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, www.lifeonnanchanglu.com, only to find that the host is also blocked in China. Back to square one. (by the way, you can now use either www.nanchanglu.blogspot.com or www.lifeonnanchanglu.com 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….;)