I was half-way into my second stay in Shanghai. I was staying at the Ibis Hotel in the Shanghai Old Town close to the homes of several members of the Li family. Judy had asked me to return the housekeys for our home in Egerton Gardens to her. I was looking in the extensive shopping area of the Old Town for a padded envelope for posting them back to her when a young woman asked me in passable English if she could help me. I was glad to have help as until then, I had been more successful in finding padded bras than padded envelopes. Describing a padded envelope proved difficult and our combined efforts were equally unsuccessful. We went for a meal instead, in a small backstreet restaurant serving excellent food. The first few images show that event.

Her name was Alice. She was/is a primary school English teacher. We visited this restaurant again several times and others during the few remaining weeks of the old year including a subdued Christmas Day, until I departed Shanghai for my return flight from Beijing shortly before New Year’s day, 2010/2011.

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