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Original Photo by Boogie

Jim picked up the pace as he kept noticing how desolate the streets were. He had lost his friends about ten minutes prior and no one had any working phones. The streets of Shanghai looked much like a western city would with side walks, gutters, and asphalt on the street, but the signs and sounds were distinctly Chinese. The smell of pork fat rendering of a nearby street vendor made Jim’s mouth water a bit as he realized he hadn’t eaten since before they started drinking. He felt around in his pocket and he still had enough money probably to get something. Jim followed his nose till he found the what looked like a pork kebab vendor. The classic rotating hunk of meat was being carved from and there was a small line of people waiting for their kebab. The kebab was consisted of hunks of pork, shredded vegetables, and a vinegary looking sauce all held to together by a Chinese looking version of Pita.

All thoughts of finding his friends were taken over by getting his hands on this seemingly universal late night food of all cities. The vendor prompted Jim in Mandarin and he just held up his finger to indicate 1 and pointed at the ingredients he wanted and In less than a minute he had a hot kebab in his hand and a few less coins.

Jim kept walking in the direction he thought the hotel was in and waited for the kebab to cool down. He burnt his tongue the previous week and he couldn’t taste a thing for at least two days. He wasn’t sure where his friends were and he wasn’t sure where he was. His phone didn’t work and he didn’t have a clue where he was going and he had the biggest smile on his face since the trip started.

Writer of The Polymerist newsletter. Talk to me about chemistry, polymers, plastics, sustainability, climate change, and the future of how we live.

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