While searching for the perfect textbook I still take Chinese lessons twice a week, and each week for homework my lovely Chinese teacher setsme a short essay in pinyin (the anglicised written version of spoken Chinese) which I then read aloud the following week. Here is last week’s effort, not in its original pinyin (how could you read that?) but translated by my teacher back into English to show where I’m going wrong. As it turns out, I’m going wrong in about a hundred different ways – judge for yourself.
Shanghai’s most popular art, design and cafe precinct is off Taikang Lu in the French Concession, between Ruijin Lu and Sinan Lu. Five years ago, this place was home to just a meagre handful of photographers, artists, and shops. Now, it’s a scene. Lane 210, Tianzifang, is the most well known. Come for a wander!
Remember the fabulous New York jazz band I wrote about a few weeks ago? Those old-time jazz talents The Cangelosi Cards had their last gig at the House of Blues and Jazz last night before heading home to the US, and some night it was.
The house was packed with an eclectic mix of locals, travellers, musicians, jazz lovers and dancers. People from all over the world. If you have ever seen the film ‘The White Countess’, set in Shanghai bars in the 1930s, you’ll know what I’m talking about – Ralph Fiennes’ character strives for a bar with the right mix of cosmopolitan sophistication, politics, innuendo and danger. The House of Blues and Jazz has it all, although the only danger likely to befall you is that you will spend too much money on strange green drinks that will make you quite ill the next day……
Not long after arriving we met a Russian firecracker called Rowena who had stepped off a plane from Moscow not three hours ago, and was putting her own unique style of dance out there on the dance floor. It was really unique, with feet, arms and head apparently all dancing to different music genres, an amazing talent. Her feet thought they were doing classical ballet, her arms had touches of Bollywood, her hips were into swing, but her head seemed to have a life of its own and at random points she shook it wildly back and forth. Genre unknown.