Vertical Horizons

Hello cHEwY gum gums

I’ve had a fun time in China. If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ll see me eat a lot of burgers, visiting schools and doing some sightseeing with my travelling companion, Donburi.

But really, I go on these cHEwY tours to meet keen and young readers in schools. I went a few international and local schools scattered around Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macau. What struck me was how these schools are built like their city surroundings…they’re in tall buildings.

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Some of these schools are like fifteen floors up, and it was amusing seeing these kindy kids, struggling to go over stairs to their class on the fourth floor.

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Or visiting their playgrounds that are on the rooftop or squeezed onto a playing area that overlooks the city landscape. I often wonder if I could ever live in a tall skyscrapper in a bustling city like Hong Kong and Shanghai. Someone says that they just get used to living in the sky. I guess that’s a cool way to say it hehe.

I may write a story about a kid who used to live in one of these places, adjusting to life in Australia, where schools are much more closer to the ground. It’s just one of those observations that I carry as a writer, and who knows, it may sprout to an interesting story some day…

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Anyhoo, I made a few author and illustrator friends from these fab festivals, the HK Young Readers festival and the Script Road festival in Macau. I got to catch up with Jennie Orchard and Sarah Davis, both who I adore for their work with SCBWI and Room to Read too.

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Macau is a cool mix of old-school Portuguese and modern Chinese culture, with a good mix of glitter thrown in. What a neat island! I never thought that there would be people living there, but I was wrong. Macau is more than just a tourist destination, it’s a thriving place where there are stories hidden down lanes and off the track places. Perhaps I’ll return to explore more of it soon 🙂

In the meantime, I’m at the airport reading to board a plane to Gold Coast, for the Somerset Literature festival…wow oh wow, what a fun week it’s going to be. Stay tuned hehe


About the author

I'm an author, stand-up comedian and teacher. My books include Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd, Punchlines and The Other Christy. I'm a massive Nintendo fan and love eating burgers. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @oliverwinfree

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