The seasons are definitely moving on here in Shanghai. In the last week the temperature has dropped 10 degrees and the heat is no longer rising from the pavements. There is a chill in the air and autumn has well and truly arrived.
It has been a gorgeous September with blue skies, warm breezes and stunning sunsets. The old trainers have been given a few outings and it’s been great to get back out on the streets and pound out a few kms to offset all those xiaolongbaos. Here’s the a-mazing blue dusk from our balcony – no filter, no messing with colours just straight out of the old iphone. I know it’s not pretty but I never get tired of this view. It still seems a bit surreal and in spite of my previous misgivings this damn city is getting under my skin.
One of the highlights of the summer has been the watermelon carts seemingly hanging around on every corner.
Here’s my local watermelon man who I always find around 3pm just around the corner. He always has a smile for me and I normally end up buying a couple of apples or peaches from him too.
The changing season is reflected on the carts with persimmon and pomegranates appearing now alongside watermelons and grapes. Chestnut vendors have started to pop up on corners and it’s only a matter of days before the summer fruits disappear until next year and people start wearing their warm quilted pj’s out on the streets instead of their summer cotton ones.
And no, it never gets boring seeing people walking around in their pyjamas.
A watermelon will normally cost around 20RMB give or take a couple of coins. I had lots of fancy notions about what to do with all this watermelon in my life back in July but to be honest the fanciest thing I’ve done is make ice cubes out of the juice and then pour vodka over with a squeeze of lime.
There have been alcohol free versions of the juice too. I’ve just added ice cubes and a few mint leaves.
When I’ve opened the fridge and can’t face any more watermelon I’ve frozen the juice straight up with nothing else added – it’s so sweet no sugar is necessary. Our Saturday post-spin pickmeupoffthefloorIcan’twalk drink has been a glass of watermelon granita with coconut water poured over.
I’m taking a two week break from jamjnr because by the time you read this we will be in Sicily escaping the mad exodus that is Chinese Golden Week. Richard’s Mum is joining us and we are just a little excited as we haven’t seen her since March 2010 apart from on Skype – which we all know doesn’t count.
I’m not quite sure what my watermelon man will be selling by the time I get back but I’ll be walking around to check it out. Salad days are over and I’m ready for some casseroles and hot hearty soups. I’ve already spied Brussel sprouts and parsnips in the Avocado Lady – be still my beating heart.
I know I’ve used this photo before but can you blame me for sharing again? It just sums up watermelon season for me.