely bored to death. And my phone seems to not work there. I wonder why. My translator didn’t work, and so do most of the apps installed in my phone. And it seems that I can’t access my Gmail either. See how bored I am?
You see, I love to talk. A lot. So when I was at the place where people don’t understand me, I got a little bit.. annoyed. Not sad, annoyed. After hours of hanging around in the lobby of the hostel they put me in, that only played Chinese movies with Chinese subtitles that almost put me to sleep, I decided I had enough. So without bringing anything in my pocket except for some cash, I just walk out of that hostel. By myself. I’m not sure whether I’m brave or just plain stupid walking around without my passport, but that was exactly what I did.
And I felt alive.
For just a minute though.
One fun fact about me is that I’m a Muslim. So, my clothes..were a little bit different. I wear hijab. And maybe the people there found that it was weird, so they decided to stare at me. Like, staring obviously. The only thing that’s missing was drooling from their mouth. It was my first experience of being stared at so I admit, I wasn’t prepared for it. For the first time in my life I felt like an alien roaming around the earth, you know? And that feel..was ugly. Ugly. I felt like I walked without head you know. Or like I have two heads or something. And I’m not sure whether I liked it.
So, after walking for a while, I found a supermarket. You can not believe how happy I was to find a supermarket there. I almost jumped. Excitedly, I went into the supermarket, but everything was in Chinese. I tried to look in the index of the ingredient of the snacks, but everything was in Chinese. Imagine how devastated I was. Since I’m a Muslim, I have to be careful of what I eat especially the ingredients they used to produce the snacks.
I was hungry and there is nothing I can buy. So I ended up buying bananas to eat during the break fast time. For 3 days, I survived with only mineral water and fruits. Suddenly, I’m a vegetarian.
And I’m not sure if I was ready to give up on meat.