Showing posts with label Children. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Children. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Dog Powered Scooter

small dog pulls a boy riding a scooter
Early this year at the Funing Cultural Park (福宁文化公园) in Xiapu, Fujian

Posting lately has been lighter than I intended as I have been taking advantage of the opportunity to disconnect a bit. Tomorrow I will be back to traveling, hopefully at faster than dog-pulled speeds. And, somewhat ironically, that should mean more regular posting soon.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Dancing at Hebin Park in Guiyang

This afternoon at Hebin Park in Guiyang, Guizhou, I recorded a man expressively dancing to music. A small crowd had gathered and several others captured the performance as well. After the music ended, the man approached me and initiated a conversation in English. He told me he hoped I could share the video with my friends. He has traveled to Europe before but never the U.S. He was curious to know whether Americans would appreciate him dancing in a park there.

The video not only captured the dancing but some of the audience — including one small child who briefly tried dancing too — and passersby. As an added bonus, it concludes with a child eating an ice cream bar.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Crossbar Bicycle Walk in Hengyang

As I crossed an intersection on Chuanshan Avenue in Hengyang yesterday, I saw another person crossing the intersection in a far more interesting manner.

small girl walking a bike while siting on the crossbar

At first I assumed the bike was too large or not set up properly for the girl to pedal. But perhaps she was under orders to walk her bike across busy intersections. When I later looked back, I saw her riding the bike in a more typical fashion on the sidewalk.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Children Following the Music in Guangzhou

sculpture of children following a woman playing a violin in Guangzhou, China
“Music Unhurried" (乐韵悠悠) by Qian Chang (前畅) and Huang Jianxun (黄建勋)
on a rainy day at Shamian Island in Guangzhou, China

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Adventurous Five-Year-Old Girl in China Pays High Price for Believing Cartoon Physics

A five-year-old girl in Urumqi, China, watches a cartoon and decides to take a journey. In preparation she puts on her backpack. Based on knowledge gained from the informative cartoon, she also grabs an umbrella before leaving. The little girl doesn't expect rain, but she appreciates it still has much value. After all, she would be crazy to jump from the 11th floor without one.
The little girl landed on a fourth-floor cement platform below the window, suffering severe head, spinal and pelvic injuries that required multiple rounds of surgery.
Ugh, ugh, ugh. Poor, poor girl.

She later told her father, who along with her mother had left her at home alone, the Chinese cartoon series Boonie Bears was the source of inspiration. None of the reports I looked at shared a relevant umbrella scene. I haven't been able to find one myself despite spending way too much time trying and coming across an episode where the bears want to fly. There is a lot of footage to cover though, and given the girl's current state it wouldn't be surprising if she mixed up shows.

The case especially resonated because I love the independent, adventurous, and brave spirit, something which the little girl had exhibited before. Within the confines of a five-year-old's world what she did feels so understandable, even if not predictable. Sadly, the price for this mistake was extremely high. Life isn't fair on any floor.

Although her survival is incredible, her condition sounds awful. But the fact she could speak with her father at all seems like a positive sign. Hopefully she has a strong recovery and can embark on more rewarding adventures in the future when there is less of a need for watchful eyes.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

For Sale on a Tricycle Cart in Hongkou

This weekend I didn't see another woman selling flowers from a push cart in Hongkou, Shanghai. But on a small bridge on Ha'erbin Road, I did see a woman selling assorted items from a tricycle cart.

woman sitting with a child next to a tricycle cart filled and covered with items for sale in Shanghai

She was mostly preoccupied with her mobile phone at the time. The child with her looked on and also watched some of the people and vehicles passing by.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

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

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.

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.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Late Night Game of Gongbei-Ball

Just missed . . .

boy misses catching a paper ball in Zhuhai, China

Caught . . .

boy catches a paper ball at night in Zhuhai, China

Evaded . . .

boy jumps out of the way of a paper ball thrown by another boy in Zhuhai, China

Bounced off . . .

paper ball bounces off the hands of a boy in Zhuhai, China

Late yesterday night in Gongbei, Zhuhai, I saw several boys playing a game of Gongbei-ball. I made up the name, and the game's rules appeared to evolve over time. The main piece of equipment was paper crumpled up and taped into a ball. The boys granted me a throw. I must say, it was a pretty good ball.

The narrow street could easily be labeled as an alley in today's Zhuhai. If you want to find Gaosha Middle Street (高沙中街), as it is identified on posted signs there, good luck. Several online maps give it a different name or no name at all. But these kids know where the street is. And it is full of life even at night.

boys posing for a photo in Zhuhai, China

Friday, August 12, 2016

More Play and Another Chainsaw in Taiyuan

An advertisement for Jolin Tsai's concert wasn't the only example combining "play" and "chainsaws" I have seen in Taiyuan. Alongside Dong'an Road I watched a man shoot water at a little girl who defended herself with an umbrella.

man aiming a water-shooting tube at a little girl holding an open umbrella and a toy chainsaw

She also held a toy chainsaw. I am not sure of what she had in mind. I didn't see any disco balls around, but it looked like a good time.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Two Cs on One Head

Hearts aren't the only symbol I have seen on children's heads in Taiyuan. This boy's hair brought to mind the knockoff Chanel shirts I have seen in China:

hair on back of boy's head shaved into a Chanel logo

I think that is heart on the top of his head as well.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Two Hearts on One Head

While most children in China don't have their hair shaved into a recognizable pattern, I have seen numerous examples of the practice. A recent one from Wenying Park in Taiyuan:

boy with hair shaved in the shape of a heart on the front of his head

same boy with hair shaved in the shape of a heart on the back of his head

Monday, July 18, 2016

A Monday "Hello" in Taiyuan

While I waited for a crossing signal to change at a street intersection in Taiyuan, Shanxi, today, a little girl noticed my presence and immediately shouted, "Hello!"

Her adult appeared surprised by the excited outburst. I have had many similar experiences in the past, though this girl was especially enthusiastic. I replied with an upbeat "hello", admittedly toned down compared to the girl's. The girl then had a suggestion: I should take of photo of her and her friend. After I expressed willingness, the two adults with them, who still appeared a bit surprised by everything, helped position the girls while making sure they weren't in the photo themselves.

Then this happened:

two little girls posing for a photo in Taiyuan, Shanxi
"Hello" from Taiyuan

Once the photoshoot was complete, in Chinese I asked the more outgoing girl (the one holding the flowers) whether she wanted to go to America. She said "yes", so I said "OK, let's go" and started walking away. Without hesitation she happily joined me. Not wanting to spark an international incident, I quickly turned toward the two adults to make it absolutely clear I was only joking.

As we parted, it was evident the interaction had launched the two girls into an extra-high level of activity. And it left me in higher spirits as well.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Some Thoughts After Guiding a Family of Four Through Hong Kong and Beijing

During the past week or so I have spent a lot of time hanging out with two good friends and their two children and guiding them around Hong Kong and Beijing. This caused me to take more of a break from blogging than I had expected. To get back into things, I will share a few quick off-the-top-of-my-head thoughts regarding the rather enjoyable experience I had with four visitors from the U.S.:

  • Hong Kong has been something like a second home for me during recent years. I really enjoyed the opportunity to show some friends a mix of standard attractions I felt were worthy and personal favorites I thought they would appreciate. And I felt fortunate to be able to efficiently adapt to some unexpected conditions, such as discovering two favorite places for pork chops & milk tea don't stay open very long after lunch. We just walked to a favorite nearby place for goose instead.
  • They liked the goose.
  • China has a number of popular tourist sites which don't necessarily deserve all of the attention they receive relative to other options, and some people have an almost fanatical attitude regarding "must sees". It of course depends on personal tastes, which is why it can be so useful, especially if you are on a tight schedule, to have a guide (or recommender) who better appreciates what you are looking for. I have experienced both sides of this equation, and it makes a big difference.
  • Some places which are worthy of more attention might not be as enjoyable if they received more attention. Life is complicated.
  • We met up in a similar fashion a year and a half ago in Shanghai, but it was still a reminder how different exploring a city can be when you have children along for the ride. For example, I have written before about requests I receive to have photos taken with strangers and am familiar with experiences other foreigners have had, but it still fascinated me to see yet again the amount and type of attention Caucasian children can receive in mainland China. I will refrain from a fuller commentary, but I will say that in Beijing some people asked if it was OK to take a photo with one or both of the children in the midst of others who were, shall I say, far more direct in obtaining a prized photo.
  • For the most part, the kids enjoyed the attention, so my friends were fine with the photography. But in one case when a crowd of photo-seekers swelled to the point where it was clear things wouldn't end anytime soon, intervention was required. We thought it would be nice to see more of the Forbidden City before it closed for the day.
  • I had a grand time hanging out with the children. Earlier in Shanghai we discovered they both like eating termite larvae and bees (Yunnan style). Impressive.
  • Visiting popular sites during a Chinese holiday is often a tricky proposition. Sometimes I grin and bear the crowds. Sometimes I decide it isn't worth it. Again, life is complicated. So is briefly walking around Houhai in Beijing on a Friday night during the Dragon Boat Festival.
  • Of course, I bought him a bottle. Part of the experience . . .

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Digging for Fun Near Mao in Xiangtan

The previous post included a photo of a set of statues including Mao Zedong at the Dongfanghong Plaza in Xiangtan, Hunan. For a contrast, here is a scene from last year outside the large BBG shopping mall (步步高生活广场) underneath the plaza:

kids in a toy diggers at a sandbox outside of the BBG shopping mall (步步高生活广场) underneath Dongfanghong Plaza in Xiangtan, Hunan

Neither a shopping mall underneath a large statue of Mao nor an abundance of empty, unused space inside the mall seemed out of place in China. Another day, I will share more about this tenant-challenged mall and the large shopping center under construction across the street.