Thursday, October 31, 2013


Sometimes it's the simplest of days which makes life here in Shanghai a great life.

Yesterday, the last day of October, the sun was shining, it was a comfortable 22c, and the buildings were twinkling in the sun.

I set of to the wet market to pick up my weekend collection of fruit and veg. I swear there was a spring in my step! As I reached the entrance to the our building, there was a man sitting sharpening knives on a wheel with a stone. There was quite a queue, so I reckoned he must be good. On my return from the market I packed up 3 of my favourite knives, all in need of sharpening, and headed back to join the queue, which luckily was now down to one!

He was only too happy to have his photograph taken, and smiled the whole time he was working. Obviously this was a man who enjoyed his work. I did encounter one problem, he spoke Shanghainese, and not Mandarin, which makes any small communication we may have been able to make, now impossible. Even the numbers are different. But a smile goes a long way and I did end up with 3 beautifully sharp knives. Even the little nicks evened out. I couldn't wait to try them out, to get chopping my newly bought vegetables.

Oh boy, they were sharp. I know they say you only ever cut yourself on a blunt knife, but I am discarding this thought, and being very careful. What a difference. Hope I see him again soon and can get all my knives sharpened.

As I said, a lovely, but very simple day. A day that made me happy to be here in Shanghai.


  1. Thanks for such a happy posting - it's been a bit of grey day here. This reminded me of the time I was persuaded to take some kitchen knives to an old man who'd been sharpening knives for more years than anyone could remember. I was told that my knives would be extraordinary afterwards. That was sort of true - they were completely ruined. Oh well, next time I'll look for a queue.

  2. A great post; it reminded me of the man on the bike who used to come round sharpening knives, hedge clippers etc in Wales when I was young. At least he didn't ruin the knives Phil!