Missed Connections: Shanghai’s Star-Crossed Could-Have-Beens

By Sophie Steiner, August 28, 2020

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In a city of 24 million people, a typical day is filled with dozens of unexpected interpersonal interactions. While most are unremarkable, there are some – be it an instant attraction, an awkward meetup, or a random hookup – that are anything but ephemeral. This is a fleeting moment that's shared between two sentient beings that can only be described as fate. We don’t always get to say what we want in the blink of an instant, so this is an opportunity to give a shout-out to a special someone, recount a funny story or flaunt a hookup. These are this week’s Missed Connections of Shanghai...

Anti-Egg 

I spotted you on the first floor of Egg when I overheard you ordering an Avocado Toast with no poached egg. Why sans egg? I can only assume you either are egg-intolerant or you’re vegan. The former I can accept, but, as a huge meat eater, the latter is a big turn-off for me. Hit me up for burgers sometime. If you are vegan, maybe don’t. 

Doctor’s Orders

You were my ultrasound tech at Huashan Hospital, checking out the lump on my right breast. You said it’s nothing to worry about, but to me, having your hands on me, was everything. My nipples didn’t get hard just from the cold goo you slathered on them.

Bubbles and Bikinis

We both put our hand on the same RMB98 bottle of knock-off champagne in the convenient store on the first floor at Maya pool, but you laughed and let me have it instead. I’m pretty sure you did it since the first bottle was the warmest and you wanted the colder one behind it for yourself. I admire your strong sense of self interest that you play off in the form of chivalry.

Mind the Gap

I saw you on Line 2 towards Hongqiao. You were wearing two face masks at the same time that covered nearly everything from your bottom eyelids to your chin. You also were sporting a hoodie with the strings tied as tight as possible, covering your whole forehead. But, you had the dreamiest blue eyes I’ve ever seen. I don’t know what color your hair is, how old you are, your ethnicity, or even what your face really looks like, but in COVID times, I’ll take any gap of skin I can get.

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Lucky Mart Love (at First Sight)

At Lucky Mart at 3:45am last Tuesday, just as they were getting ready to kick everyone out, you drove up quickly on your white Niu scooter, slowed and waved at what I can only hope was me. As quick as you arrived, you disappeared again into the sticky Shanghai night, leaving only a foggy imprint in my memory. To be perfectly honest, the six highballs I slammed in the two hours leading up to that moment may have equally contributed to the fogginess… 

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream

After ordering a double scoop from the Luneurs ice cream counter, I proceeded to walk towards the back of the café, but soon realized I left my iPhone sitting on the front counter. As I turned to grab it, a kid ran past, hit my arm and my cone full of perfectly un-licked creamy goodness dropped to the floor. My immediate reaction was to scream, both from the abruptness of the situation and to lament the loss of my frozen treat. As I left in a fluster, we made eye contact, and – behind those piercing brown eyes – I could feel the full empathy of someone who understands and shares my deep, passionate love for all things ice cream . Although I left in a fit of devastation, that night I found myself regretting not asking for your WeChat much more than just not purchasing a replacement cone. 

Karaoke Krush

I saw you singing ‘I Want it That Way’ at Cages Karaoke on Saturday. Despite the fact that you missed every note, have the worst rhythm I’ve ever seen and you may, in fact, be the only person between the age of 7 and 67 that doesn’t know the chorus of that song by heart, I still instantly fell in love with your infectious laugh and beautiful smile. I want it your way; even if that means never singing karaoke again.

Sorry, I Don’t Speak Slovakian

I’m sorry I bit your dick in the alley near Parrot at their closing party two weekends ago. I swear it was an accident. You are so perfect for me in every way. I mean, I’m really only assuming you were mad; I don’t speak Slovakian.


To submit your own Missed Connection, please choose one of the following methods:

  • Email your Missed Connection story to sophiesteiner@thatsmags.com.

  • Comment directly on this post. Don’t worry, all comments will remain fully private and will not be shown at the bottom of this article, as they are set to only be viewable by our editorial team.

Tune in next Friday to find out if your missed connection is looking for you too!

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Missed Connections: Shanghai’s Star-Crossed Could-Have-Beens

Fleeting moments shared between two sentient beings that can only be described as fate.

Missed Connections: Shanghai’s Star-Crossed Could-Have-Beens

Fleeting moments shared between two sentient beings that can only be described as fate.

Missed Connections: Shanghai’s Star-Crossed Could-Have-Beens

Fleeting moments shared between two sentient beings that can only be described as fate.

Missed Connections: Shanghai’s Star-Crossed Could-Have-Beens

Fleeting moments shared between two sentient beings that can only be described as fate.

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