We have this new friend, Scott and Yin introduced us last summer. A woman from Hong Kong who we have been hanging with here. She invited us over for dinner last night.
She is a window, who is wealthy, Hong Kong wealthy. That is another category altogether. Her condo was sumptuous. There was a Picasso etching on one wall, and a Pissaro on the other wall, and a beautiful Chinese painters work on this other wall, who sells his work through Christies in New York, his last one went for 5 million. She likes to buy and sell art, understands the art market, and knows Christies, and the New York and Hong Kong galleries and knows this new market for Chinese painters that are selling for 5 to 20 million dollar. It was all surreal evening, we accepted her wild and wonderful art stories, saw some of her art collection, enjoyed her feast, her hospitality. It is traditional here to bring a gift, not actually knowing what we were getting into, we brought a bar of soap from Thymes and a bag of wild rice, now it seems kind of paltry.
She has a cook, who made a 10 course dinner for us, (ok, I exaggerate sometimes, not this time), this went on for three hours, enjoyable repartee, extremely tasty home cooked Chinese food, and ended with several unusual fruits from China that I had never tasted before, then a final dessert of a sweet pudding made from fungus. We don’t always get the exact translations, but she brought out the bag of white and black dried somethings to show us, we shook our head and said “oh, this kind of fungus.” Its some kind of mushroom when cooked get sweet and gooey, hmmm. The Woolly brothers would have fit right in.
We were full, up past our ears, and took a taxi from one end of new Shanghai downtown (all built in the last 5 years) to our district, through what I can only describe as what artists in 1920 thought what the future would look like. The architecture here is stunning, the best architects in the world design here and have great clients who want to out do each other with extravagances and style, and money is no problem, Shanghai is booooommming.
I saw Donkey on the menu the other day, nothing is too weird here, its all edible.