In our hurry around Shanghai to procure "authentic eats" it suddenly hit me that we were missing the true soul of the experience: the very people that make it happen.
As I angled into this grim back alley my companions worriedly waved me back toward the street.
The alley smelled ghastly and the floor was sticky with effluvia. I started to regret my choice until the vignette above presented itself to me. That's when I realized that if one is bold enough to peel back the facades one can be treated to the heart of the city.