Friday, September 30, 2016

Go With Me: Red (White, and Blue) Flags in Mudanjiang

Tomorrow is the National Day of the People's Republic of China. And like in much of China, Chinese flags are plentiful in Mudanjiang, including at Culture Square. One flag on an electric scooter parked outside of People's Park especially caught my attention today.

electric scooter with an American flag and "go with me" design with a Chinese flag flying on it in Mudanjiang, China

I have seen small Chinese flags flying on scooters. I have seen American flag designs on scooters elsewhere in China. But I don't recall having ever seen them together before.

I don't know if the flag was added for tomorrow's holiday or is a regular feature. Given the clear American theme, I wondered if the owner of the scooter added the Chinese flag to avoid questions about their patriotism.

Below are two more photos showing the fuller design on the scooter. For me, the mix of flags is a reminder that national symbols can be displayed for different reasons.

electric scooter with an American flag and "go with me" design with a Chinese flag flying on it in Mudanjiang, China

electric scooter with an American flag and "go with me" design with a Chinese flag flying on it in Mudanjiang, China

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Red Flags Briefly Appear in Mudanjiang

Yesterday at the central Culture Square (文化广场) in Mudanjiang, I was reminded that the National Day of the People's Republic of China is approaching.

Chinese and red flags surrounding the Guomao Shopping Center (国贸商城) at Culture Square (文化广场) in Mudanjiang, China

Curiously, almost all of the Chinese and plain red flags surrounding the main entrance to the underground Guomao Shopping Center (国贸商城) were gone today. Only a few on top of its main sign (not seen in the above photo) remained.

National Day will begin October 1 regardless though. And some cities not very far away will soon see hotel rates quadrupling in the holiday spirit.

UPDATE: An explanation for the disappearing (and later reappearing) flags here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A Brief Disturbance in the Peace at People's Park in Mudanjiang

Especially for those who feel they need a break from news and analysis about the presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the U.S., here is a photo of another "debate" which recently occurred.

Heated argument between two men at People's Park in Mudanjiang, China

A man on the left side of the photo was pulled away while the man in the center of the photo wearing a white shirt did his best to have the last word. I noticed the heated dispute at its end and have no idea what caused it. I doubt it related to U.S. presidential politics though, since the setting was a park, almost all of which was more peaceful, rather far away from the U.S.

Mudanjiang in China's Heilongjiang province is also far away from the two cities featured in many recent posts — Macau and Zhuhai. More about Mudanjiang and other locations in Northeast China, otherwise known as Dongbei, later. And more about Macau, Zhuhai, and other topics as well. Hopefully that won't anger anybody.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Chinese Man Unleashes the Great Running Faucet in Japan

Although anti-Japanese attitudes are common in China, many Chinese travel to Japan every year for tourism or business. Some will even go there during a Victory Over Japan holiday.

But who knows how many people do this:
Chinese pingpong champion Wang Nan says her husband was right to leave the faucet running in a Japanese hotel to waste water as revenge over Japan for invading China 85 years ago.

“It was really satisfying to keep the water running in a Japanese hotel,” the husband gleefully posted on the Chinese microblog Weibo.
In response, Adam Minter went with "Revenge just isn't what it used to be ...". Read the full article on The Asahi Shimbun for the reactions that show not everybody in China was impressed with this act of water either.

No word yet if the man also left the mini fridge door open.

Monday, September 19, 2016

View of Macau and Zhuhai from Above Avenida da Ponte da Amizade

One more cross-border view — this photo taken from a pedestrian bridge over Avenida da Ponte da Amizade in Macau:

Avenida da Ponte da Amizade in Macau and Zhuhai in the background

The tall buildings next to the road can be seen in the previous post's photo. The buildings much farther away in the background are across the border in Zhuhai and near where I took the earlier photo.

The next photos I share taken from the area here and before won't feature the two neighboring cities, but instead some new bridges and artificial islands.

View of Zhuhai and Macau from Lovers' Lane

To complement the recent photos taken in Macau which show the neighboring city Zhuhai on the other side of a body of water, here is a photo taken at the popular Lovers' Lane in Zhuhai which shows Macau on the other side of another body of water:

People look at Macau from Lovers' Lane in Zhuhai, China

One notable aspect of the photo are the cranes towering over the under-construction building on the far right in Zhuhai and the buildings with greenish scaffolding left of center in Macau. The change in Macau's skyline is evident when comparing this photo to a couple of photos taken from a similar vantage point shared in a post from four years ago about the border between Zhuhai and Macau.

There is another notable change, though it is more difficult to see in the photo. Near Macau and running roughly parallel to its shoreline, there is now a land bridge. It doesn't look like much, but it is an important part of an extensive series of bridges, tunnels, and artificial islands under construction which will connect Zhuhai and Macau to Hong Kong across the Pearl River Estuary. More about that massive, expensive, and delayed project and how it has changed views from both Zhuhai and Macau later.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Views of Macau and Zhuhai from Fort Monte

For readers relatively new to this blog, I want to highlight some posts from previous years about the border between Zhuhai, a city in Guangdong province, and Macau, one of China's two Special Administrative Regions. Posts covered topics including mainland Chinese who visit Zhuhai but don't have the special permit they need to enter Macau, the fences and walls separating the cities, a comparison of waterside walkways with views (which have since significantly changed) of the other city, and the grey market (which appears to have since evolved as well) that flows across the border.

To add to the series of posts, below are several photos taken from Macau's historical Monte Fort, in order facing approximately northwest, west, and southwest. They capture Macau in the foreground and Zhuhai towards the background. Water separates the cities in the photos, though it is isn't visible in all places. For example, the tall, slender building on the far left side of the last photo is in Zhuhai (more about it another day).

When I am in the heart of Macau, Zhuhai often feels like it is a world away. Views such as these remind me of how close it remains, as long as I have my passport and Chinese visa.

View of Macau and Zhuhai facing northwest from Monte Fort

View of Macau and Zhuhai facing west from Monte Fort

View of Macau and Zhuhai facing southwest from Monte Fort

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

More Mid-Autumn Festival Lanterns in Macau

Tomorrow is the Mid-Autumn Festival. So here are photos of holiday lanterns, sans dinosaurs or Hello Kitty, from two familiar places for this blog in Macau.

Mid-Autumn Festival lantern display at Portas do Cerco in Macau
Portas do Cerco

Mid-Autumn Festival lantern display at Largo do Senado in Macau
Largo do Senado

And that is it for Mid-Autumn Festival photos from Macau this year (I think). I definitely can't take any more, since I am now in another place far away.

Something Small Under a Large Umbrella in Zhuhai

One day in Zhuhai I saw a large umbrella approaching, and I wondered what was under it.

a large umbrella with the legs of a kid underneath in Zhuhai, China

Soon, the answer was revealed.

little girl smiling and holding a large umbrella in Zhuhai, China

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Mid-Autumn Festival Lanterns Surround a Dinosaur in Macau

Hello Kitty mooncakes aren't the only example of the Mid-Autumn Festival mixing with other themes in Macau.

Mid-Autumn Festival lanterns and a large dinosaur on display in front of the Macau Science Center

These holiday lanterns and dinosaur currently stand in front of the Macau Science Center, which has a temporary "Living Dinosaurs" exhibition. Similar lanterns are on display elsewhere in Macau, but I haven't seen others with a dinosaur. Maybe I will get to see a dinosaur lantern somewhere else soon.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Non-Smoking Areas Above Macau's Streets

A few years ago I wrote about new regulations requiring non-smoking areas in Macau's many casinos. Casinos aren't the only places, though, where smoking is regulated, and government "no smoking" signs are easy to find these days.

no-smoking sign in Macau

The above sign especially caught my eye due to its location.

pedestrian bridge over Rua de Ferreira do Amaral in Macau

Even open-air pedestrian bridges can be smoke free in Macau.

After taking the above photograph I noticed someone walking towards me. I soon realized why. They didn't care about me but instead cared about what was next to me.

trash can with ashtray on top filled with cigarette butts and water in Macau

Plenty of people in Macau still smoke.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Mooncake Delivery in Macau

Today I saw more signs in Macau of the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival holiday, including this truck delivering Maxim's mooncakes.

Maxim's bakery truck delivering mooncakes in Macau

Unlike the mooncakes for dogs and cats I saw advertised elsewhere in Macau, these appeared to be for humans.

Later in the day, I saw a Koi Kei bakery truck with a less traditional design than I have seen before. The truck's design featured mooncakes. Again, they are presumably for humans, but they do have a popular cat theme.

Koi Kei bakery delivery truck with Hello Kitty mooncake design in Macau

Hello Kitty mooncakes represent a fusion of sorts between Chinese and Japanese cultures. I will soon share another mooncake fusion cooked in a place far away from Macau.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Basketball with the Help of a Bicycle Tire in Gongbei

Just a few minutes walk from where I saw a late night game on Gaosha Middle Street in Zhuhai, I saw more kids playing with a ball today. In this case, I wouldn't call it "Gongbei-ball". "Basketball" works just fine here.

boys playing basketball with a hoop made out of a bicycle tire in Zhuhai, China

Unlike the Gongbei-ball ball, this ball appeared to store bought like another I recently saw. But a bit of creativity was required for the basketball hoop which was made using rope and a bicycle tire.

One of the boys took a few shots while I photographed.

boy shooting a basketball into a bicycle tire hoop in Zhuhai, China

He made almost all of the shots and the hoop served its purpose well, just like the Gongbei-ball ball.

Coming to Macau

Advertisement sign for Elvis Costello concert next to a street sign for Estrada Da Areia Preta in Macau

Friday, September 2, 2016

Another Ball in Gongbei

They asked me to take their photo . . .

boy and girl with red ball posing for a photo in the middle of Lian'an Street in Zhuhai, China

Like the boys I saw elsewhere in Gongbei, Zhuhai, the boy and girl had a ball, though it appeared to be store bought. I don't know if they were about to play a game of Gongbei-ball.

Like Gaosha Middle Street, this road has an alley feel to it, and there is not universal agreement on its name. Online maps identify it as either Lian'an East Street (联安东街) or Lian'an Alley. Posted signs there are divided on the issue as well. After taking photos of conflicting signs on different sides of the road almost directly opposite each another, I noticed a man standing in front of a shop watching me. So I asked him the name of the road. He looked down the road for a long five seconds. Just as I began to wonder whether he would answer, he said "Lian'an East Street". So I will go with that.