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

By Sophie Steiner, August 21, 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...

Sumerian Summer Sweetheart

I saw you sitting in the Sumerian window, sipping a flat white and reading Street of Eternal Happiness. You were wearing high top black Feiyues and you had a Pinyin Press ‘M is for Mian’ tote. I ordered an Everything Bagel with cream cheese and had the staff send it over to you, but you just kept repeating in English that you hadn’t ordered it. The waiter got confused and eventually gave up; he only spoke Chinese. You are the hipster man of my dreams, but you should really invest in some Chinese lessons. I’ve got a great Chinese tutor recommendation if you need it. 

Tacolicious Tinkle

We started chatting at the Tacolicious pool party, and when I ran into you there again during the week, we hit it off. Standing outside in the back patio area, you lit my cigarette, and we talked for a few minutes. Eventually we started to kiss. After a few minutes, I felt something warm and realized that you had pissed yourself. You saw what happened and immediately ran away, but I wish you had stayed... despite the stale stench of warm pee that lingered after you left.

Family Mart Fascination

You walked into the Family Mart near Starbucks Reserve Roastery in just your pajamas. They were blue and white striped with matching slippers. You bought 11 packs of dried squid, a liter of soy milk and a small bottle of Ballantine’s Scotch, and then rode off on a Mobike. You paid for everything in RMB1 coins. It was 10:30am. I’m intrigued and need to know more. 

To the Breaking and Entering Girl of My Dreams 

Hello, I am the guy whose lanehouse you broke into last night around 1am off of Ruijiin Er Lu, just south of Fuxing Lu, thinking it was your own. I too have made this mistake before, innocently walking into another person’s lanehouse, a row too early or too late, thinking it was my own. In the confusion of walking in on me in my underwear, you bolted, but I’d love to connect, as lanehouse neighbors (and, maybe someday, lanehouse lovers).

You-stole-my-heart-burglar-man.jpg

You Take My Breath Away

You were discharging a Dongbei feast’s worth of food and overly carbonated Tsingtao onto the pavement on Xikang Lu, while I cheered you on as I waited at the stoplight at Kangding Lu. The smell of regurgitated, oily eggplant and half-chewed steamed dumplings cut through Shanghai’s city smells and reached me nearly 10 meters away. I filled that same air with the clamorous hooting of a drunkard, and you stopped mid-gag to make eye contact with me. It was a moment we shared that we will always have. No one can ever take that away from us.

Mug Shot Memories

I volunteer with the Xujiahui police, translating documents for foreigners. I saw your picture today in the mug shots. You look fantastic, especially for a girl who has just been busted for pot possession. I believe that everyone deserves a second chance, and I want to be the guy that gives it to you. I would love to give you some special re-education when you’re free, even if that means waiting out your 30 to 60-day sentence.

Dropping a Deuce at the Roost(er)

Everyone knows that if you open the door to the one-hitter bathroom at The Rooster, you have a full on view of the person going about their business. I forgot to lock the door in my haste to take an unintentional yet necessary #2, and you barged right in. We made eye contact briefly, and I fell head over heels for your beautiful brown eyes (no pun intended). I said “Hey there good lookin…” right as you slammed the door, but I still meant it. Everyone poops: it’s a fact of life. And now that you’ve already witnessed me in the act, we can take our relationship to the next level. I hope the smell didn’t offend you; I ate Indian food for lunch. 

F45 (in)Fatuation

You were one set ahead of me at F45 Training Jing'an last Thursday. In a sweaty mess of confusion, right before the timer went off to switch to the last set of exercises, you nearly fell off the rowing machine and stumbled backwards into me, laying on a mat doing an abs exercise. You stepped on my penis… I will let you do it again if you want. Next time, just ask.


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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