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  • Writer's pictureHannah

A missed memo

Updated: Mar 7, 2021

Street lamps feebly attempted to brighten the dim skyline punctuated with cranes and towering heaps of rubble. The perfect setting for a quick getaway to Shanghai. Our taxi dropped us off outside the block of serviced apartments: . The middle of nowhere- ness seemed to shout from the road sides so we decided to checkout ‘Laowai’ Street for a bite. We wound up at the Indian which provided THE BEST CURRY TO DATE IN CHINA, okay there might not be many contenders there but it was hugely satisfying. The kids actually ate it and even brought it up, ( in conversation), further along in the evening. Then we behaved like responsible parents and took both kids to the pub where we enjoyed a couple of pints* and a game of pool, (or something like that. The cue was twice the length of Emily so it did look more as though she was fencing rather than playing pool). Laowai street, (meaning foreigner street), has at least 15 different restaurants all catering towards a western palate.

The following day beckoned us to the Jingnan Temple area in the Xuhui District, close to the French Concession. Going to Shanghai and not having a French Concession fix is now for me like a bacon butty without bacon, with a similar amount of calories taken away as the pastries and cakes on offer are in abundance. So, our first post breakfast pit stop was at 'Pain Chaud' (see photo below). We gobbled down brioche and coffee in the twenty minute slot before it felt as though passive aggressive vibes from all the other non-family customers were going to erupt.

Then, a two mile meander along West Nanjing St until we reached the largest Starbucks in the world . I enjoyed typing that. Google will likely tell you it is in Chicago, but I haven't gone with my tape measure so I'm sticking with the sub plot, that the Shanghai one is largest according to other Google findings and my Chinese friends. The largest Starbucks in the world is sort of a museum cum restaurant with a bar on the second floor. On this day they were roasting and grinding beans from Columbia. It was fascinating, like a coffee equivalent of a Willy Wonka factory.

The afternoon found us in Zhongshan Park,, while Mike went to a meeting with Intersport about potential collaboration with Suzhou Striders. The kids had fun on some of the rides, Gideon pulled a reluctant me onto the Dragon roller coaster. We then found a seating area, (not sure when they stopped allowing people on the grass). The relaxation was slightly tainted by a security guard approaching Emily telling her; 'sit a little, please don't sleep'. Think I missed the memo about it now being a social crime for a 5 year old to rest on a public park bench.

* we didn't feed beer to the kids.

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