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

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Remains of Vehicle Set on Fire Sit for Days in a Hong Kong Street

Early this evening as I walked through Mong Kok, Hong Kong I saw something on Sai Yeung Choi Street that seemed remarkable even after seeing and experiencing so much recently in Hong Kong regarding the ongoing protests.

burned vehicle in Mong Kok


burned vehicle with ""便衣狗車" written on it


inside of heavily damage burned vehicle in Mong Kok


Using the word "dog" for "police", common practice for protestors in Hong Kong, the markings on the the vehicle "便衣狗車" claim it is a plainclothes police car. I can't confirm this is accurate. But the vehicle does look like some unmarked vehicles I have seen on multiple occasions set in the middle of a row of marked police vehicles making their way through the city. In any case, presumably the vehicle's current state is the result of protesters.

This tweet includes a video of a car on fire in Mong Kok which appears to be a perfect match in terms of vehicle type and location:

Perhaps just as remarkable that this car was lit on fire is that it was still sitting in the street. Another person commented on this issue yesterday:

So the car has been sitting there in this not so usable state at least for a couple of days. Of course this is far from Hong Kong's most pressing issue, which is one of many signs of just how widespread and intense the protests have been lately.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Fleeing the Tear Gas in Hong Kong's Central Financial District

This afternoon I observed the interaction of protestors, police, media, medics, and onlookers in Central — Hong Kong's main financial and business district. Suddenly the police started firing numerous tear gas canisters and rounds before leaving the area.

The below video begins with a large crowd following the police as they move away from the area with the frontline black-clad protestors. At 1:49 in the video, as I am standing next to a CNN crew the tear gas canisters begin to fly. As I headed westward on Pedder Street directly away from the police, I thought that quite soon either the firing would stop or that I would be out of harms way. However, the number of tear gas canisters and the distance they reached was more intense than I expected.



For more context, here is the report by CNN's Ivan Watson that was wrapping up while I recorded the above video just as the police began shooting this round of tear gas:


Incredibly this tear gassing of protestors and many others is just a small part of the protest related events today in Hong Kong and seems to pale in comparison to some of them.

And thanks to the helpful Hongkongers who provided me with eyewashes after the tear gassing. I am fine now, folks. I can't say the same for some others here though.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Police Chase and Apprehend Protestors in Mong Kok, Hong Kong

Last night around 12:30 a.m. I thought all seemed relatively calm at my specific location in Mong Kok, Hong Kong. Certainly, it was much calmer than what I experienced related to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong at a nearby location in Mong Kok two nights earlier.

Suddenly, I saw a number of black-clad protestors running in my direction.

The video I took below captures that moment when all certainly was not calm and number of others including the police apprehending at least two people and a police officer forcibly removing the respirator of a person whose outwear I think indicates "Press" or "Media". Most of the action occurs during the first six minutes of the video. I decided to post the full version in order to share some of the immediate aftermath as well. There is much going on throughout. The video has not been edited in any way except for having been uploaded to YouTube.



It would be an understatement to say I have seen much since I returned to Hong Kong four days ago. It would be a bigger understatement to say much more has happened here regarding the protests during that time. Especially given today's terrible events which include police shooting a protestor, a police officer driving his motorcycle into a crowd, and protestors lighting a person on fire, it is easy to believe the protests and the reactions to them will escalate further.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Steps With Trees in Xuzhou

On some days it is much easier to appreciate the obstacles in one's path . . .

stone steps with spaces for trees to grow through them on a hill
Zifang Hill (子房山) in Xuzhou



Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Encounters With a Lively Skeleton Queen in Xuzhou

As I have seen in past years at some shopping centers in China on the weekend of or before Halloween, on Saturday the Xuzhou Suning Plaza invited children to come to the mall dressed up in Halloween costumes. That afternoon it held an activity that wouldn't have been out of place any other time of the years except for the fact that some of the children were wearing costumes.

After watching a small part of a contest where children had to think of animals that hadn't been previously named by other children, I took a photo. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a skeleton queen who had been helping some of the other children had now apparently taken interest in me. She quickly jumped onto the stage and approached me while making expressions ranging from ghoulish to charming.

So this happened:

girl dressed up as a skeleton queen posing for a photo


About an hour later I watched a portion of a similar event at the Golden Eagle Pengcheng Square Store. Once again, the setting had a Halloween theme yet the activity — in this case children and teenagers singing — wouldn't have been out of place any other weekend of the year.

As I took a photo of the entrance to the area, I felt a light pat on my stomach. The most likely source of the rather unexpected pat seemed to be downwards, so that's where I looked. The next step to take was soon obvious, and this happened:

girl dressed up as a skeleton queen posing for a photo


After a couple of photos, the skeleton queen darted off and disappeared into the crowd. Later, I saw she had returned to watch the performances, where as before she eagerly showed support — this time by applauding.

people watching a boy sing a song on a Halloween-themed stage


And that's the end of this story about an outgoing skeleton queen with a heart.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Time to Get Back on Whatever Animal

Yet again, I have not been posting as much as I had wanted. I really do plan to get back on the horse this time though.

Or maybe I should try a lion instead . . .

Chinese sculpture of a person riding a lion
At Pengzu Park (彭祖园) in Xuzhou


More soon.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Very Fu Cats at Hanlin in Xuzhou

Hanlin (翰林) is a small neighborhood in Xuzhou with buildings from the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It stands out from surrounding historical areas because it hasn't been transformed into a polished tourist site requiring a ticket and people still live in several of the buildings. It also has some non-human inhabitants.

When I briefly visited this afternoon, several cats were examining the food options set out on the ground, which included various meat leftovers



The white cat didn't seem to find selection to be all that fortunate and merely observed. None of the cats showed any interest in the nearby likely-not-as-fortunate chickens tethered to a tree.

two chickens tethered to a tree


One of the three small dogs in a cage a bit farther away did express interest in me. I didn't get closer since it seemed a bit overprotective of the chickens.

After I finished looking at the old buildings in the area, I noticed two of the cats were now settled in somewhere a bit comfier for a rest and a cleaning.

two cats resting on a pile of orange and blue materials


And that is all for today from Hanlin.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Not Able to Perceive All the Views at Xuzhou's Zhulin Temple

This past weekend after reaching the top of the hill where Xuzhou's Zhulin Temple* (竹林寺) sits, I immediately sought out the Avalokitesvara Pavilion (观音阁). It isn't hard to spot.

Avalokitesvara Pavilion at Zhulin Temple in Xuzhou


This is the same pavilion which appears in front of a setting sun in a photo I earlier shared. I hoped to go to the top floor of the pavilion and take a photo in the direction of where I had taken the earlier photo to provide both symmetry and contrast.

However, my plans were thwarted.

blocked stairway in pavilion


Without being able to reach the pavilion's upper levels, it wasn't possible to see over the trees and bamboo in the direction I wanted to photograph.

path through trees and bamboo


Oh well.

At least I was able to see the large statue of Avalokitesvara inside the pavilion.

Avalokitesvara (Guanyin) statue at the Zhulin Temple in Xuzhou


Normally I would have used the name Guanyin instead of Avalokitesvara in English, since that seems to be more commonly used when referring to this bodhisattva in China. But a few signs at the temple used the name Avalokitesvara for the pavilion's English name, so I will go with that. The Dunhuang Foundation helps explain the naming issue:
It is generally agreed among Chinese Buddhists and scholars of Buddhist studies that the figure Guanyin is the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. . . .

Avalokitesvara is the bodhisattva who represents compassion. . . .

Guanyin in Chinese means "Perceiver of all Sounds," which refers to the way in which Guanyin is able to hear all prayers and cries for help.

In India, bodhisattvas are genderless or are referred to as male. The Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, or Guanyin, is often depicted as female in China.

One reason for this gender fluidity is due to the way the Bodhisattva has the ability to manifest on earth in many different forms.

I don't know why the pavilion's upper floors were closed. It reminded of several other pavilions and pagodas I have recently visited in China only to discover they were in similar states. Maybe Guanyin knows why.

Anyway, I don't have a photo to provide some symmetry with the earlier one, but at least I was able to capture the Avalokitesvara Pavilion with some pretty decent cloudage.






* Sometimes the literal translation "Bamboo Forest Temple" is used in English.

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.