Caroline is Back to Shanghai

One of my most active reader, Caroline, recorded her trip back to Shanghai. It is a series of interesting posts. Thanks Caroline for sharing the experience with us. I’d like to quote it here.

May 09, 2003 Caroline heard of the quarantine rule and was pretty worried

More bad news, I am in Hong Kong right now, and am planning on coming back to Shanghai next Wednesday, and the Shanghai Health Bureau put out a notice saying that people returning from SARS affected areas HAVE to be quarantined for 2 weeks! Locked up in my own home for 2 weeks! What am I going to do? They are planning on sending health officials from my xiao qu to take my temperature twice a day!

May 14, 2003 Caroline returned to Shanghai

I am back in Shanghai. At the Hong Kong airport my temperature was taken before I got on to the airplane. After the plane landed at the Shanghai airport, some health worker came on to the plane and took all our temperatures. Then we were let off the plane. At the health checkpoint, out temperatures were taken again.

When I got back to my xiao qu, I went to register myself, and my temperature was taken again. Then I was told to stay put in my home until the 27th.

What a bummer! Let’s hope SARS will be history soon!

May 15, 2003 annie asked how the quarantine will happen

hi caroline,

glad u got back safely! where did u go register? how did you know where to go? who told you to go where? are they bringing you food to eat? are ppl coming to check your temperatures everyday???

take care!!!

still in hk,


May 15, 2003 Caroline described the measures in her xiao qu

Hi Annie, the local qu wei hui people were pounding on my door one day before I arrived back in Shanghai, asking my ayi whether anyone has gone or is back from SARS infected area. So I decided to turn myself in before they execute me! :-)

Dr. Wu came to take my temperature this morning, but I will call her everyday at 10am and 2pm to tell her my body temperature. Someone from the qu wei hui called me at 11am to see whether I needed anything (and probably see whether I have sneaked out of the house). So I am laying low.

It is very true. In many residential area (xiao qu), the resident committee, which is the lowest level of government organization and commonly formed by retired old ladies, is working very actively to investigate the coming and leaving people in the area. They almost know everything. There is debat that whether they will violent the privacy of the residents. :-)

In my area, the telephone number of the residential committee has been posted everywhere and asking people to register at the committee upon returning to Shanghai.

If you are interested in how a short trip will look like, check Dr. Irons’ great article Flight to Shanghai: A Journey in the Plague Year

About Caroline

Caroline owns a website at and two pottery workshops.

The Fringe, 2 Lower Albert Road, Central, Hong Kong SAR
Tel: (852) 2525 7949 Fax: (852) 2525-7901

2nd Floor 220 Taikang Lu, Shanghai 200025, PRC
Tel: (86) 21 6445-0902 Fax: (86) 21 6445 0937

Taikang road is just at the center of Shanghai, near the south-north elevated highway.


Check out Caroline’s exhibitions.

I am very interested in the workshop and have decided to visit the workshop. I mean after Caroline get out of her quarantine period and comes back to the workshop. She also offers pottery class. I will describe my experience there and share with you. Maybe Caroline also have something to tell you about her wonderful potter workshop too.

Caroline is also the top commenter of the month of April 2003


21 thoughts on “Caroline is Back to Shanghai

  1. caroline and jianshuo,

    thanks for all the info!!!

    caroline, your website looks VERY interesting. now that i am going to be living in Hong Kong, will definitely go and check it out… (at the Fringe!!!)

    i will be flying into Shanghai on Monday. I am no longer going as a resident, cuz now i have a visitor’s visa!I am only planning to stay for 2 days. So, hopefully the residential committee will let me move out of my apartment. we’ll see.

    Hope everyone is keeping up ok.

  2. Do you know if someone is locked up for 4 days in a room they will go crazy?? hahaha! So far I am not going nuts yet. I bought 3 yoga tapes to stay healthy, catching up on all the reading I was going to do but never had time, check email 100 times a day, planting herbs, flowers weeding, mowing and cleaning.

    News from Sina and other sources is that if you deliberately go out while being quarantined and had SARS and spread it to others and the others die from it, then you will be executed.

    I will be thinking about that!

    Have a good trip Annie, and come back soon!

  3. sounds healthy caroline! yoga.. hmm.. interesting. well, its a good thing you have internet access and keeping in touch with the real world. hehehe..

    when i go back to shanghai, i will only be there for 3 days just to pack up my things and get out of the city. So i really hope that things won’t get complicated regarding the residential committee…

    i love shanghai, but the thing i am dreading the most is not having internet access access while i am there, boo hoo hoo.. are the internet cafes (wangba) still open in shanghai?

  4. ooh and i almost forgot to mention!!! CONGRATS to caroline! top commenter of the month ay? hee hee hee…

  5. Annie, Internet cafes are still open here in Shanghai. So drop us a note when you return to Shanghai – if you are not forced to be quarantined.

    Annie, you know, you may be the top commenter of this month – the new award will release on June 1.

  6. Thank goodness I have internet access from my own home, adsl! Otherwise you will see a mad woman in the streets at the end of the month.

    Lots of internet cafes opened in Shanghai, but remember to bring your mask!

    By the way, news today is that the qu wei hui sent a man with a full SARS protective gear on and wanted to come into my house and spray everything. I told them I have been doing a lot of bleach cleaning and there was no need to do that. Thanks. The old lady across from me asked the man to go do her home instead. So everyone was happy in the end.

  7. Caroline:

    Yoga started to become quite popular in HK last summer. Is it catching on in Shanghai yet? Has anyone tried hot room yoga yet?

    About executing quarantine breaker…it really take places like China to make these kinds of laws — laws that are never meant to be enforeced (hopefully…) but work more as a deterrent against people breaking quarantine. :-)

    Here is a news clipping on the law, and the story that might have triggered it.

    China Threatens to Execute SARS Spreaders (16 May 2003)

    Summary — China has threatened to execute or jail for life anyone who deliberately spreads the killer SARS virus. People who violate quarantines and spread the virus can be imprisoned for up to seven years, and those who cause death or serious injury by “deliberately spreading” the virus can be sentenced to prison terms of 10 years to life or could face execution.

    Meanwhile, a doctor carrying SARS was detained for allegedly breaking quarantine and starting an outbreak that infected more than 100 people. Authorities in the northern Chinese city of Linha are preparing to charge Dr. Li Song with violating infectious disease law. Li was infected with SARS while attending a training program in Beijing, but returned to Linhe after receiving only basic treatment in the capital. Li infected family members and the virus eventually spread to 102 people, including 23 medical staff. Li escaped with his wife from their isolation ward quarantine quarters. The two were caught hours later wandering city streets and returned to hospital. After his father died of SARS, Li forbade workers to remove the body, attacked doctors and nurses and smashed hospital equipment.

  8. Yoga is getting big in Shanghai, but I have yet to find someone as good as the yogi I was practicing with in Hong Kong. So I got some good CD’s and practice at home.

    I am going crazy in the house! 10 more days to go!!!

  9. Yes. There is just 10 more days, Caroline. It must be an memorable experience for you – I have never been locked up in a room for more than 14 days before.

  10. I did yoga until the DVD machine jammed today! haha!

    The qu wei hui doctor thanked me for being cooperative today! I asked her when I can get out and she told me to hang in there.

    Actually I ran up and down the stairs and took my temperature, it was 37.2 celcius, and the doctor told me to retake the temp otherwise they will have to come and check me into a hospital! I came down later in the day. whew!

    No sign of my flowers budding! I am literally watching the grass grow!

  11. THIS IS NOT TO POST. A note to Caroline: Hi Caroline, We are in Vietnam now after having left Shanghai over a month ago. Your opening for your Russian painter was the highlight of our stay there. We have since been to Thailand, Nepal, and India and don’t miss San Bao’s food at all.

    I was wondering if you had any recommendation for a decent, but not TOO expense place to stay in Hong Kong for one night. We will be leaving for the U.S. on Christmas day and would like to get a short look at HKG.

    We hope all is well with you and all the great people we met through you.

    Take care,

    Judi Paul and Daniel Frachon

  12. Hi Caroline and other yoga buffs in Shanghai & HK!

    Sorry to intrude on your private weblogs, but I’m just interested to know if you still practise yoga in Shanghai/HK and if so, where? And Caroline, out of curiosity, who was the yoga teacher you were studying with in HK that you liked so much? My name is Janet, and I’ve been practising yoga in HK and elsewhere around the world for 3 years now. I practise mostly at Yogalimbs in HK. I am looking for studios in Shanghai that might be interested in hiring my boyfriend, who is an experienced Astanga practitioner and instructor with an extensive training and teaching background.



  13. Anybody know what Internet Cafe I can plug my laptop in? I’m touring the city and staying in Mayfair Hotel, the internet is so expensive there 4 kuai/minute! So I went to this cafe called Highland nearby instead.

    How about Wi-fi? Where do I buy the wi-fi prepaid card? or is there any free wifi zones here?

  14. Does anyone here practise yoga in Beijing. I’m going to be visting there shortly for a few months & was wondering if anyone has recommendations on a Yoga studio? I prefer gentle Hatha Yoga

    A friend recommended Hui Lan Yoga ( — for one because their instructors speak English. Any one has any experience with their studio & the teachers?

    Sorry for this off the topic post. Any other places Yoga in China is discussed (in English)?

  15. Cool Website.I was just trying to look for a nice yoga place here in Shanghai.

    Can anyone here recommand a good place to go?

    BTW, i am just a beginner with no experience at all.

  16. Hey people, just wondering where is a good yoga place here in shanghai.. Im the same these people here. I’m wondering where they are located.

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