We got the call on a Friday, inviting us to take part in the Indie Coffee Fest in Shanghai. The following Monday our tickets were purchased, and 12 days later we were on a plane to cross the Pacific. I had to cancel shoots and meetings, lost money and lots of sleep, but I was thrilled and knew that Hunter S. Thompson would have approved.
Originally, we were supposed to arrive Thursday night, work Friday-Sunday, and return home Monday night. We changed our flights right before departing though, to allow an extra day and a half in the ancient city. Our traveling partner, however, stayed on that Monday night flight. So the three of us set out that morning, after three long days slinging coffee and preaching Portola Coffee’s name to the eastern world, to explore.
I just love walking through neighborhoods and alleys and experiencing a new city on foot. There’s so much you see and feel that is missed when on wheels. I loved the way that city smelled, the way it sounded, the way the people went about their day. I didn’t take any incredible photos, no shots of the amazing food or beautiful portraits; I just shot from the hip, while focusing on opening myself to a culture that so deeply differs from my own. That shift in focus was the best thing I could have done that day. It was my favorite part of the trip.
Pan-fried Bun Stuffed with Monopoly Store. The signs in English were amazing. I took more on my cell phone; I should do a post later with just sign photos.
So much food and so little time! I didn’t take any photos of the food in front of me because I was too busy devouring it.
Hand made noodles. This guy was singing as he slapped them through the sieve. We ate them later – to die for!!!
This guy was drying tea leaves and smiling at every potential customer that walked past.
The infrastructure in Shanghai was incredible. And the city was so clean! Very pleasantly surprised there, not that I was expecting it to be filthy, but maybe smelling more like fish? I don’t know. It was nice though, very nice. And VERY safe.
Adam and Kristy wanted to walk through the city as we were in the photos above. I said let’s walk to the river. No one was mad about the few extra blocks.
All I wanted to do was shop. Watermelon, oysters, shoes, calligraphy pens, a broom, whatever! Gimme!
Didn’t eat any cat.
Definitely ate my share of cookies and pastries (and noodles and dumplings and steamed buns and, and, and).
The architecture and design was incredible!
I wonder how her photo turned out…
As the evening fell, we hopped in a cab and took Kristy back to the hotel. Her flight had been delayed til the next morning so we all got to sleep, a little. Jet lag from here to China is intense. Worth every second of fatigue though. I’d do it over again in a heartbeat.
More photos to come.