Vista

Last year I lived on the 25th floor of a skyscraper in Shanghai. This was the view from my flat: Now I live in Siracusa, Sicily. This is the view from my flat: Next year: TBC.

Chairs in China

What it says on the tin.

M50

In my last few days in Shanghai, Darcy and I went to 50 Moganshan Lu, AKA M50. It’s the centre of the Shanghai art scene; an ex-industrial district converted into a warren of galleries on the banks of Suzhou Creek. There are around 100 artists in residence in the former warehouses and factories. For some … Continue reading

iPartment

Recently my friends and I had the opportunity to be extras in the popular Chinese sitcom, iPartment (爱情公寓, aìqíng gōngyù) which has been compared to How I Met Your Mother, Friends, The Big Bang Theory and probably any other American show involving young professionals living in an apartment and becoming romantically entangled with one another … Continue reading

Mini Shanghai

I remember my first model village. It was at Hornsea Pottery on a family day out and I was spellbound. There was a flight simulator too, but somehow that paled in comparison with all the houses, churches and local landmarks lovingly rendered in miniature form. Then there was an old issue of Vogue in the … Continue reading

Shanghai – Shangri-La, Days 8-12

We took the bus to Shangri-La from Dali, feeling more than a little worse-for-wear after minimal sleep the night before. Darcy was horribly hungover and felt sick. When I woke her in the morning she mumbled “Let’s stay here with our friends.” If we hadn’t already booked our bus tickets I think we would have … Continue reading

Shanghai – Shangri-La, Days 5-7

We took the bus from Kunming to Dali as it was faster than the train. The journey was pretty and uneventful, which suited me fine after the epic train journey to Kunming. We arrived in the early evening and checked into the Hump Hostel, which was nicer than the one in Kunming but we still … Continue reading

Shanghai – Shangri-La, Day 4

When we first arrived in Kunming, we couldn’t get a taxi no matter how hard we tried, and the weight of our huge backpacks made it all a bit frustrating. There were plenty of dodgy illegal taxis and motorbike taxis offering their services (read: harassing us) but we didn’t want to take a journey in … Continue reading

Shanghai – Shangri-La, Days 1-3

My friend Darcy and I recently took a trip to Yunnan by rail and bus. People told us we were mad not just to fly and be there in about three hours, but we wanted the train experience (even though it was 37 hours to Kunming, our first stop in Yunnan…) plus it was significantly … Continue reading

School’s Out

So, it’s the end of my first semester teaching oral English at Shanghai Normal University. I’ve gotten to know around 400 students since February. I created an elaborate raffle system to motivate them, but sadly couldn’t find any raffle tickets for sale in Shanghai so had to make them… around 40 a day. My stationery … Continue reading