20.12.2008 9 °C
This was a high school I visited in Shanghai in the Xu Jia Hui District; it's an official trip. You could say I was lucky to be at the right place at the right time as a new road would soon take the place of this old school which had stood the test of time. Such a pity. There was a distinct 'old school' feel and it was almost possible to hallucinate kids running round in their red scarves and teachers in their Mao suits the moment I walked though the iron gates. [By the way, the students here are in their late teens so I guess they don't wear the red scarves anymore.] It was near winter and the shadows grew long much earlier; it was as if they were clinging on to the last days of the present that would soon become past.
Enough of waxing lyrical. This was something in the school I found bizarre. It was out of place in a school but nonetheless unpretentious - a smoking area for teachers.
Apart from this old school, I visited an even older school with its predecessor founded in 1905, shortly before the end of China's imperial Qing dynasty - Fudan University (復旦大學). This multipurpose hall was actually a small classroom and again, the wane sunlight streaming into it transported me back in time.