Say hello to the awsomely informative Shanghai City Girl in this week's Meet The Bloggers interview.
Tell us a bit about Gosia
I am 32 and come from Poland,Krakow. I have master's in Applied Psychology but actually most of my whole working life has been related to linguistics, teaching language and developing newteaching methods. Currently I am working at middle school where we are developing MYP IB program.It is exciting to be a part of it and helping students transform from the passive receivers of information to internationally minded IB learners who construct their own knowledge and learn how to use their potential in a creative way. I am also a freelance writer, however recently I have been more focused on developing my own blog than writing for others. China is my 4th country where I work and live, after Poland, Germany, Us – Alaska. I came to China to participate in cultural exchange program and study Chinese as the Cultural Ambassador, but I fell in love with Shanghai which became my home. October 15 will be my 3rd anniversary of the day when I arrived at Shanghai Railway Station after a 37 – hour train ride from Chengdu, in a t-shirt, sweatpants and with one suitcase. And the life here has been an amazing rollercoaster of unpredictable, crazy moments, but I am grateful for every single day.
Tell us a bit about Shanghai City Girl and how the blog was ”born”
Shanghai City Girl is a lifestyle blog for all the hardworking girls and women 'on - the - go' in Shanghai ( but not only!),who want to enjoy their life in Shanghai as much as possible without spending their whole monthly salary on it. Shanghai City Girl's goals are : give them tips about affordable beauty and health solution, find great deals/bargains, help learn Mandarin slang in a fun way as well asinspire, motivate and encourage through interviews with women from all over the world who have already succeeded in Shanghai/China. I would say it was born 'gradually'. At first my friend who has his own blog – Shanghai Hunter – asked me ifI would like to contribute to his blog and write a weekly series about Chinese expressions, since he knew I had been studying Chinese for quite some time already then. It quickly turned out that people got hooked on Found in translation ( that's how I called it) – short stories aboutvarious slang expressions usually explained through examples from my or my friends' lives. My friends, especially Yanninck – Shanghai Hunter - encouraged me 'See , people love your style, you should start your own blog and write more'. So I decided I would like to create a blog dedicated mainly to women ( although I have quite a few male followers). Shanghai used to be more ofa 'men's world' when I came here in 2012, but there are more and more girls who work hard for their Mao ye – yes but also want to enjoy this city to the full. However I got to know some who didn't have so much adapting experience or were not as lucky as me to meet so many people making their 'blending' so easy. I have been super blessed in China from the very beginning – on day 1 I met my unique friend Stef who had been in China 6 months alreadyliving in Beijing, doing the same exchange program, and then in Shanghai I had my amazing Chinese host mum Coco and met my other wonderful best friend – Ana. Without their invaluable support, help and advice my life here would not be the same .That's why I felt like I would like to 'give it back' to other girls coming here for their 'China dream'.
Blogging is fun! What’s the most fun part about blogging in Shanghai (Through your whole Shanghai Blogging ”career”)?
Definitely attending various events you get to attend as a part of media panel – beauty workshops, presentations of new companies You meet all those super creative people from all over the world and very often you are the very first person who sees/tests their product
Blogging can be challenging! How do you keep yourself motivated to keep up the blogging?
First of all I simply love it and it just makes me happy. Once you start getting feedback from people out there who are your readers, who even ask to meet you personally, you feel like you can't disappoint them, because they are waiting for your next post . Well, especially with Found in translation, it usually goes out weekly, and I know that people are waiting on Mondays to learn the new expression and hear the new story. It even got to this point that my colleagues got addicted and every time the post was delayed on Monday, they would ask me 'Gosia, where is the new episode, I am waiting! What is it about this time?!' So you just feel this exciting responsibility, that you are creating something that makes people smile and helps them understand something new. And I have been receiving emails from my friends and even former colleagues and former bosses from US telling me that they follow the blog and learn so much about China thanks to the series. Last month one of my Polish friends emailed me saying that my blog inspired her to start her own. She has been on her maternity leave for quite a while, but wanted to do something else than looking after her son. Although she loves him very much and he is super adorable, future heartbreaker. So she created a blog for young moms in Krakow about fun places to spend time at with your child. It was so rewarding and at the same time extremely motivating for me. You may not realize how influential your blog can be, but once you do, it gives you this energy boost to do your best.
If someone wants to start a new blog in Shanghai, what’s your suggestion for topic - What’s missing on Shanghai’s blogging scene?
I think actually what my friend came up with. I had another friend here who gave birth to her first child in Shanghai last year. And I remember actually I was encouraging her to start a blog for young moms to get together and exchange information about their experience, advice, mom and child-friendly places in the city. Places and activities to go together with your kid in different weather, maybe restaurants or cafes that are child-friendly.
What’s your best advice to someone who wants to start a blog in Shanghai?
"Just do it’. Simple. And if you need advice, just browse for blogs or simply contact any blogger through Shanghai Bloggers app. All these people are awesome – I am sure they will be more than willing to share their experience. Or you can also organize Bonapp or join one of the Bonapp/Shanghai Bloggers meets. And for sheer blogging – in Shanghai and anywhere else I recommend reading this
What’s the coolest Chinese expression you know?
Ashh, it is soo difficult to choose, because they are all awesome and I always fall in love with each new one I describe for the next Found in translation. But if I REALLY have to select one, I think one of my top favourite is土豪 - tǔ háo – a term that describes freshly rich Chinese people with no taste ( usually from the countryside - 土 means mud).The ones who became insanely rich after ’Gaige Kaifang ’ – the time when Deng Xiaoping openeded China for the rest of the world.They most probably opened the factories for production ofanything conceivable that laowais wanted to manufacture and in that way became rich overnight.However, they were not very well educated and didn’t have time to develop good taste.So you can recognize them easily by donning outfits like t – shirt covered with LV logo plus Chanel print all over the pants, driving pink Maserati. Classic tǔ háo
Thank you so much Shanghai City Girl!
Later this week we'll be back with her Top 3 funniest and weirdest situations in Shanghai so STAY TUNED and don't forget to visit the Shanghai City Girl Blog!