Romance was all over the city yesterday. Interesting to see how Valentine’s Day, which in essence is an US marketing concept driven by retailers who needed another excuse to sell their ware, has taken hold here in Shanghai.
Half of W.’s colleagues got flowers and/or chocolates from their boyfriends/husbands. People even sent each other sms to wish the other person a happy Valentine’s day.
Booking a table was not easy either, as most restaurants were fully booked. I managed to get a table at a very nice Spanish Tapas Bar, but only at 20:30.
Although very much a western restaurant it was packed with young Chinese couples. I saw a guy kneeling next to his girlfriend whispering in her ear. Another took out a golden necklace of it’s case. They fed each other, sipped from each others glasses and held hands.
Not everybody would leave happy as I overheard a girl saying “I don’t want to hurt you”.
An an antidote, yesterday was also the foundation of the Shanghai Divorce Club.
“There’s nothing frightening about a divorce - it’s merely a slight mistake in life,” said club founder Shu Xin. “So don’t get desperate, as there’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
A record number of couples registered to marry yesterday, celebrating their love on Valentine’s Day.
Across the city, 1,720 couples registered to tie the knot, according to the marriage management division of the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau. The bureau said only about 200 couples registered on an average day.