To everybody potentially reading this, I know every single one of you will have one moment in all of your lives that will ultimately shape each and every day from then on. That moment for me was getting off the plane at Pudong International Airport and realising I had just moved to Shanghai. Not for a few days, not for a month or a semester away. No, I had moved away for four years. Possibly more. Probably never leaving, to be honest.
A little introduction – I’m from Australia, however, I have lived in five countries, am obsessed with travelling and can never ever see myself settling down in one place. Food (of which there is not one cuisine I do not enjoy), culture, language (to which I say bring on 中文，我可以说一点儿) – I love it all. This space of mine will be a conglomeration of all those things. A travel blog, yes. A food blog, most definitely. Throw in a little bit of style, photography and things that are just so China I can’t even explain to you, and you have just a little piece of what I’ll be experiencing over the next four years.
So far, I have come into contact with more near death experiences (death by bus, taxi, car, person or weird flying bug), more troublesome encounters with some half-dead animals (I don’t like to talk about this), more mystery meat, and more anxiety-inducing adventures in Carrefour (家乐福) than one person probably has come across in a decade. However, I believe I have entered the most incredible and energetic city that there is. The people (okay yes, there is the occasional man smoking a cigarette whilst cooking my fried rice (炒饭)) have this excitement and nationalistic pride oozing out of them at every moment. A friend of mine – an American-born fluent Chinese speaker – proceeded to tell my local street vendor his Chinese name, and so, each day as we pass the vendor, they say hello to 何力 with such affability. Every day. As do our local Family Mart (the Chinese equivalent to 7/11) cashiers. That cashier also cooks me two minute noodles. I really don’t know what else I need.
I have been here seventeen days so far, and with two days of classes, multiple sleepless nights and countless midnight runs to Family Mart, I know I’m going to seriously love it here. So welcome, and enjoy.