Pages

Showing posts with label China. Show all posts
Showing posts with label China. Show all posts

Friday, October 11, 2019

Seven Scenes During the Weeklong National Day Holiday in Xuzhou

The last day of the National Day holiday period was Monday, but the impact of the holiday will still be felt tomorrow, Saturday, by many people. As is typical for this holiday and the Lunar New Year holiday, to create seven consecutive days off, in addition to three official holiday days off work two weekday work days are moved to the weekends before or after the holiday. Tomorrow is one of those special shifted days.

In the spirit of the lingering National Day effects and to add to the earlier shared photos of night scenes on National Day, below are seven scenes in Xuzhou during the seven day holiday. None of the photos on their own would make me think "must be the National Day holiday". Yet they are still an opportunity to share a bit more of life in Xuzhou.


Day 1:

Fishing at the Feihuang River (废黄河) on Xi'an Bridge
Fishing during the late afternoon on Xi'an Bridge (西安桥) at the Feihuang River (废黄河)


Halloween display at the Goldland Carrefour


Day 2:

Butcher stall at the Fengchu Street (丰储街) Market


Day 3:

People playing and sitting on Type 66 152 mm Field Howitzers
Playing and sitting on Type 66 152 mm Field Howitzers outside the National Defense Education Museum and Xuzhou Anti-Japanese War Memorial Hall


Moon over the Xuzhou Tongshan Wanda Plaza (徐州铜山万达广场) Golden Street
Moon over the Xuzhou Tongshan Wanda Plaza Golden Street


Day 5:

woman posing next to a pond for a photo
Posing for a photo at Ximatai (戏马台)


Day 7:

two girls dancing while on self-balancing scooters
Dress rehearsal for a performance at the Xuzhou Suning Plaza

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Sculpting Blissful Harmony in Xuzhou

In addition to a sculpture of intertwined dragons that provided an opportunity for a multilingual pun, another sculpture at Xuzhou's Yunlong Park recently caught my eye:

Blissful Harmony (花好月圆) by Cai Zengbin (蔡增斌)
Blissful Harmony (花好月圆) by Cai Zengbin (蔡增斌), 2011


In this case, a nearby stone provide the sculpture's title and creator. The title is a Chinese idiom, and I went with a figurative translation reflecting that the woman is playing an erhu. Especially given the lighting conditions at the time, this is hard to see in the above photo. So here is another photo cropped and selectively brightened to help make it more visible:

sculpture of a woman playing an erhu


A more literal translation of the Chinese title would be "lovely flowers, round moon", and flowers and a moon shape are easy to spot. So although there isn't a multilingual pun, the title proves interesting in how it applies both figuratively and literally.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

A Few National Day Night Scenes in Xuzhou

Last night at a central shopping district in Xuzhou some people took selfies with a dog.

two young women taking a selfie with a dog and Chinese flags


Some people took dogs on a walk.

woman pushing two small dogs sitting on a wheelchair


Some people stopped to watch the day's earlier events in Beijing on a large screen.

Xi Jinping on large outdoor video display


Some people played basketball.

people playing basket in front of a shopping center


And some people waited in line for 9-inch pizzas.

line of people waiting for 9 inch pizza



On this National Day of the People's Republic of China much seemed as it would be on a busy Saturday night, though there a few more patriotic touches than usual.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Holiday Red Flags at a Temple in Xuzhou, China

One day before the National Day of the People's Republic of China, the Guanyin Rock Temple (大士岩寺) in Xuzhou was already in the holiday spirit.

Guanyin Rock Temple (大士岩寺) in Xuzhou with PRC flags


Quite a mix.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Zooming in to Reveal a Special Moment in Xuzhou

Late yesterday afternoon as I attempted to cross Heping Avenue (和平大道) in Xuzhou, I noticed something wonderful:

looking westward down Heping Avenue in Xuzhou


Even after significantly cropping the above photo, what caught my eye still might not be apparent:

looking westward down Heping Avenue in Xuzhou


So a further cropping might help:

Heping Avenue and the sun setting behind Xuzhou's Zhulin Temple (竹林寺)


Cropping to the extreme of what the photo's resolution allows should make it readily apparent:

sun setting behind Xuzhou's Zhulin Temple (竹林寺)


If you really still can't figure it out, there's this, though it somewhat pains me to cut out all of the foreground:



When I noticed the sun setting behind Xuzhou's Zhulin Temple (竹林寺), I at first wished I was much closer to the temple. But that wouldn't have achieved what I had in mind, since the ratio of their sizes would be different. What I really could have used was a zoom lens and ideally a tripod as well. Still, I am impressed with the detail my camera was able to catch under the conditions. And I am now glad an underground passageway for reaching the north side of Heping Avenue isn't yet completed. Had it been open, I likely wouldn't have even seen this moment of people on a busy street as the sun set behind them and a distant temple.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Walking Through the Shapes in Xuzhou

If you could walk through one and only one of these shapes, which would you choose?














Of course, I walked through them all, but I found the oval particularly alluring — I think because of how it contrasted with the far more traditionally-typical-in-China circle. In any case, all of these shapes can be found at the Chinese Museum of Huqin Art in Xuzhou's Yunlong Park.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Reason for a Drink: Baijiu Kegs and a Cat in Xuzhou, China

When you stumble upon a convenience store in Xuzhou . . .

The 艾尚烟酒便利 convenience store in Xuzhou, Jiangsu
Noticed after finishing a tasty local-style dinner


selling Anhui Yingjia Distillery baijiu from kegs . . .

man pouring baijiu from a keg
Definitely not sane for a keg stand


*and* they have a cat, . . .

a white cat in a convenience store
Seemed friendly but quite shy


how can you not buy a least a little bit of the recommended 45% alcohol baijiu?

half a jin of Yingjia baijiu
A generous half a jin (about one quarter of a kilogram or a little more than half a pound) of baijiu


I must say, as far as baijiu goes I found it to be pretty decent and, of course, many worlds better than imitation Bomb erguotou baijiu— better than the real stuff too. Thanks to the cat for convincing me to expand my horizons.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

An Overdue Return: A Xuzhou Scene at Day and at Night

I said that some posts without clouds were on the way. I think this photo should count:

view of Xuzhou during the day


Some people prefer nighttime views, so here is another photo without clouds:

view of Xuzhou at night


This isn't a view you can find in Shanghai. This also isn't a view you could find in Xuzhou, now about a 3 hour high-speed rail trip from Shanghai, when I was last here almost 9 years ago. At least one of these buildings didn't exist then.

My return to Xuzhou, one of the most northern cities in Jiangsu province, also represents an overdue return to China's north. Yet like with nearby Bengbu in Anhui province, it hasn't been hard to find examples of how the city's local culture has been influenced by both the north and the south since it is so close to their border.

So, of course, more about Xuzhou, including details on several of the locations captured in the above photos, will appear here. And I still have a ton of stuff I want to share from Shanghai, Nanning, Yulin, and on and on.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

More Clouds Above Shanghai

I suspect some readers are far less excited about clouds than I am, but China has helped me better appreciate them. So please forgive me as I perseverate on this theme. On that note, here is a photo recently taken looking eastward down Yan'an Middle Road (延安中路) in Shanghai while standing on a pedestrian bridge at the intersection with Ruijin No. 1 Road (瑞金一路) and Shimen No. 1 Road (石门一路):

view with clouds looking eastwards down Yan'an Middle Road in Shanghai


If you look closely at the left side of the photo, you may be able to spot some buildings which appear prominently in a more iconic Shanghai scene I shared, of course also with clouds.

I promise that posts sans clouds are on the way. But more clouds just might happen as well.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Some Hongkou Clouds in Shanghai

Since I shared a photo of clouds above a famous skyline in Shanghai, the wonderfully pleasant weather and relatively good air quality has continued — a welcomed change from the many smoggy days I have experienced here in the past. This has significantly helped me not regret having not yet moved on to my next destination. To continue the cloud theme, I will share a few photos taken today in Shanghai's Hongkou district of scenes not as famous as Shanghai's towering buildings in Lujiazui.

Two photos taken in front of Hongkou Plaza that include the elevated tracks for Line 3 of the Shanghai Metro:

clouds appearing above and below Line 3 of the Shanghai Metro


clouds and Line 3 of the Shanghai Metro


Two photos taken under rather different lighting conditions at nearby Lu Xun Park:

clouds above lake at Lu Xun Park in Shanghai


clouds reflecting on lake at dusk at Lu Xun Park in Shanghai


And finally, a sign at Sida Road of how Shanghai's light pollution makes it easy to spot clouds even at night:

clouds above Sida Road street sign in Shanghai


Not sure how long the current weather and air quality here will last, but I recommend making the most of it if you can.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Clouds Above an Iconic China Scene

I saw some nice clouds today, so I took a photo.



Oddly enough, a lot of other people seemed to be taking photos of the clouds as well. So it might not be hard to find photos similar to the one above. Who would have guessed?

On a slightly more serious note, I hadn't planned to share a photo of such an iconic and familiar scene to announce my arrival in this city. But I really do like clouds. And the weather was wonderful today. I am not even going to bother with the "guess the city" game. Too easy. Yes, my two days of travel and multiple cities ultimately ended with me arriving in Shanghai — the city in China where I have spent the most time, though it has been a while since I was last here. More about that and other topics, including returning to some things I have left hanging, soon.

Friday, September 13, 2019

It's a Bird . . . It's a Plane . . . No, It's Grilled Cheese & Ham Sandwiches in Guangdong

Apparently at least one aspect of my recent travel adventures raised some eyebrows, and amazingly it wasn't the duck-dog. In regards to me questioning the cutting style of a grilled cheese & ham sandwich I ordered at a Cafe de Coral restaurant at the airport in Zhuhai . . .

grilled cheese and ham sandwich arranged like a plane


One reader tweeted:

Another reader emailed:
Maybe this will be more obvious after some sleep, but the airport restaurant cut your sandwich to look like an airplane.

Both readers make an excellent point about the airplane similarity. I wouldn't be surprised if there was an airplane element to what happened to my sandwich at the airport. It sounds so neat and simple. But . . .

But . . .

I was careful to say I questioned how the sandwich was cut. I didn't mention the arrangement. The importance of this distinction should become clearer with a photo of the same sandwich I ordered at another Cafe de Coral — this one in Zhongshan last year:

grilled cheese and ham sandwich not arranged like a plane, though the cut would've permitted it


OK, yes, I didn't mention this important detail before. Aha!

OK, yes, I ordered two sandwiches that time. Aha!

It was a wild and crazy day, and both sandwiches came with drinks. I went with a coffee and a tea to mix things up, because why not. The pork chop is pathetically small, but that's something to rant about another day. Just pay attention to the grilled sandwich on the right for now. Yes, ignore the corn too. It's just corn.

The sandwich cut is roughly the same as the sandwich I ordered at the airport in Zhuhai. The arrangement of the pieces is different though. This Zhongshan Cafe de Coral is far away from any airport. And I didn't see anybody flying around there.

So, I'm not completely ruling out an airplane theory yet. But I think we need more to explain the cut of these innocent grilled cheese & ham sandwiches. The arrangement of pieces could be another story.


Added important note: I'm now wondering if I changed the arrangement of the sandwich in Zhongshan in order to display its insides. I'm not sure, but this is something I might do. And it would explain why much of the plate is empty in the photo. So it is possible the sandwiches in Zhongshan and Zhuhai were arranged similarly. But the Zhongshan sandwich would still complicate the "they made it look like an airplane cause you were at an airport" story, since I wasn't even near an airport then.

Needing Sleep: Four (or Five) Chinese Cities in Two Days

Early Tuesday morning I was surprised when my phone's alarm woke me up at 5:10 a.m. It was supposed to wake me up a 5:00 a.m. Presumably I had slept through the first round of the alarm, and it had tried again.

Those 10 minutes mattered a lot. So I ended up taking a taxi to the Nanning East Railway Station instead of the subway. The taxi cost less than expected, just 35 yuan (a little less than U.S. $5 at the moment), and I arrived at the station with just enough time to pick up a sausage mcmuffin with egg for breakfast.

After about three hours on a high-speed train, I arrived at the Guangzhou South Railway Station.

Guangzhou South Railway Station departure hall


Less than 15 minutes later I boarded another high-speed train, and in little more than an hour I arrived in Zhuhai. Not long after checking into my hotel there, I crossed the border to Macau by foot. Soon I was at favorite cafe for a grilled onion pork chop bun where I noticed a Hong Kong channel was broadcasting a police news conference.

Hong Kong police news conference on TV at a Macau cafe


The sound was off but text on the screen indicated it was about the responsibilities of off duty Hong Kong police. Presumably this was in response to the protest-related news which broke the day before about the issuing of extendable batons to off duty police.

Later in the day, I spotted an animal that taxonomically baffled me for a very brief moment. But then I realized it was just your everyday Macanese duck-dog.

dog wearing a duck bill muzzle


Honestly, the animal attracted my attention to such a degree at the time I didn't even notice the "Do not sit on the staircase to avoid blocking" sign above the sitting-on-the-step woman until now. This raises the question of why, presumably, people like to sit there. Could it be related to the duck-dog?

As this animal experience suggests, as usual I enjoyed my time in Macau. I would've happily stayed longer, but that evening I had to cross the border back to Zhuhai.

young man wearing an "Obey Obey Obey" shirt


After a successful crossing where I learned a key fact from an immigration officer, I was at my favorite place for post-midnight razor clams.

yummy razor clams


I didn't sleep much that night. Actually, I'm not sure I really slept at all. In any case, at 5:30 a.m. I boarded a shared van to Zhuhai's airport.

Soon after arrival, I noticed my plane was already at its gate. So that was nice.

China Southern Airlines airplane at gate at Zhuhai Airport


Since I had plenty of time to spare, I ordered a grilled cheese & ham sandwich at a popular Hong Kong chain restaurant.

grilled ham & cheese sandwich cut unusually (for the US)

I'm not clear why they cut the sandwich that way. I probably shouldn't, but I'm still pondering it.


Anyway, soon I was in the sky and presented with an airplane snack.


Not so thrilling flight snack

The steamed bun on the far left was stuffed with some sort of meat-like substance. I will just say I have eaten many, many different types of steamed buns in China, and this one may have been the worst. But at least the turtle shell herbal jelly was decent enough, though I wondered whether it actually had any turtle shell in it.

Whatever the case, the flight was otherwise uneventful, which I mostly count as a very good thing.

After about 2 hours in the air, I found myself much farther north in China than I have been in nearly two years. Yet incredibly I am still in what they call the south.

So I would say in two days I was in four cities, though if you want to count Guangzhou (I wouldn't) you could say five. I need to sleep now. A lot. Once that happens, at some point I hope to mention the fourth (or fifth) city.