Scaramouchine had the good fortune to be invited into a local Shanghai house. These houses are rapidly disappearing. Scaramouchine thinks it is a shame. Not only are they better built than the new modern highrises, but they have a quirky charm and humanity lacking in the new modern housing arrangements. The houses are well designed, with the kitchens built on the lower floor, facilitating ventilation and year-round air conditioning. Communal rooms are on the upper floor with bedrooms branching off onto different levels. Scaramouchine notes the lack of privacy. Anyone passing by can check out what the householder is making for dinner and certainly all those living on the same lane are aware of who is coming and going, when, and likely why. Does modern housing with its vast capacity for accomodation, huge ecological footprint, anonymity and cheap production, reflect the changing nature of Chinese society or is it contributing to it?
How would you ever know where you are?
Scaramouchine never does. She leaves a trail of rice grains.