WOW Member Feature : Anne MS

To honor our WOW-member Anne who created this feature, this month will be about her and her retrospective of Wuhan. After nearly three years in Wuhan she moved back to Paris this summer ;-( This quirky and beautiful mommy loves food, cooking (and she is gooood!), blogging/writing, music, performance arts and basically dabbling in mini-adventures with her husband and their 3 year old Noemie. Back in Manila she worked as a marketing manager in the music buisness and her writing skills will certainly be missed at WOW!! Still we hope you will enjoy this read and come back for the next 😉

– Celine

Nationality: Philippines

What was your first impression of the city? Everything seemed very extreme to me : the striking mix of modern architecture and the old; the countless, unoccupied residential towers; massive massage spas and grandiose restaurants, the taxis that maneuver like race cars and its very flavorful /spicy food!

What was your last impression of the city? Wuhan will always leave a lasting mark on my life and my family’s. After passing the 3-month grace period of adapting to its quirky ways, the city – its greenery, skyline decked with night kites, the breathtaking Yangtze and its bridges, the FOOD, and its loyal people – captured our hearts! We can’t wait to return, see its new developments and repay the city a worthy visit!

What did you love about Hankou? Wuhan Tiandi is the reason we chose to live in Hankou. I thank its well-maintained high-rise residences and open air commercial/lifestyle center for giving me my daily dose of ( happy) sanity. It’s cleanliness and range of delicious restaurants and food stalls are unbeatable. Hankou also has a gorgeous Bund that houses my favorite– Beach Park. I spent almost every  morning with my little girl bird-watching and “hanging around ” the locals who exercise, sing, dance, fly kites, do Taichi and take photos of non-Chinese looking babies– yes, Noemie included . And just facing the Bund is the strip of remaining facades and buildings that were built during the foreign concession. This area is a pleasant walk down Wuhan’s history with its foreign ties with the French, Americans, British, Russians and the Japanese .

If one of your friends would now move to Wuhan, how would you help to prepare her?Ultimately, I would advise her to connect with the WOW members ASAP and attend all their activities. Be active! Through WOW, I’ve met the best of friends who were always supportive and willing to lend a helping hand ( you know who you are, ladies! thank you! ). I believe the best way to discover and adapt to a new city is to surround yourself with like-minded people whose tips and recos you can trust. And for the last 2  important points, I would tell my friend to continually be OPEN-MINDED and make friends with locals!Cite an experience which made you say to yourself—Only in Wuhan…My whole 2-year stay in the city was an ” Only in Wuhan ” experience. I’m truly blessed to have undergone this opportunity with my family. 🙂How did you spend your last days in Wuhan? Eating my favorite local dishes — fresh noodle house in Wuhan Tiandi (forgot the name but it’s in front of the cash distributer) and lotus root, shopping for memorable Chinese products..and getting massages from Dr WU (the best acupressure therapist) and facials in DECLEOR Spa. I had to keep the Mommy happy and pampered. 🙂

What was your way to relax from the hassle of the city? The same way I spent my last few days in wuhan- eating around Tiandi, strolling around beach and Jiefang Park, massages and facials galore!

How did you experience the Chinese holidays? My best experience of the Chinese holidays was specifically my first Mid-Autumn Festival (pre-china days, I only knew it as Mooncake festival) in 2010. I had no idea how significant and sentimental this occasion was  for the Chinese family. Stepping out of our hotel passed 8pm to be greeted by an atmosphere so convivial and familial was such a surprise! My family and I walked along beach park, happy to be spectators to this special atmosphere: kids playing Chinese games, families taking a stroll after the traditional dinner of steamed dumplings, the ever-so-present night kites flying so high, the bright full moon, and the group dancing (jazz to folk dance!) and singing.

Living in Wuhan has made me… love China and appreciate it for what it is – a country with an extreme abundance of culture and history ..and amazing food!!

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