Acrobatics to buy food in Shanghai, today (photo Reuters/Aly Song)
While in Europe people are abandoning masks, green passes and the pandemic-fear, there’s a corner of the planet where the situation is even worse than the malefic outbreak of early 2020. We’re talking of China and, in this moment, of two important cities: Shanghai and Beijing. The former is experiencing a strong lockdown since late March; Beijing has instead entered this whirlwind in late April. This resulted in closed restaurants, hotels in precarious balance, products stuck in containers on ships outside the ports for weeks and the stories of many people who were caught off guard while they were running their everyday life. Stories sometimes almost tragic, sometimes funny, stories of people who are inventing a new life and of others who have found the opportunity to help others.
Focusing on the restaurant industry, the record of bad luck goes to Claudio Prataviera. He’s a lively and fun man from Torino, restaurant manager at The Fellas, a famous meeting point for Italians in Shanghai, owned by an Italian group with outposts from Bali to Boracay, and China (what with cocktail-bars and restaurants). On the 26th of March he was getting ready to go on holiday on the beaches of Sanya, on the island of Hainan. The company had awarded him to get some fresh air away from Shanghai where infections were spreading. He took the ritual test before taking a flight. He came home to prepare his luggage. The morning of his departure, a call: «You’re positive. Prepare your bags, we’re taking you to the hospital».
Claudio Prataviera, The Fellas, Shanghai
Mauro Aloisio, Niko Romito, Bulgari Shanghai
Andrea Botti, BellaVita Bistro, Shanghai
Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso
Tasty reports from China and the Far East from our collaborator Claudio Grillenzoni
A journalist with the bad habit of xenophilia (natural, he's a Germanist) and food (he's from Modena ), he now lives a happy life in China, in Shanghai, building connections between East and West