Pages

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Balloon Sculptures, Singing, and a Pelvic Thrusting Dinosaur: The Grand Opening of a Jewelry Store in Ganzhou, China

When I stopped by a jewelry store with a notable logo on the afternoon of its opening day in Ganzhou, Jiangxi province, there were a few customers inside, but all was otherwise quiet. Especially given the hot weather and low pedestrian traffic at the time, this wasn't so surprising.

When I stopped by again later in the early evening, the weather had cooled down and the activities to celebrate the grand opening had heated up. Given what I have seen at a variety of promotions elsewhere in China, I wasn't too surprised to see somebody wearing an inflatable Tyrannosaurus costume entertaining people, especially children.

person in inflatable Tyrannosaurus costume entertaining


At an entrance to the store, somebody else was creating balloon animals and sculptures. I have seen the same thing at a number of jewelry stores elsewhere.

Balloon artist making a balloon model for a girl


There was also a stage set up besides the store. While I was there a woman sang, also not so uncommon for events likes this one.

But then things came together in a way that wasn't so typical in my experience, and it was something to behold.

I didn't know a Tyrannosaurus could move like that.

On reflection, the movements were somewhat similar to how some cockatoos dance to music. Not only are birds dinosaurs, but the Tyrannosaurus is more closely related to a bird than to a Stegosaurus. Perhaps that's what the person had in mind, though I am not aware of any birds dancing quite the same way.

In any case, the dancing felt a bit surreal to watch. I can't put the experience fully into words, so I have shared a bit of it in the video below. Although the Tyrannosaurus stopped dancing, or whatever it was doing, and returned to other activities while I watched, I kept filming a bit longer. There is more to observe than just the dinosaur, though it steals the show.

Take a look:

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

A Curiously Misleading Logo: Not China Gold in Ganzhou

Late last night I saw preparations for a new jewelry store in Ganzhou, Jiangxi province. I called it a China Gold store in my post, in part because the logo for the store appeared to be a merger of the letters C & G and I didn't know they hadn't yet placed all the characters for its Chinese name on the storefront sign. The logo seemed unfamiliar, however, which caused some rumblings in the back of my mind.

Today the sign was complete, and the store was already open for business.

opening day of a new jewelry store (中国金銀珠寶) in Ganzhou


With the full Chinese name displayed, "中国金銀珠寶" (Zhōngguó Jīnyín Zhūbǎo), I realized it wasn't a store for the chain I had previously had in mind, 中国黄金 (Zhōngguó Huángjīn). Zhōngguó Huángjīn uses the English name "China Gold", a literal translation of the Chinese name, and the stores are franchised by a large state-owned enterprise based in Beijing — China National Gold Group Corporation — which also commonly uses the name "China Gold". I shared a photo of a China Gold store earlier this year in a post about International Women's Day Sales in Jiangmen, Guangdong. Their logo is visually distinct from the one used by the store in Ganzhou.

I didn't see any English names at the Ganzhou store today. The best I could easily find online relates to the Hong Kong registration of a company with the same Chinese name. They used "China Gold Silver Jewellery", also a literal translation of the Chinese name. I can't see a CGSJ acronym in the Ganzhou stores's logo though.

Whatever name the company would prefer to see used in English, their logo is not only notable for its similarity to the Chanel and Gucci logos but also for it capturing the acronym of a well-known competitor's English name. Both issues seem unlikely to be coincidences. The logo probably wouldn't leave either Chanel, Gucci, or China Gold very happy.

New China Gold in Ganzhou

Preparations for a new jewelry store in Ganzhou
Late night work for a new jewelry store on Dongyangshan Road in Ganzhou





Correction: I previously captioned the photo indicating the jewelry store was China Gold, in part due to the apparent CG acronym in the logo. However, it isn't a China Gold store. More about that in a more recent post here.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Late Night Tangerines in Ganzhou

You can't always find tangerines for sale around 11 p.m. But tonight in Ganzhou I got lucky.

tangerines for sale in a motor-tricycle cart


Good tangerines . . .

Friday, August 10, 2018

Lotus Flowers, Bridges, and a Sculpture at a University Pond in Ganzhou

Recent posts (here and here) featured scenes from parks in Ganzhou, Jiangxi. To continue the theme, below are a few photos taken on a rather hot afternoon at Bajiao Pond (八角塘) at the Jiangxi University of Science and Technology campus on Hongqi Road in Ganzhou.

lotus flower at Bajiao Pond (八角塘)


lotuses and a bridge Bajiao Pond (八角塘)


lotus flower at Bajiao Pond (八角塘)


curving bridge, sculpture, and lotuses at Bajiao Pond (八角塘)

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Ganzhou Xiangqi

A quiet game of xiangqi today at the Zhang River Right Bank City Citizens' Park (章江右岸市民公园) in Ganzhou:

men playing xiangqi at a park (章江右岸市民公园) in Ganzhou

Dancing, Cards, and a Liberation Monument at Ganzhou Park

A few scenes from Ganzhou Park in Ganzhou, Jiangxi, on a rather hot afternoon . . .

people dancing at Ganzhou Park
Dancing to music


people playing card games at Ganzhou Park (赣州公园)
Playing cards without music


10th Anniversary of Liberation Monument (解放十周年纪念碑)
The 10th Anniversary of Liberation Monument (解放十周年纪念碑)

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Not in Africa: A Brief Story of Taking the Train Out of Guangdong

boy sitting on luggage shaped as a seat
In a waiting room at the Huizhou Railway Station
(photo doesn't include the children mentioned in this post)


As I approached my seat after boarding the train in Huizhou, the 8-year-old boy who would be sitting across from me excitedly announced to his mother and younger sister, "A European!"

Before I could helpfully correct him, I heard him less certainly suggested another possibility. I then decided it was now best not to correct him.

After all, I'm not identified as an African every day.

The train's seats were sold out, and there were a number of people who had bought standing-only tickets. It had been a while since I had taken a non-high-speed train like this one, but most things seemed the same. So much life.

As the train began moving, I found it hard to get excited about being on the train for another five hours. Yet I knew most people were likely in for a longer ride. Anybody there for the final destination still had more than 27 hours to go. Five hours now seems pretty good. Did I mention my ticket cost less than eight American dollars?

It took some time, but eventually I entered a train-Zen state of mind. There was so much to take in. The 8-year-old boy and his sister carried on at times, but, unlike their mother, I soon appreciated the entertainment. For what it is worth, my brother and I at that age would have been far less peaceful under such conditions.

Now I am in Ganzhou. No, that's not a typo for Guangzhou. I could've made it there in much less time. I'm out of Guangdong province and now in Jiangxi province.

This is my second time in Ganzhou, but it has been a while. More about this place, so far from Africa, another time.

Oh, that boy and his sister . . . they still had more than 4 hours to go after I disembarked the train. I'm guessing mostly all went fine.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Unlucky Duckies in Huizhou

Today on a street in Huizhou, Guangdong, I saw a bunch of a ducks restrained in a truck.

ducks restrained in a truck


I don't speak duck, but some of them sounded as if they were complaining. If so, it would be hard to blame them. I didn't stick around to see if I could learn their fate, but I feel safe guessing it isn't anything they'd be happy about.

For a more cheerful, or at least more free, duck story, there's my confrontation last year with a mighty duck in Xiapu, Fujian.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Eight Assorted Thursday Tweets About China

In terms of news about China I saw in my Twitter feed, today felt especially heavy and had much to digest. Below are some those tweets which made their way onto my screen and especially caught my attention. Most include links to to relevant pieces. I deliberately left out tweets providing some discussion on a topic that I have covered at length before and is in the news once more. I hope to address the topic in a later post.








Wednesday, August 1, 2018

A Chance Chat in the Park with a Uyghur in Southern China

trees in a park
Another park in another Chinese city

Not so long ago on a quiet day at a park in southern China, I saw a man with two energetic children. After saying hello to them, the man and I started talking. I soon learned he was Uyghur and from far away Xinjiang, where he still had family. Having recently read reports about deteriorating conditions for Uyghurs there, I asked about their situation.

Sounding and looking like he had felt compelled to utter the exact same words not just now but many times before, he first explained his pride in being a Chinese citizen and his support for the Chinese government. Then he returned to his gaze to me and explained how the situation in Xinjiang wasn't at all good for them. What he shared was depressingly consistent with what I had previously learned.

I thought of the conversation today while reading a piece recommended by Josh Chin:


An excerpt from Gene Bunin's piece:
At one point last year, I made an effort to see a friend in Xinjiang who had deleted me [from WeChat] but whom I really wanted to see. Navigating our friend networks, I set up a time and a place, and we met. In retrospect, I almost wish we hadn’t. Our lunch together was an incredibly silent and awkward one – there was too much to say but everything felt taboo, and there were entire minutes when we just sat there. It didn’t look like anyone was monitoring us, but my friend looked really worried all the same. When I passed him samples of a book I was working on, he only cast them a glance but didn’t flip through the pages. When I asked him if a mutual acquaintance of ours was still around, he told me that he “didn’t know” that person anymore, before adding: “Right now, I don’t even know you.”

I too will recommend reading "How the 'Happiest Muslims in the World' are Coping with Their Happiness". And I will wonder what has happened to the man, his children, and the rest of his family since our chance discussion at the park. I didn't ask for a way to contact him in the future. That might have been better for him.