Tomorrow Eva and Zhang Laoshi will drive me to Shanghai Pudong Airport for my flight at noon.
I will be in the air for about fourteen and a half hours, and arrive in Boston at 1:30 PM the same day, thoroughly confusing my body’s circadian rhythm. The jetlag is going to make me fairly useless for the next few days, so I am writing this now in the hope that I will be able to reach through the cognitive fog to add my photos and post this once I have gotten situated at home.
Today (11/9/15) was the opening of our location at the Alibaba Campus in Hangzhou! Alibaba is comparable to Amazon in the US, if ‘comparable’ means four times as large. Alibaba has a huge campus in Hangzhou filled with scores of office buildings and countless tech experts circulating around in schools from meetings and conferences to auditoriums and collaborative spaces.
Now they also come to a Bao shop, and in great numbers too! Gerry and Jhonny manned the bao production line, while I made my final inquiries around the store and tried to fumble through filling out a couple of orders with my broken Chinese. It was a good last day for me in China, but it was bittersweet to say goodbye to Jhonny, Gerry, Jay, Eva, Penny, Mr. Hu, Tom, Mr. Zhang, Jing Jing, Jung, Ms. Shmily… and the dozens of other people that made this such a phenomenal trip. I want to take one last opportunity to thank everyone at Ganqishi for the support, help, and unyielding generosity we have experienced over the last month, and I want to wish them the best of luck as they spread their love for baos all across China. The sky is the limit!
Sorry it took so long to post this; as predicted, jetlag has kept me in a twilight of consciousness for the last three (or four?) days. Since our store opened at Alibaba, they have pulled off an online sale festival called Singles Day that is larger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. Yesterday I visited Hope and Main, the food incubator we are partnering with. As I inspected the new steamer and rotated the bamboo baskets, demonstrating the correct proofing method, I realized something: after a lot of hard practice and research, I know bao. Now is the time to stop telling you all about it and start showing you. I hope you are hungry.
Thanks for reading along!