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Back East

A few bits of news is all:

1. I’ve put together a version of the video we shot with the students in Vietnam last April. You can watch here:

There’s not much of Bara in there and none at all of me, aside from a few goofy laughs that I wish I was good enough at Soundtrack to remove… The video almost didn’t happen because of the second bit of news:

2. Bara and I have moved to Shanghai. She’s settled in to a 2 year contract with an international school here and I managed to find a job as well, so here we are. I’m preparing a post on Shanghai itself, even though it isn’t really travel so much as living, at this point. There is a lot to learn and a lot to see.

Last week we made it up to Moganshan – a small mountain area near Hangzhou – for some relaxing during the week-long holiday and I really fell for the place. In between hikes straight up the mountain behind the little guesthouse Bara and I found, I was nose buried in Mark Kitto’s China Cuckoo, his account of the rise and fall of That’s Shanghai and his subsequent flight to a graceful and early retirement in the hill country of Moganshan. He and his wife still live there and operate the venerable Moganshan Lodge – heart and hearth of the burgeoning Shanghai Whitey Weekend set.

I went back to Houwu village again this weekend for some solo camping and plan to make it a weekend tradition, as far as I’m able. Here are a few pictures from this weekend’s trip. I think I’ll find the time to write more about it soon. We found a great little guesthouse called Prodigy Base Camp. Prodigy is a beautifully made place, reminiscent of an Alpine lodge in the summertime, and it’s open year round. The people there are great and they make the best wood-fired oven pizza I’ve had in Asia.

I have decided to make a mission for myself by mapping the area trails, using both GPS and more “artisanal” methods.┬áIn China, the military owns all the maps available and they are not easily convinced to share their valuable military data… My GPS is on the way from Prague as I write this, and I’m looking into some more “old fashioned” ways of making maps in the mean time.