Today, J. took a long subway trip to the end of Shanghai’s Line 1. We biked to the closest subway station (Line 4 Damuqiao), transferred at Shanghai Indoor Stadium and rode the red to its northern terminus. The train was crowded with people enjoying their day off. After the Circus World stop, the subway went above ground. The view consisted of endless rows of apartment towers, massive home stores, auto dealerships, canals, factories, container-filled ship yards, trees, junk sorting facilities, power lines. It wasn’t a pretty view. The ride took an hour. By the end of the line, the train was nearly empty. No one seemed to going to Fujin Road.
Fujin Station dumped us out into a land of sad food vendors, idle motorbike taxis, and an abandoned (or unfinished?) shopping and residential complex. The roads were massive. The heat was oppressive. All around were grimy canals, shipping containers, and vacant lots. In the distance were two smokestacks of a coal power-plant. We were actually close to the Yangtze River, but it would have been hours of walking in the noonday heat. It would have been industrial by the water anyway.
Since there wasn’t much to see, we walked in a loop back to the station. A few stops down, we got off and ordered some McDonalds for lunch. The restaurant was large and full of people. They seemed surprised to see foreigners, but we weren’t surprised to see them. Ronald has positioned his restaurant as a cheap, thoroughly air-conditioned hangout. The couple in the booth across from us looked like they were going to be there the whole day. After the woman trimmed her fingernails, she and her lover began a batch of motionless but deep lip locks. A few chairs down, a man was taking a nap. I expected to turn and see the gang from 90210 talking about the prom or Dylan’s rebellious attitude, or at least Zack Morris scheming on his DynaTAC.
A nearly empty train as we approached the last stop on Line 1.
Fujin Road Station.
The front of a train.
Construction worker napping.
Man washing something in a filthy canal.
Looking north towards approaching cars.
City of shipping containers.
Canal and bridge.
Brick drying yard for a factory.
The brick factory.
Looking south into traffic.
Lady running frantically for a bus.
More stacks of shipping containers.
Hospital with UFOs on top.
Electric three wheel taxis.
The towering subway tracks approaching Tonghe Xincun Station.
A rare, glorious sunset from our balcony.
Catching the last of the sunset from the roof.
We made it home by 3PM. Total trip time: 4 hours. Total cost: 62RMB (including lunch). Memories: Questionable. We are looking forward to exploring the other subways terminuses in our remaining time here. We don’t know what we’ll find.