Since my last post we have been super busy. We have walked 20 miles a day and have seen a lot more of the expo and the local people. We met up with a girl I met online through the Shanghai Veggie Club who is opening her own vegetarian cafe in downtown Shanghai. It was amazing to see the hardships of life in Shanghai, being vegan in China, food and healthy options, and being a women entrepreneur here too.
We met up at Annamaya, a vegan restaurant walking distance from Ali's place on Fuxing Lu (review below). We met another women entrepreneur, Kazu, and we learned a ton about what is not available here when it concerns items I cook with everyday. Vegan and healthy foods need to purchased on Chinese ebay or in Kazu's case when she travels back to Japan! This is something China needs to think about desperately. We found that it is also really hard to find brown rice when they harvest it in China too. They export a lot of their products to western countries like the US and they forget about their own people and only allow them to purchase brown rice if it is re-imported!
The next day, we went shopping and cooking with our new friend. We went to the City Shop and got to see the only store that imports products from around the world so the Chinese have a chance at some higher quality or vegetarian/organic options. The prices were about 5x what they are in the states and they still did not have things I purchase at Mother's market or Whole Foods by far. It was mostly looking like foods you would find in a Cost Plus World Market food section but overpriced. After City Shop we headed to the open market which was across the street from the future cafe. There was piles of homemade tofu and seitan which was nice and there were tons of vegetables that looked like we were in a farmer's market.
We decided to make Babycakes' vegan pumpkin muffins together because most of the items were attainable, and I had brought agave with me. We cooked in the cafe that is soon to be opened. The Chinese don't usually have full sized ovens in their homes so we worked with two different toaster ovens, but it worked well and they came out tasty, and made me feel at home again.
Two friends of the girl came by and we got to talk to more locals about the expo and life in Shanghai. Their English was also excellent and everyone we have met is like them and super nice and better at English than I would think.
That night we planned on heading to the expo, but we were exhausted again and passed out at 5pm!