"Race You There!"

April 12 - Formula 1 @ Shanghai International Circuit

I have to be honest, I knew nothing (Jon Snow) about the Grand Prix or Formula 1. In fact, I thought they were the same thing! Like a synonym of each other but really, the Grand Prix is the umbrella term applied for certain auto races while F1 is a race for cars specially built to specific rules.

I always knew going to a car race would be really cool, a spectacle of second-hand adrenaline rush and people trying to patiently wait in the stands as the race cars made their way around the huge track. However, I never really took the time to learn about it or find out how long F1 has been a thing. Turns out, this year was their 100th race and they host the racers and their supporters in various locations around the world. It’s very closely followed and fans stick around for a long time since the racers are consistent and their rides never seize to amaze.

Before we entered the Shanghai International Circuit, we stuck around Will-Call and explored the sponsor tents to get more of a feel for the racing culture. There were several types of cars but none were normal cars you would see on the street of course. There was wine tasting, stalls where you would get little souvenirs and the overall energy was high - you could feel the excitement in the air as you heard the race from track.

Once we entered and got to our designated area you could see all the garages, the team of mechanics, the racers, and the media - orchestrating perfection.

Later that night we got the chance to walk the Pit Lane and see what we saw from the stands, up close and personal. It was amazing! To see teams so focused and dedicated to this small, light, yet speedy vehicle, that would take one of the winners past the finish line before everyone else.Obviously, tons of pictures and footage was taken! Who gets to walk so close to that and on the actual race track?!

Next year, I’ll be more prepared for sure. The great thing is that I know names now, where they’re from and who they drive for. Race you there!

"Doin' It for the Throne"

April 15 - Game of Thrones S8 Premier Viewing Party

Our heartbeat has slowed down, sped up, probably stopped at several points and yet here we still are 7 seasons later. Game of Thrones Season 8 is only 6 episodes and I don’t know how I’m personally going to manage after everything is over…Where do I turn?

At least I know for certain that this show will age like fine wine and every time I re-watch it, I’m going to react as if it was the very first time. Well, perhaps it won’t be that deep but I’ll still feel the same betrayal/happiness/anger/excitement because this show just does that to you and you always come back.

We organized a Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier Viewing Party and it was amazing!! Imagine 40 souls in a spacious house, sitting on super comfortable floor chairs, eating Argentinian steak, asparagus & potato salad with wine or beer to choose from. All there doin’ it for the throne!!

Some of us shared theories, fears and expectations. Others needed a little review and recap of past seasons - so we watched the last episode of Season 7.

Finally the episode happened and it was wild to feel the same emotions as everyone! It was like a communal catharsis but enjoyable nonetheless. I don’t know how the most viewed show on the planet is going to end but all I know is that us fans are here to stick through it all so may the Old Gods and the New bless us with this finale.

"Most Expensive Cheese Grater"

April 27 - Isaac Gracie @ VAS Livehouse

After a couple of months of anticipation and rapidly sold out shows, British melancholic poet, Isaac Gracie finally made his Asian debut in Shanghai! Well, to be fair he performed in Beijing the day before coming to Shanghai, but I’m pretty sure nothing can compare to the intimate concert and connection between him and the crowd here at VAS Livehouse.

When I say it was a full house, I mean it was a FULL house. There were lots of beautiful souls standing tightly next to each other, with their phones out recording with one hand and the other touching their chests as they sang along to Gracie.

It seemed that everyone in that room knew all the lyrics to all his music and it was amazing! The vibe was great and I could tell Isaac was pleasantly taken aback at how dedicated and loving his fans were despite it being his first time in China! We were all loving it.

Prior to the performance, my colleague Naomi and I had the opportunity to interview him. He was very nice, laid back and open to answer all of our questions. The funniest response of them all was to our question: What is the best and worst purchase you’ve ever made? He couldn’t pin down the best but the worst was so entertaining. He was in big need of a cheese grater one day and at the time of shopping the only one he could find was £15  - INSANE RIGHT?!

But Isaac Gracie still purchased it! He wasn’t super proud after seeing a £2 cheese grater a couple days later at another shop…still, the most expensive cheese greater makes for a good story when his friends go over to hang out.