Warnings in February 2007

I’m really excited. We’ve got this big plan for the Hangzhouvian section. Not that there was anything drastically wrong with it, but what’s the point of standing still? We need to keep mixing things up. Things can always be improved. So, after many hours of tea, coffee, and pounding our heads on the cold concrete, we banged out a new direction. The guys who have been contributing to this section have done a wonderful job over the past two years. We applaud them. They have had to deal with our late night phone calls, the incessant emails, and the often illegible requests, yet they have still come through month after unpaid month. They agreed to do it under these circumstances, and they were like the dog of the year we are just getting through: faithful and reliable.

Why the change? It was the term “Hangzhouvian” that was bothering me. I would love to say that I made the word up, but I didn’t. A bunch of years ago, I had to good fortune of meeting one of the International School founders, Michael. he was a very nice guy who came her often to see if starting a school would be viable. He usually gave me a call when he was in town to talk about how I thought the city was moving. I gave him a few contacts to help him out, and in the end he, and the guys from his operation pulled it off. Over a beer one night, he casually dropped the term, and I was immediately struck. The word was just way too cool to be forgotten. I even wrote him an email asking if it was reasonable to use such a word. “Why not?” I filed the word in the back of my head, and pulled it our again for the first issue of our magazine. The Hangzhouvian would be a section. After many months of using the word, I began to think about what if meant to me. Only people really born here can be Hangzhounese. If you have a long family history in town, and were born outside of it, you might be able to call yourself Hangzhounese, but the rules are kind of tight, and hard to fill. Hangzhouvians are a mix of Hangzhounese and those born outside of Hangzhou, but who now call it home.

While I like the Hangzhouvian section of the mag, I began to feel it didn’t hold up to its name. This section needed to be a mirror of the people. It couldn’t just remain a section written by the same people all the time. We needed to reach out. After this idea, and that idea, we all finally agreed on one: We had to get out, and meet the people by interviewing all sorts around town. You readers need to see what other Hangzhouvians are like. We are doing to do the businessmen, the shoe shiners, the old, and the young, the famous, and the frugal. Who cares if we have to do a little translating? Didn’t I used to do that for a living? This new section will get you closer to the people living around you.

We have agreed on something for once, so say goodbye  to the last issue with our old Hangzhouvian format. In our March Tea issue, we’re going to give you the opportunity to meet some damn interesting people. We hope you look forward to it as much as we do.