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It was January 2020. That was when everyone was declaring - 2020 is going to be the best year ever!

Updated: Nov 22, 2021


Way before the world was transformed and shaken by the virus.




I was excited to be back in China to teach yoga at a prestigious winter camp and I arrived early to challenge myself if I can travel in China without knowing the language and get from Shanghai down south to the ice and snow capital of China - Harbin where I had to do the teaching. Also, I intended to celebrate the Western New Year and also the Chinese New Year, the latter one is usually at the end of January or early February. I had imagined getting two new starts for 2020 in the world's largest city. I was also there to check out if I could move to Shanghai. I was looking for that juicy challenge that I could give to myself to feel alive again. I could feel it, this place wants me and even though I didn't believe that I could really, really like living in the big city - all doors were opening up for me here. The first evening, fresh out of the airport, long flight from Canada, bullet train from the airport into the city I easily found the hotel and went out for the vegan food hunt. I checked Happy Cow and there was a place nearby, so I grabbed my jacket and went for my first exploration of the city. The air was crisp and it was foggy or maybe smoggy, who knows, wintertime might be tricky. Streets were full of electric bikes and you could hardly hear anything as they were just zooming to the next traffic light, which surprisingly they stopped at. I had lived in Vietnam before and they'd never do that. I found the building and to my surprise, it had a red carpet outside, things can get pretty fancy in China at times. I walked in, a beautiful decor, dimmed lights and western interior with table cloths, wine glasses, and candles, as far as I could tell, this is fancy and yes, there I saw it - a Michelin star restaurant. Oh, goodness gracious. And I was so hungry. When my inner voice screamed - expensive, leave now, run before you are ashamed that you can't afford it, I kindly asked for the menu to see if I like anything and to check the actual price. And I loved the menu and the price was just fine, remember I had just spent a month in Canada and a quick grab from Whole Foods Market was way over $10 and if you added a cookie and tea, $20 so a vegan dinner in this place for $25 was a jackpot. Oh, but I was wearing sweatpants, remember