Year Abroad: Shanghai Night Life

Shanghai Night Skyline Pudong PuXi The Bund

Ladies, forget pre-drinks,

WELCOME TO SHANGHAI.

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It’s not all about the studying out here in Fudan University, Shanghai. For the first week, us newbies have been  sampling some of the famous nightlife that the big city has to offer.

Apart from the fairly long metro journey from where we are in Yangpu District out in the evenings (where the last train is at 1030) and the dubious fare negotiation with taxis from the French Concession area back, there is actually very little money that leaves the pocket – especially if you’re a girl. Sorry boys, but Shanghai is infamous for ‘Ladies Nights’. In a very desperate attempt to lure women into bars and clubs there are deals such as free entry, free drinks all night, free mojitos all night, and even, free champagne. Mum and Dad, I swear I’m being sensible…

Boy, we have not been disappointed by Shanghai. Here’s a quick spin through the fab range of nightlife that Shanghai has to offer whether you’re on the hunt for something classy or downright dirty.

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Arkham Club Shanghai Bunker Nightlife

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In September, I set foot in the fluoro-splashed tunnel that leads to the Arkham bunker: a high-roofed chamber with raised platform stage and meshed off viewing gallery in which heavy beats from TICT Creative’s Nat Self pounded for the Zombie Disco Squad – unfortunately, rather literally interpreted by several glassy eyed clubbers with sweaty face-paint.

If you’ve been in Bristol, this is the Shanghai equivalent. It’s smoky, it’s grimy, and it’s most definitely sweaty at this lock-down venue, and the classic house/disco/hip-hop mix is heady and heart-pounding. There’s not much to say for the bunker itself: it does what it says on the tin. But stick a few hundred zonked out, limb-flailing, drunk uber-hipsters in one little space and things are bound to get messy. Although I’m surprisingly sad there are less Batman gimmicks, it’s all very cool down at Arkham.

Arkham
Phone: +86-13701972878
Address: No.1 South WuLuMuQi Road, Shanghai

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Last Saturday night at The Shelter was a heady mix of soul and beats as Soul Brothers ’72 took over the low-ceilinged basement on YongFu Road, and I barely noticed the bouncers as we paid out 40RMB cover, though word on the net of gives them some unconfirmed but unsavoury press. Still that may have something to do with my blood alcohol levels at that time. The bar/club is a tightly enclosed underground with a red-lit, neon, dystopian dance-floor playing havoc in the dark against a blue-lit, exposed brick set of seated alcoves towards the back of the club which have a deep-freeze meets French wine-cellar feel.

There’s an eclectic range of music on offer every day of the week at Shelter, so it’s worth taking the three minutes to prepare yourself for the evening’s flavour, be it hardcore electro, hip-hop, funk or house. But if you’re up for reasonably priced drinks, some body flailing, or a plushly hip sit-down booze, The Shelter’s a good night for a big group of friends to do a take-over of a fairly moderately filled club.

The Shelter
Address: 5 Yongfu Lu, Xuhui, Shanghai

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PHEBE Club Shanghai Nightlife

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Phebe, located in none other than the French Concession area of Shanghai is on a Wednesday night, overflowing with ladies of all dressed to the nines –  and some not too shabby-looking lads who are apparently willing to pay the 100RMB cover in (+ 1 free drink). Ladies get MONDAY and WEDNESDAY free cover before midnight in exchange for supplying a working mobile number  (they check) with an open bar 0900-0400. Worrying.

If you’ve the honour of being a lady, you’ve no excuse not to pop in. From the hundreds of glowing red lanterns suspended from the ceiling and dark lacquer wood seating giving a wonderful faux-Chinese cultural decor, to the white and sketchily tuned grand piano centrepiece in the bathroom the club really is swish. If you’re there to appreciate the interior design that is.

Packed out across the numerous enclosed table areas, walkways and raised catwalk-esque dance floor, there’s barely space to take a breath on a ladies night where the writhing bodies in a healthy ratio of foreign to locals are always vying for a cheeky dance, drink or a swift exit to the bathroom for a tactical vom.

PHEBE: 3D Club
Tel: 021 6555 9998
Address: No. 10 Hengshan Lu, Xuhui, Shanghai

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Helens Shanghai Nightlife

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This famous expat and student bar is a chain that runs throughout China. I’ve been to Helens Shanghai, Beijing and Tianjin to date, and I can say with certainty, that there must exist a ‘Helens-in-a-Box’ starter kit, because the decor, from the international flags to the wooden beams and strange faux stone-work walls are Exactly The Same wherever you go.

At 10RMB for a big bottle of Tsingdao as a standard across the board, it’s a nice, quiet hubbub and raucousness bar for students to have a couple of pints at the end of the day. If you want a serving traditional American-style bar food, I suggest you go early to get a seat. Certainly on ladies night Wednesday (with free drinks all night for 50RMB) be prepared to fight for a space just to stand.

On a less crowded Monday afternoon, a friend in Tianjin taught me a great trick of ordering a Helens ice cream (3RMB) and taking advantage of their Free Coffee Mondays.

Bliss.

Helens
Address: 49 Wuchuan Rd, Yangpu, Shanghai, China
Opening Hours: 1600-0200

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SOHO Club French Concession Shanghai Nightlife

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Soho isn’t the club on everybody’s “Go To” list, but it’s one that we’ve been to perhaps a few too many times. It’s a pecularity of Chinese clubs that a) smoking is allowed and b) the effects of excessive drinking will be tolerated. As a result of this, I always return home smelling like I’ve been cheerfully capering about in an ashtray, and I spend most of the (later) early hours in a club practising the time-earned art of narrowly dodging the drunken lurching of overly inebriated, and inevitably expat, assholes who seem to think I’ll react to inappropriate groping like the unfortunate female staff.

But don’t let that put you off.

 The music is loud enough to rupture several internal organs, and by the end of the night the ringing in my ears lasts well into my sleep. Pleasurable. There are Chinese dice-and-cup games (which I still haven’t been able to hear the name of; I’ve asked several times) on each table, us foreigners have been negotiating free entry, and us ladies a free drink.

On top of that, the 90% local Chinese capacity of the club are fairly subdued, sitting on the provided couches, engaging in dice with us when we pass and offering small tumblers of whiskey and ice; pleasant interactions galore. And to top it all off, the inside of the club is filled with massive white umbrella and globe-like structures that make it look like you’re suspended in a large plastic cloud.

What’s not to like about that?

SOHO
Address: 4 Hengshan Rd, Xuhui, Shanghai, China
Phone:+86 21 5469 9898

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Royal Meridien 789 Nanjing Lu Shanghai Nightlife

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Hel-lo to one of the classiest ladies night on the town, free Champagne flows on FRIDAY nights 2130-2330PM at the high flying 67th floor bar of the Royal Meridien Hotel on the PuXi side of the Bund. The dim, warm glowed setting, the floor-to-ceiling reinforced glass windows overlooking Shanghai’s commercial quarter, the gold-lit bar, intensely polite waiters and high-top chairs all give this location a distinct air of class…

Well, that is until the hoards of girls, Western and Chinese alike, arrive to shoulder, at any cost, their fair share of the various flutes of bubbly on offer. Grenadine bubbly, orange bubbly, and even mint bubbly is doled out into the vying flutes at the bar – and God forbid you put your glass down anywhere, as the one glass you get per evening is your only ticket to intoxication.

Royal Meridien: 789 Nanjing Lu
Phone: +86 21 3318 9999
Address: 789 Nanjing Road Pedestrian St, Huangpu, Shanghai, China

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Park Hyatt 100 Century Bar Shanghai Nightlife

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This particular venue is not for the faint-hearted. The beautiful Park Hyatt hotel is not just a towering landmark on the Pudong riverside of the Chinese Bund, it’s grandiose, high-ceilinged building houses the luxurious 100 Century Avenue bar and restaurant on its 97th floor. With a plush, dim-lit interior, hushed jazz music, and waiters so freakin’ attentive there’s almost definitely some sore of homing beacon involved in their training, there’s no beating about the bush as to the type of clientèle expected.

Yet, for those of us still fairly fortunate, it’s not entirely unreasonable to pop in on the 97th floor for a pot of tea (40RMB) or a house cocktail (80RMB) for a glimpse of the spectacular view. With a bit of persuasion, and a little patient waiting, one can even nab a splendid table right by the thick glass windows for the evening and look out over the third tallest building in China – the Jin Mao Tower.

P.S I hear the toilets are particularly swish.

Park Hyatt: 100 Century Avenue
Tel: +86 21 6888 1234
Address: 100 Century Avenue, Pudong, Shanghai, China, 200120

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There are certainly more excellent venues to add to this list of Shanghai Night Life, and even as I type this, Wechat is pinging about a certain Ladies Night at GloLondon… Looks like you might be seeing Post #2 sometime soon!

Till then

Charlotte xx

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Running Track(s)

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I don’t know anything about House, Beats, Dubstep or Electro. but boy are they helping my adjust to my new running regime out here in Taipei #getfitcampaign. As my body sweats unbelievable rivulets in 30º heat (and that’s at 930PM) it’s seems this is what it wants to hear.

It’s been in my head since I starting thinking about going to Taiwan again for the summer, and I’m thinking back to see where this sudden change taste has suddenly sprung out of. After some digging, it seems perhaps it’s not so new. Two years ago, my housemate loved mixing tracks and had her own mac DJ set up where we lived; she went on to DJ sets in Underworld, a too-trendy-for-me basement club in Shida District. Further back still, and grasping at tenuous straws, I spent a fair amount of time shopping in Zara as a very tall child, and it’s got that zaney European, electric-y, beat-with-no-words feel.

Er, does that explain it?

Not really… I’m not going to pretend I’ve picked up any real knowledge at this point; I’m far past being cool enough to pretend to be hipster. I’m quite happily clueless about mixing, spinning or dropping, but having taken an interest in a slightly wackyier type of music of late, here’s 10 pretty cool beats that are hitting some high play counts on my running playlist – with some horrendous commentary. Happy listening, and most  importantly:

Keep Running.

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 1. Only You ft. Synth, Roebuck.


What a mellow start to this tune. I get that feeling in my gut when you know it’s going to build to something good. The beeps tinkle effortlessly over the slow, synth string build-up till the vocals hit in a at 2.30 – retro, old-school and thick-belting over a conglomeration of electric beats that have that Daftpunk-esque sequence. Unfortunately for me, it never seems to hit that umph-bass point that I want it do, something to really punch you in the chest – and that swish and fade out ending makes me cringe. But as far as a bass to keep you running goes, it’s on the playlist.

2.5/5

2. Made To Stray, Mount Kimbie

Yum to the the crackle-back and click percussion in this track. It’s a grower, but Made To Stray is definitely one to re-listen till you can get past the strangeness of those out-synced sliding trumpets. The slow build-up of layering isn’t the most original of openings, but make it to the chords and you may as well finish the song. At points the song does make me wonder at my willingness to listen to repetitive noises (Over and Over, Hot Chip, anyone?)

3/5

3. Get Started ft. Omar, Mike de Clive-Lowe (Full Crate Remix)

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Maybe my affinity for clicking/clapping is actually a genuine thing, (worrying) or at least Get Started make me think so.  This track actually moves into something that makes me want to dance in my pastel coloured room as if I’m co-ordinated  There’s a nice blend of deep, toned voice to electro in this which ranks it up beyond the not so evenly balanced ‘Made to Stray’ and ‘Only You’ and hey, it’s a clap out finish and no fade (pet hate) so cool.

4/5

 

4. Who Am I, Huxley.

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There’s some pretty sexually attractive sounds featuring in Huxley, and I can’t tell if it’s the baseline, the twanged opening notes, the following chorus chords, that’s got my hooked, but hey, it sure ain’t the lyrics. There’s just enough variation in this keep me entertained, and I sure love the rhythm. Hit repeat and keep going.

4/5

 

5. Jagged Edge, Eats Everything.

Mmm to that beat and vocal combo. Yes, it’s odd. Yes, it’s so thick it’s practically blurry. It certainly feels like it shouldn’t work at keeping my toes tingling, but just, yes. The woody glockenspiel is a wicked touch that tones down the straight-out-of-nowhere feel, and it’s is barely tempered by short reprieves in the heaviness of all the sounds. All in all, this is messy, and weird and I love running to it.

5/5

6. That Thing, Golden Boy.

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Ow, my chest. This is SO GOOD. There’s some actual, sexy-smooth, listenable lyrics in this that are mixed in something lovely with the tinny, shake-beat. And someome tell me what that it is about the “Let them kick it to the nick” means for my mild curiousity; I don’t care if it’s nonsense, cause it sounds sick.

5/5

7. Truth With A Capital T, Dusky

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Ok, I’m still out with the jury on the funny, dry-clappy sound over what is a nice beat going on.  And if I’m honest that recycled clip on truth didn’t really catch me either – the melty, sliding synth or cow bells; there’s just so much going on here that seems mished-in with little to tie it together. Ah, I know they’re a big name, so I’m still going to give something else a shot, but this one’s a little too hardcore for me.

2.5/5

8. You & Me ft. Eliza Doolittle, Disclosure.

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Eliza, you minx. I’m such a fan of her velvet voice, and here with Disclosure it’s a neat whiskey shot of beats, tight synth and fabulous chord progressions – with my only criticism being the abrupt finish, perhaps only because I want more. I literally wish I could ingest this in some liquid for cause it makes my head spin.

5/5

 9. Baby I Got That, Bondax.

Cut the first 20 seconds of this tune and it’s something writhingly seductive. Too many stops and starts for my liking, but the sharp piano chords are beautiful and less of that “s’the beat” and it’s a good interim song if you’re ears need a break from all the beats above. It’ll relax those shoulders, definitely a chill out tune.

3.5/5

10. Your Girl, Tourist.

I love this tune, it’s simple layering build up is neat and it’s crisp. Regular enough to keep up the pace, loud enough to drown out heavy, I’m-dying-but-I’m-still-running style breathing. There’s something sweet about the melody in this, it’s a pleasant progression and is definitely an upbeat listen. I got to say, it’s hard to pin down why this one is on my running list, but I think there’s something to be said here for simplicity.

3/5

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There you go. 10 songs for your running playlist. Hit me up with any suggestions to keep me running…

What are you waiting for?

Get going!

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Yes I'll still eat it.

Music: Gimme Some Sweet Soul

Yes I'll still eat it.

Burnt toast. I am truly ill.

So I’ve made it back home after a long twelve week term at University and typically, as soon as I arrive in the door, I’m bowled over by a disgusting cold that has probably been brewing for the last couple of weeks. I’m not quite sure why my good ol’ immune system seems to think any holiday I take, means it can also have a day off (Note to immune system: Er, no you can’t). But it means I’m here at home in a catatonic state of dosed up wooziness: eyes swollen and streaming, endlessly burning toast and constantly making pathetic bids for sympathy with an impressive catalogue of groaning sounds.

Now seems as good a time as any to share with y’all some gushy music only too apt to accompany tissues and streaming eyes. My cold might hide the fact that it’s my standard look when listening to this particular set…

1. Trouble Town– Hudson Taylor | Facebook
Nothing beats starting with my regulars, the beautiful Dublin boys Alfie and Harry.

2. American – Lana Del Rey | Official Website
She gets a bad rep. for being as fake as the inch-long acrylics on her fingers, but I love what Lizzie Grant has done to re-invent her public persona. A little shy and warbling in reality, cold fish to a live audience, but incredibly lost and soulful in the studio. I don’t care how plastic she is, it’s the 21st century – great work Lana.

3. Out of Africa Theme Music – John Barry Orchestra
Ow, my chest. The strings in this piece get me EVERY TIME. I heard this piece first one late night on  Classic FM (Belfast 101.9 FM) – probably post boyfriend argument but I can’t remember now – and it’s stayed with me every since. Beautiful stuff.

4. Youth – Daughter | Website
My best friend, to be hailed and credited for 99.9% of my music tastes [all hail and praise, otherwise she might kill me] introduced my to daughter and I’m hooked. With an already strong fan base worldwide, this soft and wistful sound with a great acoustic beat is quality in it’s quiet emotion.

5. Broken to be Rebuilt – Katharine Philippa | Official Website
OK, so the start of the video is a bit cringy; no-one’s going to be winning any Oscars for that performance. But the music talent in this piece is shockingly beautiful. Wonderfully kooky and individual, Philippa has already supported Daughter in Belfast in January 2013, and I can see her going far. Well worth a wee scout.

6. Dance Me to the End of Love – Madeleine Peyroux | Official Website
This the sultry Jazz voice of American singer-songwriter Peyroux is meltingly soft and sophisticated. I’m in love with this smokey cover of Leonard Cohen’s original love song…

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Six tunes for your eargasmic pleasure – and unfortunately we’re ending here today folks as I’ve just split a load of tea on my pyjamas. Sneezing with a force of 6.1 on the Richter scale, while holding a mug of hot tea is a fun experience.

Any sultry tunes you want to send my way [comments, messages,  or cold cures…?] would be greatly appreciated.

Ladies and Gents, I’m going back to bed!

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Music: Summer Tunes

Hope this summer check-in finds you enjoying the glorious summer freedom, whether you’re choosing to spend it productively (you poor, tea-serving interns…) or sun worshipping (you poor, lazy buggers). Either way, here’s some tunes that you may not have heard to stick in your ears for three minutes of zoning out… whether that’s well earned or not!

The Girl: Gabrielle Alpin

You may have noticed this young sprite in the soundtrack of shows such as Made In Chelsea, but if you haven’t stopped to appreciate the clarity of her voice, and the drive of her nineteen year old self, I order you to do so right now.

Where to start? Here with ‘Home,’ then for a sense of her personality, have a listen to her impromptu motorway sing-song covering ‘It Ain’t Me Babe‘ caught on video in a delightfully still summer traffic jam. And if you’re feeling adventurous, check out this interesting collaboration with Bastille covering ‘Dreams’ – strangely catchy mix of two very different artists, but it works.

The Boys: Hudson Taylor

This dreamy, Dublin brothers duo had me at… well their cute photo, but their music is well up to par with some simple but heart-skipping harmonies, and heartfelt lyrics to match. This Irish lilt is known to set me off on a sad day, so watch out for ‘Won’t Back Down.’  But it’s not all slow and solemn, in their eclectic mix is some fab folk-style beats and and quirky lyrics.

Where to start?  ‘Trouble Town’  is a brilliant, beautiful taster to get you going, and mix that up with ‘Chasing Rubies’, ‘Drop of Smoke’. Also, sit down and listen to the lingering chords in ‘Won’t Back Down’ and ‘Hideaway‘; breath-taking simplicity. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you if you happen to get teary…

Got summer daylight to catch, so it’s over and out from me, but plug those earphones in, follow those links, and bask in some summer-esque tunes folks.

Reblog of Summer Tunes, written by me for Razz My Berries Magazine
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China: Park Life, Chengdu

Chengdu, We’ve Arrived!

“Dǎdì! Dǎdì! Dǎdì! Dǎdì!”

(打的! 打的! 打的! 打的!)

Repeatedly shouted at, around, and across me throughout my first twenty minutes in Chengdu.

Standing in the 11PM pitch black outside the Chengdu train station, I’m assailed by a mob of cheery, but intimidating, taxi drivers. I’ve never heard this expression for calling a taxi, and am suitably baffled to near tears at the awkwardness of not understanding these two syllables, and, probably more pressing, the pressure to stay awake after nearly twenty hours worth of Chinese long-distance slow train.

Moments in which I wish I wasn’t a tourist.

Needless to say, a quick call to our lovely proprietor at Mr. Panda Hostel, we get English instructions, a laughing translation, and arrive in less than 15mins in a warm, softly-lit hostel reception.
Top Marks.

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Shake It!

The next morning we hit the local park.

I, personally, love seeing and (sometimes under pressure) doing what the locals do in their day-to-day lives – even if its just strolling in the park, taking the wild rickety buses across town, or getting hawked at at the local food markets.

In a large clearing of a park in Chengdu, the local geriatrics congregate for jazz dancing, couples dancing, line dancing and fashion catwalks in the afternoons. They’re mostly pensioners with not much else to do; their sons and daughters work and their grandchildren have school. So they meet in this small open square and enjoy each other’s company with just a strip of worn red carpet to serve as a catwalk, a garage junk-jumble collection of instruments, and a fuzzy (but loud) PA system.

Boy do they shake it, though.

This man can do things with his belly I never thought possible…

“The Old Man Dancing (Vigorously)”

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We have a cheeky go at line dancing (although I admit it took a shed-load of convincing to show the elderly population of complete lack of co-ordination), but with Jakob showing off his dance moves and charming up the local grandchildren, how could I refuse?

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The Dating Classifieds, Chinese-style.

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Outdoor in Chengdu central park there’s lots going on, and finding a life partner is one of the activities.

We walk around the (intently) milling crowds of 40+ classified readers, who feign nonchalance as they scan the simple paper profiles pegged to make-shift display racks of cheap string. The matchmakers give some good promotional chats and I cheekily listen in to their happy conversation; it’s a communal get-together of mild flirting, show-casing and giggling, jet-permed ladies hide behind shades as they walk in pairs between many Chinese men.

It’s a great way to find love.
I think I’d prefer this to match.com…

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[A Musical Interlude]

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In the afternoon sun, a stroll around the maze of pagodas reveals groups of elderly musicians with an amazing variety of instruments – including the Erhu, the Chinese answer to the violin.

I’ve wanted to do this all my life, and I work up to courage to approach a group of old men playing Erhu under the quiet shade of the dark wooden pagodas; a terrifying feat.

This quiet gentleman lent me his, and told me a little about his daughter in the UK. I was a little too embarrassed to try in front of them all, but it was incredible.

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Park Trip Checklists:

  • Find two or more couples getting wedding photography
    (+10 points for cosplay photography)
  • Achieve terrified laughter from the local children, minus points for crying
  • Do all the activities signposted for children
  • Do all the activities signposted for the elderly
  • Join in on the local classes: painting, dancing, and ESPECIALLY the asian-special: stained glass picture making
  • Get a boat trip on the lakes and chase the locals
  • Try all the sticky sweets and lollies on sale
  • Go home and nap before dinner

What a pleasant day’s touristing!

To top it all off, our park day ends with a goodby from this happy lad with his Spongebob Squarepants (海绵宝宝 ) Balloon.

Over and out from Chengdu!

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Chengdu:
Taxis
Dancing
Dating
[A Musical Interlude]
Spongebob Squarepants

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Beijing, TUESC: Post-Orchestral Torrents

A Night with the Beijing Symphony Orchestra

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For a wonderful night in, the University treated us with complimentary tickets to the Beijing Symphony Orchestra in the Tsinghua campus. They played all the good ones, and it was frankly, one of most exhilarating and wonderful experiences of my life.

Thank you, TUESC.

On the way home, the heavens open with a torrential downpour, the thunder rumbling hungrily and promising lightening  – which I can’t see, as I’m being blinded by rain on my trusty bike.

It’s really something else, coming down with monsoon thickness and great painful gusts as I have not yet seen in China. Dressed for the summer heat that was appropriate until three minutes ago, and on my rickety Chinese bike pedalling furiously into darkness – my chain comes off.
Obviously.

After calling the cavalry – who have made it back to the forms already sans mechanical problems – and several well-practised attempts to fix my chain, I embrace the rain and saunter back the mile to my dorms in the orange-lit dark through warm Beijing downpour, to be met by a huge group of soaked friends, about to dash out and find me.

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The Attendees - pre-downpour!
The Attendees – pre-downpour!
The after-rain shot!

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Smiles all round. It’s been a great, fantastic, wonderful evening.

Goodnight.

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Taiwan: These Streets

 

 

This is a typical Taiwanese residential street. I always feel very nostalgic walking around these areas. They’re not only a reminder of what my younger childhood was, but a constant remider of the environment in which I could have grown up. There is nothing quite like these quiet streets, away from the bustle of main roads, where now and then, you can hear the quiet tinkling of a wind-chime from some undistinguishable flat, or the unsteady piano plonking of some little asian child.

Where is this particular photo? Good question. I have no idea. Quite frankly, Frank, I’m lucky to have made it out of alive. I was envisioning a slow death of starvation wandering around the maze-like twists of this residential neighbourhood. Guess I’m not Asian enough to navigate those yet…

 

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Taiwan: Eslite Book Haven

誠品 Eslite

2nd Floor: Bookstore

Having a wee read between the aslies of Eslite, the haven of book-lovers. A book and one square meter of floor space. Utter contentment.

I’ve written before about the merits of Taipei bookstores, but this afternoon in Eslite Bookstore really takes the biscuit (if only they did custard creams here…). Ethics of reading books without buying them aside – I’m a poor student, forgive me – there’s nothing like being able to open books of the English Classics section and read it with pleasurable medical attention to not creasing pages, and certainly no shudder-inducing corner folding. Seats all taken, I sat cross legged at the end of a aisle on the cool tile floor, back to the stall of books, and surrounded on either side with similar book lovers – every end of aisle was taken.

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3rd Floor: Record Store

After my legs grew numb and Dante’s grew sick of his poetic Inferno being played out by the brilliant graphic novel illustrations by Dustin Weaver in Jodie Picoult’s Fifth Circle – which, by the way, is an incredible read and great introduction to graphic novel if you’ve never done them before – I headed up to check out the Music section upstairs. Not having the biggest affinity for either CD or vinyl (I’m more of a itunes download and listener than a format connoisseur) I’ve brought a few photo highlights for your amusement…

Highlights:

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Ooooo… alphabetised!

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Oooo… well-stocked!!

(Spot the band from little old Bangor, Northern Ireland, anyone?)

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Oh.

Well, that’s just weird.

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