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Fiona, Almost Slightly Famous. A Bit.

In the world of blogging, where apparently 50,000 new blogs pop into existence every day, I sometimes think it’s a minor miracle when someone other than my parents are reading about my adventures in Shanghai from places as far afield as Finland, Alaska, and Brazil. It’s quite mind-blowing, and I get a quiet thrill from all you wonderful readers out there in your very diverse locations. 

But up until now my blog has been quite invisible inside China – for a start, I write in English, and although I entertain plans of one day writing in Chinese, that day is about five thousand years from now. Also, Life on Nanchang Lu is blocked in China, because…well, I have no idea why – it’s not a personal blockade related to my political views – all blogspots are blocked, whether they’re kntting blogs or anarchy blogs, and mine is blocked along with all the others. So without the magical portal into the internet known as a VPN (virtual private network), Chinese readers can’t access my blog. In an attempt to rectify this I recently purchased my own domain name,, only to find that the host is also blocked in China. Back to square one. (by the way, you can now use either or to access Life on Nanchang Lu. Both work.)
So given my extremely low profile locally, it was with some surprise that I was contacted by the lovely people at Ctrip, China’s largest travel website, to ask if they could feature an interview with me this week. Ah….let me think about that for a nanosecond…yes! I don’t quite know how it happened, but strange things are afoot with this blog. Some sort of critical mass has been achieved, in terms of longevity, or gradual persistence, or just sheer doggedness, but either way, people are starting to notice it exists. People other than my parents even. First it was the lovely Maryanne at Ephemera and Detritus who interviewed me for her expat traveller series; CNNgo are about to publish my Shanghai Factory Girls as a photo series on their fabulous travel website; and now here I am, Ctrip’s featured blogger for the week. 

Don’t worry, I won’t let all this go to my head, but for sure Jackie Chan will be calling soon about a kung fu street food movie he’s making….;)

  • Jeannie

    Congratulations on your achievements:) I have always amazed by what the internet world can do to connect people from all over the world! Awesome! just like your blog:D

  • shaz

    Congratulations Fiona! So exciting. When you're famous, I'll paint you for the Archibald 🙂

  • Robyn

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Robyn

    Congratulations, so proud of you! Can I have your autograph now…before you start charging 😉 Great photo!

  • Tiina

    Hi! Reader from Finland here! 😀
    Love your blog since you always have some interesting posts about my favorite city. Congrats on your achievement and may your blog become even more well known!

  • Dingle

    Congratulations on your new found fame Fiona!

    Kung Fu street food movie?

    The trailer is rubbish but the movie is hilarious, well worth trying to dig out (look for a stephen chow boxset)

  • Liz Mollica

    You're famous in our eyes lovely Fiona!

  • Fiona

    Wow…thanks everybody! And very remiss of me not have credited the better-than-real-life photo of me by my fellow Shanghai partner-in-crime, Robyn Smith. She can make even the most hardened Shanghai street hustler look soft and lovely through her lens….amazing.

    And Dingle – I am definitely hunting down the God of Cookery – love Stephen Chow and Kung Fu Hustle is an all-time favourite! Thanks for the tip-off!

  • Robyn

    Oh please!!! Everybody…Fiona always looks fabulous in real life…even after trudging the streets in 36C heat and 90% humidity! I meant great smile…and I love how your hair tones in with the gold buddhas :)Nothing to do with the photographer!

  • frances t

    I'm parroting Robyn here….I've ALWAYS wanted to know somebody famous, or even a little bit famous.
    I too want your autograph now, before it becomes too expensive!
    Seriously though, congratulations…I knew that you had it in you! What a girl!


  • MaryAnne

    Not sure that being on my blog makes one famous- at this rate, I'd say it's the other way around– if I end up on yours, I could be famous! CnnGo? CTrip? City Weekend? Damn! You're not only famous but also everywhere! Awesome.

    What's next? (Something starting with C, I'm sure…)

  • Fiona

    Oh now I'm just totally embarrassed….but thanks!!

  • Emily

    Fiona, if you want your blog to be viewable in China, your web host should be able to move your blog to one of their other servers (for free. If they have no idea what you mean and won't look into it, switch hosts. I had to do that.) The other problem is that your images are still hosted by Blogger so they won't show, even if your blog does. You can switch to WordPress to fix this though!

  • Fiona

    Emily thanks a million for your great tips. Will get straight on to it…although have heard that transferring to WordPress is very time-consuming but probably worth it in the long run. Thanks again!