There was no snow in Shanghai this winter, and the moist flavor unique to Jiangnan is still on the ground and in the air. The maple leaves in front of the door were red, and a few yellow flowers hung on a laurel tree beside the road. At this time in previous years, on the Fudan campus in Xinjiang Bay, the Ginkgo Avenue facing the gate should be the best place to watch the fallen leaves. On the nearby Yinxing Road, the smell of fireworks is still strong, especially in winter, and the appetite of guests is better than in the past. The aroma of pastry shop, fried chestnuts, and savoury snacks is drilled into the nose, and a bowl of hot soy milk At night it was still steaming, slowing down the pace of people rushing home.
There are always so many fireworks in the places where people gather and live. In those days when I was studying in London, I always felt the smell of fireworks from other countries.
Stratford is where I rent my apartment, which is at the junction of East London’s 2nd and 3rd districts. There is a large subway station, which connects a number of transportation lines, and is next to the subway station. Westfield, the second largest business center in Europe, is a rare large supermarket in the city. It is bustling daily, and people of all walks of life can enjoy the convenience of life here.
Especially in the square after the subway station comes out, it is the most lively during the rush hour. People of all skin colors sit on the steps beside the square to rest, some smoke, some hold a cup of freshly bought coffee, some From time to time, he took out his mobile phone to talk to people, and some looked at the oncoming crowd, and some of them were very happy, and the laughter covered the music on the square. Students in some schools also conduct questionnaires, shuttle interviews among crowds, or distribute leaflets and newspapers. I’m always afraid of trouble and will deliberately move quickly. This is a habit I have grown up since childhood.
In the daytime, there are also street artists singing melodious retro tunes. The white uncle plays the accordion or saxophone, and beats unknown instruments. From a distance, against the light, a group of children are going to take the subway. Dark-skinned, yellow-skinned, white-skinned boys and girls are wearing small fluorescent-colored safety clothes, carrying colorful schoolbags, and a long line. The team laughed aloud in the winter sun. The sun is shining obliquely, shining in the pupils of different colors, shining different light. The food stall was blasting hot dogs, and the voice of Zi La Zi La accompanied by the mouth-watering aroma. The air is wrapped with the unique flavors of various spices, sweet and sour, and spicy.
The female beggar sleeping on the mat and blanket next to the trash can, when she smelled the smell, she got up and talked to the owner of the hot dog. She was a middle-aged white man in her fifties, and when she met the good weather, she came out to bathe in the sun. But when it was cold and rainy, she disappeared.
In the middle of the night, the lights shone brightly, and the little black guys on the square danced hip-hop, played skateboards, laughed and shouted. A black girl sang an incomprehensible rap, pierced the eardrum, and flashed traffic lights. There were also a bunch of black people shouting on the high platform they had built, as if calling for something, thousands of voices echoed in the square.
Red Brick Lane is the most memorable corner of East London and the most unique artistic place in London. There are multicultural gatherings, graffiti works can be seen everywhere, and the most famous retro second-hand market in the area. I remember when I first went there, I encountered a dilemma. In the afternoon of that day, I got off at the White Chapel Metro Station alone, lamenting the beautiful architecture of the White Chapel Museum. At this time, a woman suddenly blocked my way. “Give me some money, ma’am,” she said to me. Her hair was dry brownish, her eyes sunken, but she stared at me intently. When we encountered this kind of harassing beggar recognized by the international student circle, we have been repeatedly warned: it is not necessary to say a word, just leave quickly. So I waved at her, pretending to be penniless, and was going to bypass her. Who knew that she took a step forward and yelled at me: “We are all women, aren’t we!” Then, she continued in that non-standard English: “Although you are foreigners, we are all women. You Did you hear me! “She probably saw me ignore it, her voice was louder. Her pupils dilated slightly, staring at me fiercely, her face no longer looked pitiful, even a bit odious, and it seemed as if she was about to rush towards me the next second. I walked forward quickly, and at the next traffic light, she chased me and shouted at me a variety of abusive words. I took a deep breath and fled near the desert.
Entering the Red Brick Lane, my heart is still fluttering, especially when I see the graffiti all around, violent, venting, political. The entire wall is covered with words and patterns. The monster, growling, seemed to be breaking through the wall. The air is filled with a different taste, and it is not clear which country’s unique food.
An international student in London, I enjoy the fascinating aspects of East London. I live in Stratford, where there is a huge metro station which plays a central role in the subway system of the busy metropolis. Just by the metro station is Westfield London, the second largest shopping mall of Europe. Such a mega business center is also rare in London. The rhythm there is hectic and pedestrians are everywhere, enjoying the conveniences of everyday life.
The huge square by the metro station is where people gather in the morning and afternoon during the peak time. I see people of all colors there. Some hang out on the steps by the square， taking a break， some smoking and some sipping a cup of coffee， some chatting on phone， some looking at people passing by. Laughter may break out here and there. Now and then I see some college students distribute leaflets or interview passersby. I will quicken my steps and avoid these street interviewers whenever I see them coming my way. I have been in this habit since childhood years.
I have many delightful memories of the square. The square is a favorite place for street artists, among them a saxophonist, an accordionist, a percussionist. In another memory, a long queue of children files toward the metro station, wearing safety vests in a shiny fluorescent yellow and carrying satchels on their back, chatting and laughing now and then. A hotdog food stand sends out a strong pleasant smell. As I walk through the square, I can sense spices from restaurants and food stands. A homeless woman in her fifties lives by some trash cans. When its fine, she comes out of her dwelling place and chats with the hotdog operator and basks in the sunshine. When it rains she is nowhere to be seen. Deep into night, the square looks and sounds different . It is a paradise of hip-hop.My impressions of the square are fragmentary: some young people enjoy dancing and skateboard riding; a young girl raps; some people chant slogans on a raised platform in the distance, their loud voices echoing in the air of the square as if there were thousands of voices.
Brick Lane in East London is one of my favorite impressions of East London. It offers the best artistic touch I have ever seen in the region. Diverse cultural influences pulsate. Graffiti are everywhere. The Brick Lane Market is highly attractive.
But I had an unpleasant encounter there. One afternoon, I walked out of the metro station and took a stroll. I was admiring the exquisite fa? Ade of the Whitechapel Gallery when I suddenly saw a woman appear in front of me out of nowhere. She tried to beg cash from me, training her eyes on me, her hair blond and dry, her eyes deep-set in the face. I had been advised to avoid street beggars as fast as possible. So I gestured no to her. She didnt back off. Instead, she came closer screaming “Arent we women!” in accented English. “You are a foreigner, but we are women. Do you hear me!” Seeing me ignore her, she screamed louder, her pupils enlarged. I could have died if her eyes had been daggers. She no longer looked pitiful. She looked ferocious and looked as if she was about to charge into me. I quickened my steps.When I reached the traffic lights, she was chasing me, calling me names in a vicious manner. I took a deep breath and fled. My heart pounded for a long while even after I escaped into Brick Lane. The violent, religious, political, and emotional graffiti looked like monsters hollering and trying to break out of the walls. Something in the air gave a poignant smell, suggesting an exotic cuisine unknown to me.