Shanghai Drift · Half Month (One)

Shanghai, in my imagination, is a highly developed city, but I was a bit disappointed when I actually arrived in Shanghai.

I booked an Airbnb in advance, planning to stay for a month and slowly find a house during this time. I learned from the lesson of renting a house in Hangzhou last time, so I wanted to take my time and find a suitable house. However, everything turned out to be too idealistic.

On the first day in Shanghai, I couldn't hold it anymore. The Airbnb I rented was around the company, and since the company is located near the city center, the surrounding area is mostly old and shabby houses, or high-end residential areas. I couldn't afford the high-end residential areas, and high-end residential areas usually don't offer Airbnb. At that time, I thought I chose a relatively cost-effective Airbnb. Although I knew it was old and shabby from the beginning, I didn't expect it to be so unbearable. Although it was similar to the pictures, it was a wooden house with very poor sound insulation. I could hear every movement downstairs clearly. The room was small and facing north, with no place to dry clothes. But Airbnb does not support refunds. Can I really tolerate such an environment for a month? Especially the sound insulation, I never thought that the sound insulation of a house could be so bad. In my family's old house, the sound insulation is not very good, but I never expected it to be as bad as this. It turns out that the old Shanghai residents used to live in such houses, with several households living behind one door, in a room of less than ten square meters. This is the taste of old Shanghai, but unfortunately, such an environment is not suitable for long-term stay, only suitable for those who want to experience the living environment of old Shanghai.

Like this, I decided to start looking for a house in advance. I had to find a house through an agency, although it was expensive, but there was no other way in a unfamiliar city. I started contacting various agencies and conducting on-site inspections. Since I could still stay in the Airbnb, I wasn't in a rush.

The original plan was to start working at Xiaohongshu on the fourth day in Shanghai, but unexpectedly, someone in the company had close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, resulting in the entire building being sealed off. I was told that I couldn't start working that day, so I had to reluctantly go back to the old and shabby house. After that, I met with the team leader alone, had breakfast, and talked about the project and past experiences. At noon, the team leader took me and my future mentor out for a meal and said goodbye to the intern who left today. In the evening, I was invited to participate in their team building activity, although I felt out of place and had no presence or topics to talk about. That's how the day ended with a free meal.

I probably won't be able to start working for the next few days, at the earliest next Monday. So I moved up my house-hunting schedule. After two days of on-site inspections, I finally made a decision. Although the original plan was to rent a house within 1.5km of the company, I ended up giving up on the nearby houses due to their prices and condition. Renting a house is really difficult, and I couldn't find a suitable one in the end. The ones with good renovations are far from the subway station, and the ones close to the subway station have average renovations and small rooms. I had to weigh the price and suitability again. The final choice was a residential area near the subway station, 5 stops away from the company, with a commute time of about 20-30 minutes. Even the newly built residential buildings still have sound insulation problems. It seems that in Shanghai, there are only old houses and high-end residential areas. Even for such houses, the monthly rent is around 5,000 yuan.

For the second time, I am still not satisfied, and it makes me feel that Shanghai is less livable than Hangzhou. But now I just want to escape from here and return to my hometown. In a strange place, living in someone else's house, living a life that doesn't feel right, spending lonely nights alone, this is not the ultimate goal. I don't want to settle down in Shanghai in the future or buy a house and settle down. I will definitely go back. Why should I work day and night for a foothold, carrying a monthly mortgage of tens of thousands, and still not have the chance to truly enjoy life, but have already arrived in a place where there is no human suffering.

The company is located in the Xintiandi commercial area, near a subway station. Walking north, there are one commercial area after another. Even on weekdays, there are a lot of people. This is probably the life of the wealthy.


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