What do you want people to know about Shanghai
before they get there? Shanghai is a very beautiful
city. It is only 200 years old, which is new, compared with a
city like Beijing, which is 2,000 years old.
How would you compare Shanghai with
Houston? In Houston, people live outside of downtown and
drive cars to get downtown. In Shanghai, people live downtown and
ride their bikes to work and to school. You get in your 20 minutes
of cardio workout.
When you're in Houston and get homesick for
Shanghai, what do you think about? It's not a specific
thing. I miss the whole atmosphere of Shanghai. In Shanghai, in the
morning time, the people getting up and brushing teeth, washing
their face, and going out to buy the street food for breakfast. You
can smell the fried shao-bing you-tiao (bread sticks and bun).
People greeting each other and neighbors asking, "Have you eaten
breakfast?" The whole atmosphere is what I think about.
When you go back to Shanghai each summer, how long
do you stay? Not too long, probably two to three weeks each
If you were to host friends or visitors for
dinner, where would you take them for an upscale meal? I
like to go to a restaurant called Mei Ling Ge (Merrylin). It is
very nice. The way they cook the Shanghainese food is quite
What do you like to eat? Snake. Before
SARS, the restaurant had a famous snake dish, but now it is very
difficult to get.
Which Shanghainese dishes should visitors be sure
to eat? Street food. The breakfast street food is the best.
There are four traditional breakfast foods, called si da jin gang:
shao-bing you-tiao, doug jiang (soybean drink), da bing (large
sesame bread), and ci fan (soupy rice).