Saturday, October 13, 2012

Changsha's Autumn Island Cafe for All

Yesterday in Changsha, Hunan province, I met Mr. Li:

man wearing a baseball cap and holding a fishing rod in Changsha, China

What most caught my attention was not his proudly displayed recent catch but his baseball cap. It is rather rare to see someone in China wearing the Baltimore Orioles logo. I learned that his cousin from the US had given him the hat as a gift. He seemed amused to learn that it represented a baseball team in the city where I had previously lived.

After learning a bit about each other, he was eager to introduce me to his soon-to-be-open cafe:

inside a cafe on Autumn Island in Changsha's LIeshi Park

It includes a room for karaoke and he has plans for the cafe to also serve as an "English corner" where English can be practiced.

For reasons not clear to me, during our conversation about the cafe he suddenly brought up the dispute between China and Japan over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands. He said that there was great tension between the two countries and that the islands had been part of China since ancient times. Thinking about the bar in Changsha which forbids Japanese from entering, I asked him, "Can Japanese people come to this cafe?" Without hesitation he said "Yes! Chinese people and Japanese people are friends! The problem is between the governments."

So, I am happy to announce that Mr. Li's cafe can be found on the small and peaceful Autumn Island (秋岛) in Changsha's Lieshi Park (烈士公园). It should be open sometime this weekend. Most importantly, all are welcome.


  1. The Fuzhou market was similar but much smaller. The strangest thing I ever saw was a highly abridged copy of Mein Kamph written in Mandarin.

    Oh yes, nature study books of Chinese women and the occasional flick knife stall.

    1. I'm assuming this is about the previous post... It's fascinating what can be found at such markets.