Shanghai Hoon

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Part business trip, and part extended excuse to see some more of Shanghai, visit Anke & Lars, and serve as a jumping-off point to Beijing. It was really just super to see them, and lovely to see them setting up here. Their pad, although lacking some of the very special ‘character’ of the Taipei offices, was really a delight to see.

After two nice homes in two weekends it makes me think I want to move somewhere and, well, care about it more – I am still pretty much camping in Taipei. It is really amazing to live a ‘lightweight’ lifestyle, without any of the heavy loads of many of my friends back home, but I know at some point this is certainly I will grow to want – and especially after seeing my Sister’s frankly ridiculous place in Cambridge!

I was here last year. It was a fantastic that time around, but my timing meant that I left one day before German designer Gerhard arrived, and three days before Anke & Lars. This time, on top of the sausage-eating crew, Rich was in town, helping a club with their promotion work to open up.

It was really very interesting to check out the city for a second time – and really get a stronger feeling about moving here to set up shop. It certainly makes me excited – but I think I also need a bit of holiday first – it is pretty intense.

As a break from it all, Lars, Anke and two of their Germanisch architect friends joined us for a day trip to Hangzhou. This, I have to say, is what I thought China would be like in my tourist head. Temples and lakes surrounded by nice little eateries and day tripping young romantics from the big city. Although it is stretching it to claim it really is ‘heaven on earth’, it is definitely a nice place. I often think about China developing its own New Yorks and Los Angeleses (if that is a plural), but I am unsure if these hot little creative towns will also crop up – where will the San Franciscos and Seattles and Bostons be in twenty years time? Could it be here, I wonder?


The charming view out of the back of the building


Their amazing balcony, pointing towards downtown – although they live on a big ‘orrid housing estate, they also manage to escape it as soon as the front door is shut.


Enjoying a light breakfast / snack after a night out


Love birds – Anke & Lars caught!


People leave messages on the bamboo – though it would be great to know what they are and what the traditions are!


Speed


Waiting in the impressive Shanghai South train station


Lars enjoys one of my jokes


Anke checks some photos of me


One of the many shadowy monks lurking in the shadows in Hangzhou – I was itching to battle!


Wearing its hat at a jaunty angle


I am a big fan of the Ladybird phone booths in China


A gap betweeb buildings – that just so happened to make FANTASTIC echoes


Loch Ness monster


Cheesy grin – he enjoyed it too!

And a load more images here:

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