Shanghai in my eyes

Shanghai in my eyes

The feelings towards Shanghai of the founder of Sandriver,  Xiuling Guo

Guo used to say, apart from Nei Mongol, Shanghai is like my second hometown. If Nei Mongol is where she first starts to dream, then Shanghai is where her dreams come true and shine.

In summer 2002, after two years in Germany, I came back to China. When I had all these cities to choose, I said without hesitation, Shanghai.

The reason was not how famous Shanghai is, but how trendy and attractive to me she is when I visited. There was a voice in my head telling me: come here, this is where everything you dreamed of become true.

I could always remember that moment, in 1997, I stood by Huangpu River, wind breeze by, with the humidity weather, I had a gloomy however powerful feeling out of nowhere pounding my heart. I have never had such a strong emotion towards a city: home-like yet full of possibilities. Oh, only if I could live here, I said with deep emotions.

I always say, how that sentence I wished unintentionally becomes true, is destiny.

Shanghai embraces all dreams no matter how great or small they are. Just like that, I arrived in Shanghai, with no friends or relatives here, but with my head full of knowledge blending both Nei Mongol and German industry. That was a complicated feeling, like a baby wean but with more excitement. Maybe because after a long time in German, it is good to see familiar Asian faces or maybe it was choice I made for my family to be closer to them. In a word, I found a place to incubate my dream, as well as a harbor to have a peaceful life.

Just like that, Shanghai becomes my second hometown. When I look back through 13 years of time, I am thankful of who I become now and that I turned my dreams into reality. It was a resplendent 10-year of China, economy was boosting and all new technology and thoughts were fully expressed and developed, all the knowledge accumulated becomes powerful, shining as bright as they could. Everything I learned in Germany was handy and I got to use them all. It was a pleasure to use them at full capacity. I was extremely lucky and grateful to be a part of those ten years. That is the most attractive thing about Shanghai, its openness and comprehensive.

As time pass by, deep in my heart, the melody from my prairie hometown start to ring.

Yes, I am still that girl from the beautiful broad prairie. Underneath my modern appearance, the inhibition was still in me. After all these years, yes, I miss my dear hometown.

I would dig out thick cashmere sweaters from my wardrobe on a cold winter night, which came to shanghai with me. They have a familiar smell from my memory, only cashmere smells that way. All of a sudden, I realized that I haven’t abandoned a piece of cashmere through all these years, no matter how other things age, cashmere doesn’t, they are as fluffy as the day I bought them, just like a old friend, a piece of home with me.

On a sunny winter day, with a fluffy cashmere carpet, just sitting there and recall the past, I am still that young and pure girl running freely on a prairie.

That is how Sand River was born. I understand cashmere like how Ama(Mongolian word for mother) understand the prairie.

I realized: why not combining my life experience in Nei Mongol, German and Shanghai with Sandriver and let the dream take off. Then I knew, my “baby” was born.

That is a soul with my dream, my prairie, and Shanghai will give her the wisdom, comprehension and the stage to dance upon.

As for me, I will keep the prairie spirit in me and continue being that free, unconstrained and “stubborn” girl from Nei Mongol.

I know, I will not feel cold again in a winter night of Shanghai.

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