the websiteSo I went to dinner with my friend Jamie, we were in that Mandarin Summer Intensive program together in Hangzhou in the summer of 2007.
She is now one of the founders/owners of the Shanghai UnTour, which may or may not be one of the coolest jobs in Shanghai. She takes newly arrived expats and tourists on the kinds of tours the China-adventurers WANT to go on…. there’s a noodle tour, a breakfast tour, a running tour for the runners, a Muslim market tour. It sounds amazing. Next week I’ll go on the noodle tour.
I feel like there are two kinds of experiences in Shanghai; the 舒服 life, and the 辛苦 life, and Jamie is living the 舒服 life. I met her at a Hunan restaurant on Wulumuqi Road, a place that I had been to with Kiwi J and LA P before… and S the intern!
Anyway we were trading China stories… China expats can talk China stories for weeks on end without running out of things to talk about. I was telling her about how my crew and I used to hang out outside of the Lawsons on Dongping Lu, drinking tallboys and talking to the girls coming out of the club… as well as the street people. One morning I was down on that street for brunch, and I was recognized by the street people.
So I told Jamie that story… and she said, ok, this is going to blow your mind. The expats totally organize big parties outside of that Lawsons now; they go in, and buy their Tsingdaos and they hang out outside on the street. Hundreds of them.
It’s totally a thing. They organize costume themes; the last one was a Rubik’s cube theme. Everyone wore a solid color and then traded articles of their clothing so that by the end of the night they were all scrambled Rubik’s cubes. It’s a thing.
It’s a thing? Yes JP, it’s a thing. They call it "Lawson’s Creek." There’s a website.
So she pulls out her phone to show me the website. Of course, it takes forever to load on mainland internet, so the loading message… wait for it… says "I don’t wanna wait…"
Dinner with Jamie was full of hilarious stories like that. What a blast.
I took a rainy cab ride home back to Jinqiao. When I told the driver I was going to Jinqiao, he launched into an angry story about how he once took foreigners to Jinqiao, and they stiffed him. I wasn’t sure what he said, so I just answered with a scooby doo "eh?"
He repeated what he had said, and he sounded even angrier. At me.
I said, "it wasn’t me."
He said, "oh no no no, of course not you. This was before. They stiffed me!"
And I said, "I’m sorry."
He answered immediately "No no no." And it sound like he realized that I had understood that he was mad at me. He was not, actually, but I had forgotten how angry that Shanghainese Mandarin sounds sometimes.
We had a pretty good conversation on the ride home after that.
Tomorrow I’m meeting Cookie and Boyler at Southern Belle after my lesson. Cookie was like, are you sure? I thought you’d be doing 4th of July stuff? Haha, on the 4th of July there’s no where I’d rather be than hanging out with my British friends. Is that bad?
I also got an invitation to a party that Liliana is throwing on Friday. Can’t miss that!