Hangzhou Got Shorted

My sister Amy arrived last Thursday night, which just so happened to coincide with the arrival of rain and considerably colder weather in the Shanghai area. We haven’t done much so far in Shanghai, although we did get to meet Michael of Chairman Meow and Living in China fame and his friends. Very cool group of people. Then we went to Hangzhou.

I gotta say, any decent city in China requires at least a week of touristing. I foolishly only gave us 3 days in Hangzhou, and I regret it. We saw West Lake, Nanshan Road’s bars, Ling Yin Temple, the Silk Market, In Time Department Store, “West Lake Heaven and Earth” (西湖天地), ZUCC, and snow. On Sunday the weather was horrible (even if it did snow), so we shopped all day. Ugh. Then yesterday we went to the silk market and we spent 3 hours there. I wanted to die. I was translator and haggler. I really got some good prices, but I don’t particularly enjoy that.

Amy enjoyed meeting all my ZUCC co-workers and other Hangzhou friends. They’re all really cool people. I should have some pictures of her visit up soon. Got some good ones.

Last night we made the difficult decision not to go to Beijing. It’s the wrong time of year for it (too cold, and it’s the Chinese New Year holiday now), and we just wouldn’t have enough time there. Plus, Amy wouldn’t get to see much of Shanghai even if we went to Beijing for only 3 or 4 days. You can’t see three amazing cities in two weeks.

So tonight is Chinese New Year’s Eve. We’ll be spending it with my girlfriend’s family. Happy Chinese New Year everybody!

John and Amy at Reggae Bar, Hangzhou


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. yes, i absolutely loved meeting john’s hz friends! y’all are wonderful!! kudos to john on being able to leave the comfort and security of such fun, supportive friends/coworkers in order to further the persuance of his goals.
    zucc guys: come visit us in shanghai!! now that we’re not going to beijing, you can help make the shanghai sights/scenes even more fun. 😉
    oh, and i just have to tell you that i enjoyed our group meal and the time at raggae bar as much or more than any of my other experiences in hangzhou. yes, i do really enjoy the chinese style of meal-sharing, but it was enhanced so much by y’all’s company. 🙂

  2. i want to publicly thank john for enduring all the shopping. john, you were absolutely fabulous (i worded it that way just for you, greg. hee hee!), and you didn’t complain at all until after the 2nd hour of the silk market.

    to all those in the west, yes, shopping sounds like something i could do anywhere. how dare i waste my brief time on shopping?! i have to tell you, though, even though the dept. store shopping was something we did b/c the weather was so miserable, it was definitely a chinese experience. the way the store was set up, the products offered, and esp. the way you pay for merchandise.

    as for the silk mkt. — totally chinese!! some western-style products, but not many. silk everywhere, gorgeously decorated and rediculously cheap! plus, the haggling game was a fascinating experience, and john is damn good at it. he’s also a wise/cautious consumer. thanks, john!!

  3. I know what ZUCC stands for, but what is SNOW an acronym for?

  4. Carl,

    I have no idea what you’re talking about.

  5. Goong Hay Fat Choi!

    I hope you are enjoying the New Year. I thought it looked like fun. I wish i were there too.

    I can sympathize w/ you regarding shopping. yuck!
    BUt i bet Amy had a great time.

    Has she enjoyed the Shanghai night life. I hear Bourbon street is a great place to see at least once.

    Take care,

  6. oh my lordie lord!
    this photo of you and amy is so fantastic.
    i want to swear up and down with enthusiasm (as i am want to do when i get excited).
    however, i don’t want your parents to get the wrong impression of me.
    but guys…
    you both look great.
    let’s hear it for sibling love.

  7. John,

    Sweet entry and nice picture!


    I guess John was referring to the real snow when he mentioned ‘snow’ after ZUCC. It snowed on Jan. 18 in Hangzhou, isn’t it? – which is rather rare in this part of China.

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