There are several things Shanghaiist hates about winter in this city. First, the rain (which had mercifully stayed away until yesterday’s drizzle). Second, the number of people gloating of their imminent escape to a tropical beach resort in Southeast Asia. Third, getting dragged to hotpot restaurants because it’s the “done thing” when it gets cold. Come on, does anybody really like that stuff? Okay, so that special hotpot sauce is good. Damn good. But other than that we’re happy to avoid hotpot wherever possible. Note: this may be due to an eventful visit to such a restaurant in Changchun a few years ago when a corroded gas tube threatened to put an incendiary end to our meal (and our lives).
But the thing we really loathe about winter in Shanghai is the amount of static electricity in the air. What’s up with that? It’s not so bad today, but a week ago we couldn’t touch a single surface in the entire city without being jolted by a considerable shock to the fingers or hand. Cabs, door-handles, other people … just about everything sent a rude pulse of energy crackling through our flesh. We were even zapped by a wooden spoon in our kitchen. It got to the point where we feared removing any layer of clothing because we knew that the friction caused by this process would charge us up like the Maglev track.
We’re aware that this website has its own “Ask Shanghaiist” section where we provide answers to you, the readers. But just this once can someone help us out instead? Does anyone have a scientific explanation for why the hairs on our arms stand rigid to attention for the duration of winter and why our bodies harvest enough static to light the Bund for a night?
Unless it’s just this particular member of the Shanghaiist team who seems to be turning into Electro.