Brad Spurgeon's Blog

A world of music, auto racing, travel, literature, chess, wining, dining and other crazy thoughts….

First Night in Shanghai: Crimpings and Closings

April 11, 2013
bradspurgeon

Unfortunately, my first night in Shanghai last night was all about having my style crimped and finding two of my former open mic haunts either closed or no longer offering an open mic.

On the style side, I’m talking about the difficulting of accessing Facebook and a blog via the Internet here in China. It’s not really supposed to happen at all, and at the moment my only solution has meant that it happens very, very slowly. There may quite possibly be a long delay before my videos of open mics make it to the blog in the coming days.

But I will continue the open mic adventure, and I will post my latest edition of the Thumbnail Guides to open mics, Shanghai Edition, when the right moment comes.

Last night after a great meal at the very cool Bao Luo restaurant – delving into a menu I had little idea of what I was getting (boiled beef, noodles, beans, unidentifiable whatevers) – I walked on to Oscar’s pub, where I did a great open mic in previous years, to find there was a house musician but no open mic.

No big deal, the real plan was to go to the sublime and hip Not Me bar, where I had discovered the wonderful Chinese-run open mic two years ago – as opposed tothe “Irish Pub solution” of Oscar’s. I went with a fellow Formula One journalist friend in order to introduce him to this cool establishment.

When we got there, we found it was no longer there. It no longer exists. Not Me, is now Not Here. Gone. We popped into a pub next door and I learned that Not Me closed down five or six months ago, but no reason could be given as to why.

Such, in fact, is the open mic adventure: Open mics, and the bars in which they take place, tend to be very quickly moving targets.

In reading over my report on this same day last year, I see there is not much that has changed in my life in China, and that things were already moving in the same direction last year, with Oscar’s having already stopped its open mic. There was no warning on this Not Me closing, though, as you can even hear in my podcast interview of the manager of Not Me last year….

May I have more luck in the coming days….

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