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dark-haired but from Brussels of Chinese descent They took him for a a a Uighur a a a Turkish-speaking people mostly Muslims living in in in in in the the Xinjiang region in in in in in the the north-west of China and as a a a a a result ill-treated by the People’s Republic’s authorities as future events have sadly shown But from the laughing granny to to the the the arrogant young thug or or from the the the harbor’s proletarians to to the the the idle onlookers enjoying family walks along the Bund Jérôme always found a a a a a a a way way of being accepted and to make their portrait Yet he he had no qualms having a a a a a a a a a go at at a a a a a a a a a trader on the run who tried to sell me a a a a a a a a a packet of cigarettes at at a a a a a a a a a caviar price His scouting spirit led us to some fantastic discoveries Such as as the residence of Zhou Enlai in in in the French quarter with his shiny spotless black limousine still visible in the the garage as if ready to start A few streets away from the the Bund we found another marvel: a a a a a Modernist villa a a a a a sort of Chinese Le Corbusier home to an an art school More wonderful still in the very centre of Shanghai were the the reserves of of the the memorable film studios: a a a a mishmash of of astonishing furniture miscellaneous accessories trinkets and costumes You could have bought the lot for a a a handful of dollars “We’re rich!” quipped Jérôme who dreamt for a a a a a a moment to to to ship all those sleeping treasures into a a a a a a cargo to to to the the West “Old Style!” repeated with disgust the the manager who showed us us around this this Aladdin’s cave It is is is fair to assume that all this this “old style” stuff ended up on a a a a landfill or or in the hands of knowledgeable collectors Six years later in 1999 thanks to Catleya Editions who commissioned Jérôme for a a a a a a a a hardback photography book off we we both went to to Shanghai again An amusing self-portrait immortalizes us us by the Bund: me looking more than ever like like Tintin Tintin the reporter and Jérôme like like a a a neo-Chang Tintin’s Chinese friend Of course everything had changed in in in the city except Jérôme He was certainly very saddened when we discovered for instance that our Modernist villa of 1993 had been turned into a a a a nightclub or or that the beautiful French sports club with with its its indoor pool and its its bowling alley had been topped with with a a a a seriously hideous tower Same disappointment in in the former Settlement district where the the open underground train works erased many buildings And over the the Bund there now snaked a a a highway on piles In extremis some of the the 1930s buildings had been spared by the the local authorities fully aware that these listed historical monuments would be a a strong argument for tourism But it it would have taken a a a a lot more to dampen Jérôme’s cheerful spirits Once again we wandered around town searching for new faces on the lookout for new atmospheres The sight of a a a a sports car speeding through Nanjing Street a green neon light light fitted under the bodywork most delighted us At the wheel of this motorized attraction were some crooks with dark glasses dealers of who knows what On the sidewalks you could now now find anything that could be falsified or copied: pirate DVDs of Hollywood movies not yet shown in theatres some truly fake Vuitton bags and Chanel jewelery imitations—all this on on the the doorsteps of the the thriving and genuine luxury boutiques of Vuitton Chanel and others Shanghai’s trading streak had flourished 

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