Walking with Lucia
Thursday was my last night in Shanghai, and Lucia and I went out to dinner alone, as I'd hoped we would.
She took me to have hot pot, another Shanghai food sensation. A large pot boils in the middle of the table, full of water and the restaurants particular mix of stocks and spices. Plates of raw food are delivered to your table, you add these to the pot as the fancy takes you, and eat them when they are cooked. It is delicious, and great on a winters evening. As with all the other restaurants I'd been to, this one was full.
I remember one of the young waiters, only eighteen years old coming stopping at out table to ask me questions, translated by Lucia. He was particularly interested in how wealthy I was. He only earned £60 a month.
After eating, Lucia suggested a walk, saying she wanted to walk with me. Although rather surprised (I knew Lucia was tired), I agreed. We walked along way, hardly speaking. The streets were quiet, it was late, and I began to realise that Lucia didn't know where we were going.
'Oh, it doesn't matter' she said. 'I am happy just walking' And so we continued. My only thought was that I would be late calling Maggie, so I sent her a text as warning. It was a good move.
An hour later, we came upon a hotel, and from there caught a taxi to my hotel. On arrival, Lucia walked with me into reception instead of continuing on to her own hotel. 'I just wanted to see you back' she said
I kissed her cheek and said goodnight.