Logo for Gunvor Handmade Illustration



I’m in Shanghai! I never thought this would be somewhere I’d travel in my lifetime, but my illustrations traveled here and I’m very happily taging along. Monsterboka is out in Chinese!

We are living in an AirBnB across from Taikang Road and the narrow alleyways of Tianzifang.

Right now it’s dusk and dinner time, and sitting on my balcony at the top left of the picture I can hear someone from ground floor bitch slapping som meat around. It’s probably going to become something amazing, because everything we have eaten here was.

Also, we live close to a giant foodcourt at the base floor of a shopping mall (don’t judge, that’s how they roll) and we have been like the little larvae eating our way trough Shanghai.

I also went window shopping for interior concepts between meal times.

Tarbar Muslim Restaurant, I need to visit this place, not just gawking in.

Coming from such a small city (or town) like Bergen, and staying for two weeks in these massive cities is actually quite claustrophobic since the sky is blocked out most of the time by buildings. But for the size, it’s not very noisy. Most people ride electric cars and motorbikes which makes it alot less noisier than say, Rome.

Ever watched Blade Runner? Or Fifth Element? Or read Transmetropolitan? This building at the back of the Bund transported me right into some dystopian future scenario.

We have tried to get hold of bikes, but for the city bike solution we had to have a Chinese bank card. We’ve tried to ask around but bike rentals doesn’t seem to be a thing. And we’ve been without internet so couldn’t search for rental bikes eighter. Not just vpn not working, but net gone, 3G and all. Lacking bikes we spend a lot of time underground on the metro, which is effecient, but you don’t get to see much else than just where you pop up. I’m hoping that we’ll get hold of bikes on our next visit. (If Eventyrboka is being launched.)

One brilliant solution to the language barrier has been WhatsApp! When we’ve tried to have something similar to a conversation more than just hello and goodbye, the app let us speak and then translate. Had a few funny outcomes, but without it alot of cool info would be lost on us. In Beijing it was easier to get in touch with people because we had to work closely, and had translators if we got completely stuck. Here we are on our own, and it has been alot more difficult to chat to people like we normally would. We’re trying to pick up some phrases, but mostly it ends up with all of us laughing.

Alleys in Tianzifang. Upstairs in the best window decoration ever is a little retro/redesign shop.

Tibetan restaurant with a little bar window opening up to tre street. I fell completely for these illustrated craft beers. I tried to find my way back here at a later point, but I have a strong suspicion it’s one of those disappearing shops that Terry Pratchett writes about. “I’m sure it was here!”

Monsterboka took me to Yu Gardens. We had good fun.

We have two days left here, and then home to Bergen. We are trying not to go crazy over all the things we won’t be able to see, hoping we can come back with Eventyrboka for a second visit.