A few weeks ago, the July/August edition of Budget Travel magazine hit newsstands across America and, I’m assuming, some other countries, as well. Page 66 featured a full page, color photo of a 32-year-old American sometime-journalist/marginally-informative-blogger/handbag-entrepreneur. A random reader emailed the guy in the photo and said the “pic struck me as nice” and told him “don’t ever stop smiling!” Meanwhile, an immediate family member told the guy his smile made him look “beaver like.” Well, you can’t win them all.
So anyway, I have an eight-page story in the current issue of Budget Travel. And yes, there is a full-page portrait of me (shot by a New York Times photographer, I might add). And yes, the title of the story is “My Shanghai Is Better Than Yours.” Both the photo and the title were the magazine’s idea — I’m sure your Shanghai is just fine.
The story is split up into three parts — Eat, Shop and Play — and I suggest 15 or so places/activities in each one. It was a little tricky. I had to keep in mind that my readers, and anyone who would actually end up putting my advice to use, would likely be be new to Shanghai and their Chinese would be limited or nonexistent. I also had a word count to stay under. As is my habit, I failed miserably in that task, thus the version that appeared in the magazine was a little less detailed than the one I turned in — but that is my fault. I may post the extended version here sometime after August.
You can read the story at budgettravelonline.com or you can download a PDF of the magazine version here. And you can also download the addresses of the places I mention in my story (in English and Chinese) here.
Also, on Tuesday I played the role of China travel expert (don’t laugh) in one of Budget Travel’s “live” Trip Coach chats. You can find the transcript here. And if you are wondering how I can think so well on my feet, keep in mind that I was sleeping when the chat actually took place.