Yangpu during the Shanghai lockdown

Day 50 and I got a rare “临时出门单”, so I walked around the Yangpu district for a few hours, which is the hardest-hit area in Shanghai now.   Main roads have some traffic, but curbs are empty — except for around the area of two hospitals I passed. I saw many seniors who had to […]

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Why don’t you just move?

Day 46 of the Shanghai lockdown is about to end and yet we wait for our release. We’ve had our freedom severely limited, further still — to the point where we cannot buy food ourselves and have to rely on rations, whatever the powers higher up are deciding to send our way. One of the […]

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Playing with fire

Many Shanghai-based expats (like me) have seen their Twitter accounts grow — explode — in terms of impressions & followers. There’s a lot more to talk about Shanghai than during normal days. The strict lockdown has given us and everyone we know new challenges, which are not just different for each district, but also change […]

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Dabai at my door

I was curious about the many dabai’s in Shanghai and found one in my compound who was happy to sit down with me to tell me why he signed up & more. I think we were both a bit nervous — he for maybe saying something wrong — me of his leader coming around the […]

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Dreaming of days

Day 24. At night I dream of my brother who treats me to some Dutch food, the familiar place in our hometown. I want to pay him back my part but for some reason cannot. I doze off and I dream that a positive case lives in our bathroom. It has no shape, I just […]

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Come rain come sunshine

Living abroad puts you in the middle of two countries, a bit of both but neither whole. I’ve been living in China for four years now, and it’s easy to dismiss my opinion or views from all sides. People from the Netherlands will ask me how I can possibly enjoy a country with such a […]

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Our building’s WeChat group

Tuesday the 12th of April, day 12 of our lockdown. We receive self-tests and need to share the photos in the WeChat group of the building. There are 5 floors, about 4 households on each, so about 60 people live here — 39 of which are in the group. We’ve already been photographing our self-test […]

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Shanghai’s stunning fall from grace

Mandarin version by Misaka Clover | Japanese version   The first time I came to Shanghai, in 2017, I was amazed by how developed the city was. My only other Asian experience was Mumbai, and compared to that, Shanghai was clean and organized. I was amazed by how you could pay for a laundrette with […]

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Waiting

This piece of calico from Wuzhen is still waiting to meet my mom. I never know what to buy her, but I think she’ll like this, a piece of tangible China bought in June, 2020. Now I’m moving houses again, and again this piece is going with me, waiting, just like me. 搬家。我还没有机会给我妈这块乌镇蓝印花布。我明天又搬家,这块又陪我去一套新的房子,它正在等待,就像我一样。

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Nerves and barricade tape

Zero covid China: cases rise and everyone gets nervous. All over the city, living compounds, malls, schools, offices, are locked up with residents, shoppers, teachers, staff all inside. Sometimes a delivery guy is extremely unlucky and runs into his proverbial Hotel California. It’s not really good or bad, it’s just the situation here that suits […]

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