In Shanghai, model for a day

Meet the characters, Mustafa on the left, Volkan on the right.

As I've mentioned before, I believe the best part of travelling is the people you meet, and in Shanghai I'm indeed meeting a huge variety of humanity.

First of all, I've acquired a little brother, he's from my beloved Istanbul, and his name is Mustafa. As it happens, along with a brother, I've acquired his friends too.

The other day Volkan, Mustafa's friend, also from Turkey, was on college assignment, and his homework involved hang around the city and make some good shots. He needed two models, so, naturally, we were chosen as main characters.

Mustafa and I kindly agreed to lend our image rights for the sake of Volkan's grade, that, as I found out after a couple of days, was the highest in the class, nonetheless.

Our first stop was at Buddhist Jing'an Temple, just on time to witness my first Buddhist service. The orange-clad monks didn't even bother hiding their surprise at seeing "tourists" taking pictures, although this is one of the most popular and beautiful Buddhist Temples in the heart of Shanghai, oriental-style construction nestled among state-of-the-art architecture and shopping malls.

After quietly following the celebrations rich in incense, chants, fruits and colours, we decided to leave our otherworldly experience and tackle some more mundane targets. After a couple of skyscrapers marking Shanghai's skyline, we ended up at Jing'an Park, where Mustafa and I had the opportunity to pose as models for Volkan's photo-story, of which I'm not sure I understood the plot.

Mustafa and myself, models for a day
Like most parks I've visited in Shanghai, also the one in Jing'an was plentiful with Chinese people performing Tai-Chi, beautiful to watch, certainly even more beautiful to practice.

After hours of laughing, freezing at the early cold, attracting locals' attention and causing their genuine amusement, I realised I had spent a whole afternoon in which, for once, I wasn't the one behind the camera.

Photos courtesy of Volkan.


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