oh, and the FOOD in Shanghai!

stuffed lotus root. wow.

The food. Oh my god, the food!

We were taken out to so many beautiful meals we couldn’t believe it!  Stanley, our Ohana-rep man in China ordered at this great place right next to the convention center.  The hits kept coming.

lamb chops from heaven

Really, no way to do justice to the insane yumminess of the food!  One of our favorite things was a spice which made our tongue numb.  No idea what it was, but it was used in green beans and some other dishes with chili, including a fish poached in oil.  The fish came to the table in a large bowl filled to the rim with chilis floating on oil.  The waiter skimmed the chilis off the top, and left the floavorful, tender catfish submerged in  warm oil.  The fish was lifted by slotted spoon into serving bowls, and melted in our mouths.

More, please! Stephanie LOVED the soup!

There was an amazing pork dish, and Stanley taught us how to enjoy it best!  Thinly sliced pork  was served draped over a wooden dowel, clothesline style.  Thinly sliced scallions and a spicy chili paste accompanied the meat, to be rolled inside.  Finally, the bundles were to be dipped in  sauce and devoured.   Don’t take my word for it- see Stanley in action!


Ooooohhhh Yeahhhh!

Shanghai After Hours

Where all the hip kids go!

One night after the trade show we were taken to dinner by Jian and Kelly, Ohana’s distributors.  We had amazing food, including freshwater crabs, and delightful company including Kimo Hussey, David and Sissy Chen and 10 year old wonder Brian Fu.  We passed David’s uke around the table and everyone played a song.  Then we were all wisked across the river from Pudong to Shanghai to play a couple of songs to young uke crazy hipsters in a cafe.  Here is a link to hear Daniel play his Istanbul in Shanghai!

Friends in Shanghai- what is the name of this club?!

Music China in Shanghai

The next day we loaded ourselves into the trade show and got down to business

For four days we played all-killer-no-filler sets on our little corner stage, about 5 a day.  Short and sweet and often.  As soon as the really loud electric guitar soloist (whom we nicknamed “Snake Boy”) was finished we would fire up.  It was incredible to watch the crowd grow around us.  When Daniel soloed on a flamenco bit the ring of men with cameras grew thick.  Then we would do something with crazy voices or animal sounds to catapult the language barrier  and pull people in.  Sometimes if there were children we would get them involved, singing “Twinkle ,Twinkle” in Mandarin and letting them strum my uke for “Little Birdie”.

“I’ve a short time for to be here, and a long time to be gone..”

Guest artist joining us on stage

So many picuture and videos were taken- if ou have any to share PLEASE send them!

We kept ourselves well hydrated, had great lunches…

Bratwurst in China? Danke, Xie xie!

and enjoyed the wild atmosphere which is a trade show.

Yamaha’s booth babes getting their game on

At the end of the first day Stephanie, Daniel and I walked back to the hotel.  The city was alive with commuters and the sunset from the elevated pedestrian bridge where we stopped to buy a kite was irresistable.

and then we got lost.  After trying to get directions we hailed a cab.  We were only about 5 miles off! Famished we descended on an amazing meal at a small local place.  The menu was incredible, and we ate to bursting for about 12 bucks.

You know you want it!

More about food tomorrow! Mmmmmmm!!!!!


As I didn’t realize it until I returned I will share this with you right now: Shanghai is the LARGEST CITY IN THE WORLD with 24 mil residents! Wow.

What an amazing trip!  Stephanie Turkal, Louis Wu, Daniel Ward and I had the time of our lives every minute, even enjoying the marathon flight.  Our layover in Seoul was made more than tolerable by the gorgeous new airport boasting such ameneties as free showers, massage chairs and cultural museums, as well as activities. There were more high-end international leather goods shops then I knew existed!

Stephanie strides through Seoul past Louis V

I got to do an art project, tamp-printing the Korean “alphabet”

The ABCs of Korea

Even the restrooms were swank.  If anyone knows what this is, please let me know!

something you want to ring or want to avoid?

We made it to Shanghai and immediatly set off on a 4 hour walk.

The Great Wall of Flowers, the Bund, Shanghai

I loved the street markets, where the menu was laid out before your eyes.

Doesn’t get any fresher

One of my favorite street foods were the roasted chestnuts, which we all enjoyed as we walked and walked…Take a look on youtube- the streets were vibrant!

We were so worn out that we didn’t even think of taking pictures of the gorgeous organic gourmet meal we ate.  We went bak to the hotel and collapsed, exhausted.

The next day we got up bright and early for the trade show….

Heading to CHINA!

Not in a slow boat, or a beautiful pea green one, but economy class.  The Ohanamobile goes transpacific!

Mug Shots!

Daniel and I are joining Louis Wu (owner) and Stephanie Turkal (office manager) of the Ohana Ukulele Co. at Music China Shanghai, the big trade show in China.  We will be playing in their booth and teaching workshops.  And, no doubt, EATING.  Man, I can’t wait to share the feasts in store!

Our teaching will focus on teaching teachers in China, where ukulele is a very new phenomenom.  We hope that the joy and ease of the little hatchet is not lost in translation!

Last week we stopped in to the Ohana HQ (warehouse) down in Long Beach to drop off our passports and fill out paperwork.  While we were there we made a little music video of  THE OWL & THE PUSSYCAT.  With a little help from our friends… Steph operated my IPhone while everyone else (Louis, Daniel Serna, head tech and Shannan Brown, asst. tech) kept on with their work and were unwitting extras.  Can I tell you one of the things I love about Ohana?  Watch the first few moments of the video and see the Owner, Louis, setting up instruments alongside his techs.  The simplest entry level ukes get a going over.  Everyone there works side by side.  Every time I go there we all sit down and eat lunch together.  It’s like the healthy family.  I guess that’s why Louis named the company “Ohana”, which means “family” in Hawaiian.

In preparation for the show we took some promo pics for a poster.

This time, with a paddle

We met up with John Nyboer  pre-dawn on foggy Sunday morning at a friend’s boat launch on the Venice canals.  John looked at me, incredulous.  “Is that a DIRNDL?” he asked.  To which I countered: “are those WATER SHOES and BOARD SHORTS?”.  Next thing you know I am punting the skiff down the drink and he’s in up to his knees.  If you’ve been to Venice (CA) and seen the canals first hand you are already impressed.  I only wish I had turned the camera around on him! (John also did great pics of our last big McCabes uke workshop in May!)

Speaking of McCabes- Daniel’s got a workshop there scheduled for when we return.  He will be sharing some of his crazy flamenco technique  in a 90 minute clinic called “Rock Your Right Hand” on October 20th at 2 pm.  Ukueles and guitars welcome!  These techniques can be used for all styles of playing, not just flamenco.  Check it out: here is a link to Daniel playing a folk song on ukulele.