Tuesday, 24 September 2013

The Wangs of Shanghai Lu Yu Teashop

With Uncle & Aunty Wang and Nancy at their shop.
Most of the time when people talk about the Chinese from mainland China, it is always with stereotype that they are not too honest, husband snatcher, gold digger (for single woman), rude, cheaters, crooks and many more. However, each time when I heard of this, I will go all the way out to defend my Chinese compatriots from mainland, saying that the unhappy experiences they have with them were just some isolated incidents and I myself actually know of a lot of nice people in China. Afterall, China is a huge country with huge population; surely there are some unscrupulous people around and they themselves are the victims too of these unscrupulous people too.

Not too long ago, I called Aunty Wang in Shanghai informing her that I am going to be in Shanghai soon. With excitement, Aunty Wang asked for my flight details so that their daughter Nancy can meet me at the airport and Uncle Wang can prepare some light itineraries for visits to scenic places around Shanghai. At the same time, Aunty Wang told me not waste any money to stay in a hotel; I am always welcome to stay at their home. Not too long later, I received a text message from Nancy saying that she can still accompany me to go around Shanghai and nearby cities despite her pregnancy and asked which places of interest that I would like to visit this time.
I came to know the Wangs some years back while walking back to my hotel on a chilly spring night. They own a shop selling Chinese tea and Yixing teapots by the name of Lu Yu at Shaanxi South Road. That fateful night, as I was walking past, I saw a teapot on display that I like instantly and I stepped into their shop to enquire about it. Upon seeing me, Aunty Wang immediately asked Uncle Wang to prepare some hot tea and said me; “Please have some hot tea, it is very cold out there” with a very motherly tone. After exchanging pleasantries, I bought the teapot and off I went, promising them I will return the next day as it is already late at night. The rest is history.
Ever since then, the Wangs will be my host each time I am in Shanghai, regardless I am there for work or leisure. I’ll stay with them, explore the city with Nancy, and tag along with Aunty Wang to Shiliupumatou (where most the best Shanghainese tailors are based) to have my cheongsam made. Aunty Wang is good at bargaining the price. Uncle Wang, with deep knowledge for Chinese tea and Yixing teapots will share with me his experiences on how to pick up a good pot and how to brew a good pot of pu erh. More than often, he will also help me to source some teapots from certain makers that I am looking for. During her free time, Aunty Wang will bring out some of their old collections of aged pu erhs to share with me. Of all, they just made me feel very much at home whenever I am in Shanghai. I am thankful for their kind treatment and always look forward to meet them again.

P/S: Aside from them, I am also thankful to Maggie Cui in Beijing that always made my Beijing trip interesting.

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