Impressions of Kunshan

 

After settling into my first two days of work, I felt it was only necessary to take advantage of the change of location and capture a few snapshots. In comparison to Wuxi the smog is definitely a lot more noticeable but there seems to be a real liveliness to the city. Perhaps it’s a subtle influence from the vibrancy and business that Shanghai provides from the East or the nurturing feeling of culture which the rest of the Jiangsu province provides from the West. As a city stuck in the middle which neither feels to be progressing too fast or slow, the harmony in the city feels very reassuring.

Ready, Steady, Steam

dsc04506

Metro station underground malls in China are just full of surprises. On one end you can have a full shopping centre underneath similar to the likes of the Shanghai fake market and then flip the spectrum to more food / beverage stops and you can almost find yourself simply hypnotised by the variety of baristas, chefs, bakers and even friers at work. Even luckier if you manage to find one with such a large window into their workspace, for the sake of taking away the privacy of the process there can be a lot of insight into the sheer concentration one may have for their craft.

A Stylish Street Vendor

Last Wednesday night after celebrating a friend’s Birthday the usual last calls for a night either include the wonders of Chinese Clubbing “standing still” or alternatively for those more adventurous and not wishing to go down the KTV route, there is of course street food. Clearly our livers weren’t reeling from the alcohol and neither was our hygienic conscious as usually if you’re not experienced eating two XXL quarter pounder cheese meals from McDonalds, there is a very similar end result from having street food too.

But regardless the vendors are usually an assortment of interesting characters, they all have a good mindset to just get on with things and price wise you sort of understand after a while why they all look so well dressed and stylish. Location wise, it’s clearly the perfect setup for any vendor. You have one of the busier club / party streets in Wuxi (not to mention Wuxi isn’t known for it’s raving nightlife to begin with) plus with a good range of foreigners who do have origins in the South East Asia regions, there is no doubt that there is an attraction for them here in terms of what to expect music wise. Unlike a few of the Western-friends who come by, some are just not used to the genre which the Chinese are taken to.

So just nearby Dr. Oscar on 105 Jiqing St, Wuxi, you’ll find this character setting up shop. Believe it or not we were almost struggling to find a vendor but if you follow a craving long enough, usually you’ll find what you’re looking for. Fun fact, Redfoo did perform here back in July 10th 2015 . 

So after having a very small bite, since honestly it will detox everything from me in the morning, I felt I should take advantage at the rather accommodating setting. Within the surrounding area of the vendor there were three small stools behind him, very much like what you’d expect to see in perhaps a children’s birthday party picnic. Further behind was a tent set up with proper tables and chairs, although clearly the former felt a lot more friendlier since within the dimly lit tent we may have seemed even more out of place. Sometimes being just in plain sight is the best way of feeling camouflaged in a country who’s culture is still mostly unknown to oneself. After tallying up our totals for the evening: 10RMB, 25RMB and 32RMB and of course in our drunken stupor decided that we needed more food, the night seemed to drift on its usual course once again. Share a taxi, split the bill, have more deep talks / last minute gossip before finally departing for our rooms and eventually… the toilet.