Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Crowded Labor Day in Shenzhen's Dongmen

Today marked the beginning of the Labor Day (May Day) national holiday in China. On pedestrian streets in Shenzhen's Dongmen (东门) area the crowds were dense as many people shopped, ate, or labored. Almost two years ago, I shared photos of outdoor scenes and fashion for sale at Dongmen. For a current look at Dongmen and a contrast with another Labor Day I spent two years ago in Yinchuan, Ningxia, here is a set of outdoor photos from there today which capture more slices of life in China:

dense crowd at Dongmen in Shenzhen during Labour Day

little boy holding a balloon in Shenzhen

woman holding a red purse in Shenzhen

young woman wearing a black miniskirt with a long black lace skirt over it

Spider Man being photographed in Shenzhen

man in vest blowing out smoke

man talking to girl in a stroller

woman wearing a shirt with "hello" on it

young woman wearing a shirt reading "SICK"

young men walking on a street in Dongmen

couple holding hands in Shenzhen

crowds at Dongmen, Shenzhen

people sitting at a small park in Dongmen

two young women walking holding hands

boy riding a bike on a pedestrian street in Dongmen

a three child stroller

crowds at Dongmen

crowds near Shenzhen's first McDonald's

older couple with child in a stroller

man smoking and talking on a mobile phone at Dongmen

girl carrying a large bottle of Wang Lao Ji.

young man walking on a pedestrian street

young women wear black a hot pink outfits and holding hands

two young men holding hands

three young women talking a selfie at Dongmen

young man and woman talking to each other

man sitting down and smoking next to a child in a stroller

man squatting on steps and smoking as a young woman takes a selfie behind him

people sitting on steps at Dongmen

"Xinjiang Roast Meet" food stall at Dongmen, Shenzhen

young man and woman eating kebabs next to filled trashcans at Dongmen

sanitation worker

narrow pedestrian street at Dongmen

woman pulling a stroller cart with a young boy

two young women looking up

young man looking to his right

man and woman walking together and looking in different directions

rock with the word "东门“ ("Dongmen") engraved in it

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Few Scenes from Yangjiang's Beihu Park

lake a Beihu Park in Yangjiang, Guangdong

Beihu Park (北湖公园) in Yangjiang's Jiangcheng district seems to have seen better days and shows signs of significant wear. Nonetheless, it seemed to be another place suitable for a game of xianqi, and I enjoyed a quiet visit walking around its lake.

Here are three scenes from one of its more spiritual islands where I met a friendly monk:

smiling Buddha statue at Beihai Park

monk at Beihu Park

Bamboo at Beihu Park

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Return With an Outdoor Cafe Scene

Here are two people sitting at an outdoor cafe in the middle of a pedestrian shopping street in Zhanjiang's Xiashan district:

two people sitting at an outdoor cafe in Zhanjiang, China

On an unrelated note, I finally have usable Internet access once more and expect to be returning to a relatively normal state. So of course that means posts about a big boat, mud worms, and mobile phones are all on the way.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Taking a Break in Zhanjiang

Here are two people I met a couple of days ago at in Zhanjiang, Guangdong:

a young man and woman sitting on a bench at a park in Zhanjiang

Connecting to the Internet is proving to be challenging at my current location, so my posting may be very light for at least several days. Will see ...

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Buggy Experience on a Zhanjiang Student's Mobile Phone

At Guangdong Ocean University in Zhanjiang, I met a student who on her own initiative showed me a photo on her mobile phone.

iPhone displaying a photo of a bug walking across English text

The photo contrasted with a Starbucks photo I saw several days earlier about 1 hour away on a Zhanjiang Normal University student's phone.

Starbucks and a bug are two genuine experiences Zhanjiang students' captured with their mobile phones. On the surface such photos can seem very different, but what they hold in common at deeper levels can be more revealing.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Starbucks Experience on a Zhanjiang Student's Mobile Phone

While meeting the students at Zhanjiang Normal University who, to varying degrees, were cleaning up a grassy area, I saw that one student's mobile phone had a notable image prominently featured.

female Chinese university student holding a Samsung mobile phone displaying a photograph of two drinks in Starbucks cups

I found it notable partly because Zhanjiang does not have any Starbucks stores. But the photo represents a genuine Starbucks experience, something I suspect both the student and Starbucks appreciate, and she took the photo at one of the many Starbucks in Shenzhen, where her family lives.

At least for the moment, the photo likely sets her apart from many other students at her university. But soon they and the girl I saw wearing the Starbucks Gangnam Style shirt will have more of an opportunity to have their own genuine experience when a new Starbucks opens in Zhanjiang. I would not be surprised if the occasion leaves a mark on many other mobile phones.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Non-Voluntary Volunteer Work at a University in Zhanjiang

On a large grassy area between several classroom and dormitory buildings at Zhanjiang Normal University, one group of students happily posed for a photo:

Part of their happiness may have been due to me offering them an excuse to take a break from their "volunteer" work of cleaning the area. The quotes are used because "volunteer" was their initial word for it, and they later explained that the work was a university requirement for freshman students. At other universities in China, I have seen freshman students engaged in similar required activities. It is supposed to be more about instilling certain values than providing the university free labor.

One of the students emphatically explained that she "really, really, really" didn't want to be doing the work. I can't say I was surprised, since I had earlier observed that few of them seemed very engaged in cleaning and several of them simply stood in the middle of the grass holding still brooms while engaged in other activities, usually involving a mobile phone. In the next post, I will share what I saw on one student's mobile phone. It ties back to an earlier post about Zhanjiang and suggests what she and probably some others would rather have been doing than sweeping the grass.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Science Labs at Zhanjiang Normal University

Today at Zhanjiang Normal University in Zhanjiang's Chikan district I stopped by a Colloid and Surface Chemistry Lab:

a Botany Lab:

a Chemistry Measurement Lab:

a Food Nutrition Lab:

and an Environment-Friendly Polymers Lab:

The last photo includes a prominent hint of one of the reasons behind my visits to these labs. My main reason to share the photos here, though, is to simply provide yet another look at China.

This probably concludes the science lab portion of the tour, but I will later share other scenes from Zhanjiang Normal University while touching on issues such as creativity and Western brands in China.