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

Monday, April 15, 2019

Spiritual Clothing in Wuzhou

My Faith, God, Because of You . . .

Some fashion recently seen at the Wangcheng Plaza (旺城广场) shopping mall in Wuzhou that together forms a message:

woman wearing a "MY FAITH" sweatshirt



woman wearing a "GOD" sweatshirt and another woman wearing a "BECAUSE OF YOU" jacket


Friday, April 12, 2019

Riverside Fun With Toy Construction Vehicles in Wuzhou

This afternoon in Wuzhou a woman brought a little boy to the left bank of the Xi River. The boy was at first momentarily interested in some of the activities ongoing in the river, but soon his attention shifted to the apparent reason he had been brought there.

And he played with his toy construction vehicles in the sand and dirt while the woman used her mobile phone.

little boy playing with toy trucks next to the Xi River in Wuzhou, China.


Sure seemed like an excellent choice of location.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

From Aristotle to Xie Juezai: Eight "Rule of Law Celebrity Sculptures" at Pantang Park in Wuzhou, China

Pantang Park (潘塘公园) offers a place to walk through a bit of greenery and somewhat get away from the urban areas which surround it in central Wuzhou. The park also offers a bit of a history through a series of busts titled "Rule of Law Celebrity Sculptures" ("法治名人雕像"). The busts are almost all arranged in the chronological order of the lives of the people they depict, ranging in time from Ancient Greece to Communist China. Below are photos of the eight busts and also links to the English Wikipedia page for each person, though the articles for the Chinese figures are less well referenced, if at all.

Notably, the first four busts are all of Westerners and the rest are all of Chinese. I am not very familiar with the history of rule of law in the Western world and China, but I am sure people more knowledgable about the topic would have deeper observations about this selection of people put on display at a relatively peaceful park in Wuzhou.

Bust of Aristotle (亚里士多德) in Wuzhou's Pantang Park (潘塘公园)
Aristotle (亚里士多德; 384–322 BC), Greek philosopher


Bust of Ulpian (乌尔比安) in Wuzhou's Pantang Park (潘塘公园)
Ulpian (乌尔比安; 170 – 223), Roman jurist


Bust of Montesquieu (孟德斯鸠) in Wuzhou's Pantang Park (潘塘公园)
Montesquieu (孟德斯鸠; 1689-1755), French judge and political philosopher


Bust of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (黑格尔) in Wuzhou's Pantang Park (潘塘公园)
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (黑格尔; 1770-1831), German philosopher


Bust of Shen Jiaben (沈家本) in Wuzhou's Pantang Park (潘塘公园)
Shen Jiaben (沈家本; 1840-1913), Chinese politician and jurist


Bust of Shen Junru (沈钧儒) in Wuzhou's Pantang Park (潘塘公园)
Shen Junru (沈钧儒, 1875 - 1963), first president of the Supreme People's Court of China in the People's Republic of China


Bust of Dong Biwu (董必武)  in Wuzhou's Pantang Park (潘塘公园)
Dong Biwu (董必武; 1886 - 1975), Chinese communist political leader


Bust of Xie Juezai (谢觉哉) in Wuzhou's Pantang Park (潘塘公园)
Xie Juezai (谢觉哉; 1884 - 1971), former President of the Supreme People's Court

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Life Moving On The Gui River Western Bank Wall in Wuzhou

The three rivers in central Wuzhou all have portions bordered by long walls. Below are several scenes on a wall alongside the western bank of the Gui River (桂江). The occasional light rains and overcast sky this afternoon didn't keep some people from walking, riding bicycles, jogging, stretching, and talking their dogs for a walk. In terms of lighting, parks, and number of levels, this wall may not have received as much attention from the city as other walls, but it has its own charm and life.


woman riding a bicycle on a wall bordering the Gui River (桂江) in Wuzhou (梧州)



man jogging on a wall bordering the Gui River (桂江) in Wuzhou (梧州)



couple walking together on a wall bordering the Gui River (桂江) in Wuzhou (梧州)



small dog walking on a wall bordering the Gui River (桂江) in Wuzhou (梧州)



man walking with outstretched arms on a wall bordering the Gui River (桂江) in Wuzhou (梧州)



man stretching on a wall bordering the Gui River (桂江) in Wuzhou (梧州)



woman walking a dog on a wall bordering the Gui River (桂江) in Wuzhou (梧州)



man jogging on a wall bordering the Gui River (桂江) in Wuzhou (梧州)



young woman stretching on a wall bordering the Gui River (桂江) in Wuzhou (梧州)



man walking a dog on a wall bordering the Gui River (桂江) in Wuzhou (梧州)



man riding a bike on a wall bordering the Gui River (桂江) in Wuzhou (梧州)



three elementary school students walking on a wall bordering the Gui River (桂江) in Wuzhou (梧州)


Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk in Wuzhou

A spilled white drink next to the Xun River (浔江) in Wuzhou
A spilled drink that perhaps included some milk next to the Xun River (浔江) in Wuzhou

I had plans for an April Fool's Day post on Monday. Early in the afternoon I had a new idea and collected some critical material for it. Then I wondered whether it might be too convincing of a post for April Fool's, a conundrum I've run into before. Then other things came up, and I realized I had no more time.

So, next year. Or next life. In any case, I have material for a less confounding post now.

These things happen.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Billside Rivierh Mini-Mini Jumbo Wuzhou Bus in Hedong

I had intended that a post about a Jumbo Wuzhou Bus parking area with art above it would be the last on the Jumbo Wuzhou Bus theme. But then I had an opportunity to ride the mallest Jumbo Wuzhou Bus. I did. And that post was supposed to be the real end of it all.

Really.

You know where this is going . . . Yes, this will be another Jumbo Wuzhou Bus post. The reason? Well, I saw a remarkable mini-mini Jumbo Wuzhou Bus tonight.

mini-mini Jumbo Wuzhou Bus at night in Hedong


Two things made this bus grand enough to notice and to share. One, I saw it in the area locals would call Hedong (河东). I hadn't seen one there before. Two, before I had only seen larger Jumbo Wuzhou Buses with advertising. This was the first commercialized mini-mini I had seen.

The ad is for the "Billside Rivierh". I'm guessing they were aiming for the "Hillside Riviera", but I can't say for sure. What I can say for sure is that this ends the Jumbo Wuzhou Bus theme.

OK, I'm not totally sure.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Kicked Off a Mini-Mini Jumbo Wuzhou Bus in Guangxi

Today while I was near a small bus stop in Wuzhou, a mini-mini Jumbo Wuzhou Bus stopped to drop off and pick up passengers.

I didn't know where the bus was headed.

I had other things to do.

But I also had never ridden a mini-mini Jumbo Wuzhou Bus before, and this might be my last opportunity.

I carefully weighed my options for a second or two.

I boarded the bus.

As typical for the smaller buses, the ride cost 1 yuan (about U.S. 15 cents). At the beginning I found it difficult to keep track of my location since I didn't have a clear view while I stood in the packed bus. Later when it was less crowded I had a seat in the back. The ride was mostly uneventful. Some people chatted in Cantonese. Some people looked out the windows. Some people checked their mobile phones. There were no accidents.

So despite previously saying the Jumbo Wuzhou Bus theme was finished, here's another post about them. I suspect some readers might not be thrilled about another bus post yet are now thinking, "Wait, I want to know about the 'kicked off' part mentioned in the title."

OK, it isn't as dramatic as it sounds.

While I was busy looking at a few photos I had taken, the bus stopped. This was not unusual. Buses are supposed to do this from time to time. Then many people got off the bus. This was not so unusual either. Then I noticed that the bus driver was turned around and looking at me.

Something seemed off now.

The bus driver said we were at the last stop. Normally this wouldn't confuse me, but I saw two other passengers still sitting on the bus. Some bus routes in Wuzhou make a circle or loop. So I guessed that this last stop was really just part of a journey that could take me to other locations. Maybe one of them would strike me as particularly interesting and serve to further justify spending an extra yuan today.

So after looking at the other passengers to confirm their existence, I said I would stay on as well.

The bus driver then explained that I was welcome to take the bus again, but I would need to re-board at the stop across the street. Indeed, there was a stop across the street.

But what about the other two people? Why weren't they getting off? Was I missing an adventure?

Trying to help, one of the passengers asked me where I wanted to go. This was one of those situations where I suspected an honest answer was only going to confuse matters more. So I refrained from saying, "I don't know."

Trying to sort things out, I then returned the favor and asked where he was going on this bus that had supposedly already reached its last stop. But the bus driver interrupted his reply and repeated that we were at the last stop. She looked like she really wanted this all to end.

I looked at the passenger who hadn't said anything at all. She looked like she really wanted to have nothing to do with any of this.

I now felt like I had brought enough disharmony to this tiny bus and its inhabitants, so I got off. And then of course I photographed the bus.

mini-mini Jumbo Wuzhou Bus with two passengers
At least one of the passengers was smiling


After the bus drove away from its last stop with two passengers still on board, I looked at the bus stop sign wondering where I was.



The sign immediately cleared up several issues. One, this stop was not only the last for the bus I had just ridden but for several other routes as well. Two, not only did I now know my location, but I was quite familiar with it. About 10-20 meters away was the Jumbo Wuzhou Bus parking area with art above it. And finally, three, I now had a possible answer to why the two passengers stayed on board. Possibly the parking lot was a little bit closer to wherever they were going.

Confident that the bus I had just ridden would be at the parking lot, I walked over to take another photo to better record whether it was as rusty as others I had seen.

As I took a couple of photos, a woman came out of a small office and appeared quite concerned. She asked me why I was photographing the bus. Once more, I wasn't sure the first answer that came to mind was going to help matters. So I said something else that was true, "I like Jumbo Wuzhou Buses!"

On later reflection, I believe I said the first half of my answer in Chinese and the second half mostly in English. Whatever the case, I doubt the woman felt like my answer had clarified much for her.

Anyway, for posterity, rust, and all that, here is a photo I took because I like Jumbo Wuzhou Buses:

rear of a mini-mini Jumbo Wuzhou Bus


There's some rust for sure, but it doesn't look like anything is going to fall off today.

I knew there was another bus which departed from there which stopped at the place that had been my intended destination before taking yet another random bus ride. But I wondered if I had attracted a bit too much attention at the parking area. So I walked away . . .

. . . pleased that I had finally ridden a mini-mini Jumbo Wuzhou Bus.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Chinese Professor Claims the British People Originated in China

Du Gangjian's book "文明源頭與大同世界"
Du Gangjian's book with a very big claim


Some people make bold claims. Some make really bold claims. Some . . .
As far as I know, Dwowei News did not make a mistake by publishing an article intended for April 1 a bit too early.

Du Gangjian seems to have spread his wings quite a bit, as he is a law professor at Hunan University. The claims about the origins of Anglo-Saxons and the English language are part of a bigger claim that China is the origin of civilization for the world.

Who knew? Du knew. Though others in China have made related claims in the past.

If you would like to learn more about Du's claim about the Chinese origin of the world's civilizations, he has a book on the topic. The book is of course written in Chinese, which gives native speakers of English another great reason to learn the language if they haven't already. It's practically their mother tongue.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Art Above the Jumbo Wuzhou Buses

Near the Zaochong Neighborhood Bus Stop (枣冲小区站), the end of several bus routes in Wuzhou, is a place were Jumbo Wuzhou Buses can park and refuel that has an extra touch of art.

bus parking near the Zaochong Neighborhood Bus Stop (枣冲小区站) in Wuzhou


I will take this opportunity to share a few additional brief thoughts about Jumbo Wuzhou Buses:
  • By a large margin, I have seen the smallest Jumbo Wuzhou Bus the least. Sadly, I have yet to ride one. Because of this and the fact that the slightly larger bus seems closer in size with Hong Kong's minibuses, I now refer to the smallest size as the mini-minibus and the next size up, which I have ridden in various environments, the minibus. The larger regular-sized buses also come in slightly different sizes, but I haven't felt the need to give them different names. I would be interested to hear if others have come up with names though.
  • I found the reader's comment striking in part because I suspected the rust and such would have much more caught my own attention a lot more over a decade ago. In particular, it reminded me of the first time I traveled to Yunnan, also in Southwest China. I didn't feel great about getting on a few minibuses there. Now, I wouldn't blink.

And that brings an end, probably to the dismay of some readers, to the Jumbo Wuzhou Bus theme for now.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Two Contrasting Views From Jumbo Wuzhou Buses

Jumbo Wuzhou Buses are a common sight in Wuzhou, and I have recently made use of them on a number of occasions. To share a tiny bit more about the buses and the places they go, below are two photos from rides on smaller buses where I had a good view out of the front window. In the first case I was standing while heading from one central urban area to another. In the second case I was sitting while returning to an urban area after an unexpectedly long walk took me to a far more rural area. Both rides only cost 1 yuan (about U.S. 15 cents). At least one of the buses was a bit rusty, but I would say I still got more than my money's worth.

view from a Jumbo Wuzhou Bus on Fumin Road (阜民路)
At the western end of Fumin Road (阜民路)


view from a Jumbo Wuzhou Bus heading away from Baishe Village (白社村) in Wuzhou
Heading away from Baishe Village (白社村)

Sunday, March 17, 2019

U.S. Consulate in Shanghai Tweets Likely Mistaken Reports of Beyond-Crazy Bad Air in Shanghai

Nearly a full year ago, the twitter accounts reporting air quality readings for the U.S. Embassy and four U.S. Consulates in China all went silent for an extended period of time. Whatever the cause, they all eventually came back to life.

Today when I glanced at my Twitter feed, my attention was grabbed by a tweet from the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai reporting horrendous air quality there.

@CGShanghaiAir tweet reporting PM2.5 level of 985 in Shanghai


The awfulness of 985 ug/m3 for PM2.5, a particulate matter size which is an especially harmful form of air pollution, is hard to put into words. According to a U.S. government Air Quality Index (AQI) calculator, PM2.5 levels ranging from 205.5 to 500.4 ug/m3 are equal to AQIs ranging from 301-500. For 24 hour exposure, the U.S. EPA categorizes this range of AQIs as "Hazardous" — their worst category. Over 8 years ago when a machine at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing recorded a level over 500 the @BeijingAir account operated by the U.S. Embassy in China described it as "crazy bad". This accurate description was called a mistake and soon replaced with the plainer term "beyond index".

To be clear, 500 ug/m3 is the highest level the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency even bothers to categorize. A 985 ug/m3 isn't crazy bad. It's beyond-crazy bad.

Wondering what sort of calamity had occurred in Shanghai, I looked at several earlier tweets from @CGShanghaiAir. None of them reported anything near that level. For example, the previous tweet reported a PM2.5 of 118 ug/m3. This is still categorized as "Unhealthy" for short term exposure, but it is far from beyond-crazy bad.

I then checked the page on the U.S. Department of State Mission China website the reports PM2.5 AQI data for Shanghai.



Aha. The reading for the beyond-crazy bad reading wasn't appearing. The reading for 1 a.m. was also missing. So I went back to @CGShanghaiAir's tweet for that time period and . . .
another @CGShanghaiAir tweet reporting PM2.5 level of 985 in Shanghai


Aha, again. The missing readings on Mission China for 9 and 10 p.m. similarly matched up to tweets reporting the same level of pollution.

I didn't see any similar problems with recents reports for Beijing, Guangzhou, and, Shenyang. But there was a missing time period at the Mission China page for air quality in Chengdu.




A tweet from @CGChengduAir for the corresponding time also showed an out of nowhere reading of 985 ug/m3.

Aha, yet again.

While it is imaginable the AQI jumping up significantly in a short period of time due to a sudden event such as a major explosion and PM2.5 levels have surpassed 900 ug/m3 in China before, it's hard to imagine how the air quality could jump back and forth so quickly. This combined with the most suspicious readings now not appearing on the Mission China site and the absence of similar high levels in air quality reports for elsewhere in Shanghai, suggests that something was rather off with the recent tweets of 985 ug/m3 levels.

Perhaps the consulate's machine had a problem. Perhaps somebody blew smoke into the machine. I don't know. But it sure doesn't look like Shanghai's or Chengdu's air was beyond-crazy bad recently. And I'll be extra suspicious of any future tweets reporting a PM2.5 level of 985 ug/m3.

Finally, as I look now . . . @CGShanghaiAir's tweet that immediately followed the reading which first caught my attention reports a PM2.5 level of 81 ug/m3. The most recent tweet from @CGShanghaiAir at this time reports a PM2.5 level of 71 ug/m3. Both of these levels are categorized as "Unhealthy" for a 24 hour period. Still, those numbers are nowhere near 985.

So to all in Shanghai, relax. I think it's still safe to go outside with a mask on.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

A Chair Tied to Two Chickens in Wuzhou

I didn't ask them, but presumably these two chickens in Wuzhou just didn't want anybody to take their chair.

two chickens tied to a chair in Wuzhou
At Juren Road (居仁路)

Perhaps the free range chair on the street has it better.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

A Comment About a Rusty Jumbo Wuzhou Bus

In response to a post about Jumbo Wuzhou Buses in Wuzhou, Guangxi, a reader commented:
I am surprised at the condition of the bus in the first picture. The cracked paint and rust stains make the bus look unreliable, and I would have expected the bus company to at least apply some paint over the cracks and clean off the rust stains.
My short reply is that I am not surprised and have seen (and ridden) buses in worse condition. While improving appearances might positively change perceptions of the buses' reliability, I question whether that alone would ultimately change many decisions regarding a ride that often costs just 1 RMB (about U.S. 15 cents) — possibly less with an IC card.

Regardless, people desiring less rusty buses could try expressing their feelings at the Jumbo Bus Company office in Wuzhou, which I happened to stumble upon today.

Jumbo Bus Company in Wuzhou (梧州珍宝巴士有限公司)


I'm not saying this is at all likely to work, but at least you could buy or add funds to an IC card there.

Since we're on the Wuzhou bus topic once more, I will share that the other night I saw somebody with a notable umbrella.

Person boarding a bus with a yellow Jumbo Wuzhou Bus umbrella.


What better way to wait in the rain for a Jumbo Wuzhou Bus, rusty or not?

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Identified: A Paris Peacock Swallowtail on a Mountain in Wuzhou

I don't often see butterflies. I far more rarely take decent photos of them. But the other day one butterfly on Baiyun Mountain in Wuzhou was kind enough to pose (ever so briefly) for a few.

I have come up fruitless many times trying to more specifically identify unusual (to me) insects in Asia. Sometimes I have asked for help here, including with some beetles I saw around West Lake in Fuzhou, Fujian, that still remain a mystery to me. But this time a friend who saw the photos saved the day and said she thought it was a Paris peacock, a species of swallowtail butterfly. The pictures and description in the Wikipedia entry look like an excellent match, so I consider this case closed.

And now, the photos of a Paris peacock swallowtail I saw during yet an another unexpected hike up a mountain (more about that attempt to reach the top of a tower another day):


Paris peacock swallowtail butterfly on Baiyun Mountain in Wuzhou, China


Paris peacock swallowtail butterfly in Wuzhou, China


Paris peacock swallowtail butterfly in Wuzhou, China

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

An Apparent Mismatch for a Name: Mini Jumbo Wuzhou Buses in Guangxi, China

Hong Kong formally names its minibuses, like the one which appeared in the previous post, "public light buses". Wuzhou, a city in the Chinese autonomous region Guangxi, also has minibuses. But instead of "public light bus" they have another name on them.

mini Jumbo Wuzhou Bus (梧州珍宝巴士)


The "Wuzhou" and "Bus" parts of the name "Jumbo Wuzhou Bus" make obvious sense. "Jumbo" is less clear, though, since these are minibuses. If that is the jumbo size then what's the mini size?

A larger bus can help begin to clear up the mystery.

full-sized Jumbo Wuzhou Bus


They have the same name on them, which is the name of a bus company. This is clearly stated in smaller Chinese print elsewhere on the buses.

Jumbo Wuzhou Bus logo


Like buses in Hong Kong, some buses have advertising.

full-sized Jumbo Wuzhou Bus with advertising


However, you won't see advertising quite like what's on the minibus in the previous post. Hongkongers have greater political rights and more freedom of speech than people in mainland China. The "Tell Right From Wrong, True From False" slogan was part of a campaign for the Labor Party's attempt to win a 2018 Kowloon West by-election. But China still limits Hongkongers' rights to a degree that leads some people to claim Hong Kong doesn't have real democracy. These limitations were evident in Kowloon West election when the Labor Party's original candidate, Lau Siu-lai, was barred from running due to her previous stances regarding Hong Kong's self-determination.

Back to more mundane matters . . . in Wuzhou there are buses in between the mini Jumbo Wuzhou Bus and the regular-sized Jumbo Wuzhou Bus in terms of size. So here are two mini-plus Jumbo Wuzhou Buses:

two mid-sized Jumbo Wuzhou Buses


The word "珍宝" in the Chinese name for Jumbo Wuzhou Bus would often be translated as "treasure". But it is also a loanword in Cantonese meaning "jumbo" because of its similar sound to the English word. Like in Hong Kong, Cantonese is a commonly spoken language in Wuzhou.

I can't shed more light on what inspired the choice of "jumbo". But if you want to dig more, it might be worth looking into the Guangzhou buses with a similar name and logo.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Trump's Tweets in the Hong Kong News

Tonight on the news as I waited for a ferry tonight in Hong Kong:


Donald Trump on the news in Hong Kong


A tweet by Donald Trump featured in the news in Hong Kong


A tweet by Donald Trump featured in the news in Hong Kong


China and US flags displayed on a news segment about the China - US trade discussions


Just a basic point that is part of a larger picture: Trump's tweets receive close attention, even here.