Welcome to Changsha, a city that seamlessly blends elements of modern and old China together.
Located in the province of Hunan, this is a city that’s known for being one of the cultural and entertainment capitals of China. It’s also the city where Chairman Mao studied and lived, and is known to people as a city that never sleeps (or stops eating).
While filming 《湖南 I GET YOU》, my co-host Mack and I had a chance to learn a lot about Changsha.
But what you guys haven’t seen is my own personal side of Changsha.
So this is what I want to share with you below:
The memories I have of this city revolve around the wonderful people I met here. My colleagues helped me improve my Chinese, and my English-speaking friends were the relief when I needed to express myself in English.
During my time here, I also interacted with people on a daily basis. I became friends with the local shopkeepers around my apartment complex, and had conversations with almost all the taxi drivers I met.
I met a taxi driver that knew greetings in Spanish and had been to Venezuela, another taxi driver that had been driving taxis for 20 years, and one taxi driver that gave me some unforgettable life advice. The translation of his exact words were, “When you try to control things that are out of your control, you only get upset.”
Pretty deep, wouldn’t you say?
He was referring to traffic.
But still. Definitely something to remember.
Now the places I usually took taxis to were places to eat. Changsha is known for its spicy cuisine and unique dishes, including mini spicy lobsters (小龙虾), stinky tofu (臭豆腐), and rice noodles (米粉).
And while my favourite food in Changsha was home-cooked Hunanese cuisine, my friends and I opted for different styles of Chinese food when we went out to eat. We had coconut water chicken hot pot, Chinese BBQ, and pizza with frog meat.
Here in Changsha I found my favourite milk tea of ALL TIME. No joke. The orchard milk tea (幽兰拿铁) from Modern Tea Shop (茶颜悦色 ) comes with whipped cream and is topped with candied pecans. This is no ordinary milk tea, and is only available within Hunan province.
In this video you’ll also see a tiny bit of the work I had the chance to do in Changsha. Working with the production team of the “World’s Eyes on Hunan” television show, I worked behind and in front of the camera.
On the side, I did some promotional work for Apesso. This is a coffee beverage (containing coconut oil and sweetened with honey) marketed to fitness enthusiasts as a pre-work out drink (hence the shots of me in the gym). It’s currently only available in China.
Filming this promo was a blast because I enjoy working out, and had the chance to connect with like-minded people. So getting paid to work out and walking away with free boxes of coffee was a dream come true.
I hope you enjoyed seeing a bit of my Changsha life! Comment below any thoughts, and let me know if you would ever visit Changsha if you had the chance.
Thanks for reading! 🙂