Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Mid-Autumn Festival Lanterns Surround a Dinosaur in Macau

Hello Kitty mooncakes aren't the only example of the Mid-Autumn Festival mixing with other themes in Macau.

Mid-Autumn Festival lanterns and a large dinosaur on display in front of the Macau Science Center

These holiday lanterns and dinosaur currently stand in front of the Macau Science Center, which has a temporary "Living Dinosaurs" exhibition. Similar lanterns are on display elsewhere in Macau, but I haven't seen others with a dinosaur. Maybe I will get to see a dinosaur lantern somewhere else soon.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Non-Smoking Areas Above Macau's Streets

A few years ago I wrote about new regulations requiring non-smoking areas in Macau's many casinos. Casinos aren't the only places, though, where smoking is regulated, and government "no smoking" signs are easy to find these days.

no-smoking sign in Macau

The above sign especially caught my eye due to its location.

pedestrian bridge over Rua de Ferreira do Amaral in Macau

Even open-air pedestrian bridges can be smoke free in Macau.

After taking the above photograph I noticed someone walking towards me. I soon realized why. They didn't care about me but instead cared about what was next to me.

trash can with ashtray on top filled with cigarette butts and water in Macau

Plenty of people in Macau still smoke.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Mooncake Delivery in Macau

Today I saw more signs in Macau of the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival holiday, including this truck delivering Maxim's mooncakes.

Maxim's bakery truck delivering mooncakes in Macau

Unlike the mooncakes for dogs and cats I saw advertised elsewhere in Macau, these appeared to be for humans.

Later in the day, I saw a Koi Kei bakery truck with a less traditional design than I have seen before. The truck's design featured mooncakes. Again, they are presumably for humans, but they do have a popular cat theme.

Koi Kei bakery delivery truck with Hello Kitty mooncake design in Macau

Hello Kitty mooncakes represent a fusion of sorts between Chinese and Japanese cultures. I will soon share another mooncake fusion cooked in a place far away from Macau.

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.

Coming to Macau

Advertisement sign for Elvis Costello concert next to a street sign for Estrada Da Areia Preta in Macau

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

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

No Facekinis on a Cloudy Day at a Zhuhai Beach

Most of the time I see photos of China's beaches in the news, they either feature incredibly dense crowds or people wearing facekinis. So here are two photos from a small beach across the road from Haibin Park in Zhuhai which show an everyday side which may look a bit more familiar to people outside of China.

The beach's location makes it convenient for a quick stop between other popular activities. The beach affords views of Zhuhai's iconic Fisher Girl Statue (in the background of the first photo) and an urban area of the Xiangzhou district (in the background of the second photo). And Jingshan Park, previously featured here, is an easy walk away.

On this day some people likely welcomed the overcast sky since they would not need to worry about getting a tan. No facekinis, which raise more questions about burkini bans in France, were needed.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Mooncakes Go to the Dogs

In past years I have shared Mid-Autumn Festival scenes in Macau from locations such as Taipa Village, Portas do Cerco, and Largo do Senado. Mid-Autumn Festival isn't until September 15 this year, but signs of preparation for the holiday are already visible, such as in Largo do Senado.

preparations for Mid-Autumn festival in Macau

In addition to lanterns, mooncakes are a popular way to celebrate the holiday. I saw a sign in Macau indicating that they won't be restricted to only humans.

sign for Mid-Autumn Festival mooncakes for dogs and cats

Although they perhaps aren't a familiar aspect of the holiday to many in China, pet mooncakes aren't a new thing and other brands are out there. Mooncake flavors listed on this sign include carrot salmon, Aussie beef flavor, tuna cheese, and chicken, pumpkin & sweet potato. All are listed as acceptable for dogs. Only the the tuna cheese is listed as cat friendly.

I don't know what will happen if you try to give a carrot salmon mooncake to a cat. I also don't know if a human would like them. People may want to take extra care when selecting which box of mooncakes to regift.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Last Sandwich in Taiyuan

As recents posts here and here indicate, I am no longer in Taiyuan, and have most recently been in Zhuhai and Macau far to the south. Leaving Taiyuan proved to be more challenging than I had expected. After I told the person at the Taiyuan Wusu International Airport check-in counter my destination, she asked "What time?" with a tone voice indicating something wasn't quite right.

My flight had been canceled. C'est la vie.

Long story short, it made more sense for me to take the flight at the same time the next day than taking a flight much later than same day which I believed had a good chance of being delayed. Fortunately, Taiyuan's airport isn't very far from the city center. Soon the staff of the hotel where I had been staying was surprised to see me again, and I was taking advantage of the opportunity to do / eat a bit more in Taiyuan.

When I arrived at the airport the next morning, all was fine except I was hungry. At an airport in a city such as Taiyuan, I would expect to find restaurants serving overpriced and / or unexciting Chinese food and KFC. But the Taiyuan airport offered a changed of pace.

Subway sandwich shop in Terminal 2 of the Taiyuan Wusu International Airport

I didn't expect Subway to be my last meal in Taiyuan. Admittedly, it wasn't my first sandwich in Taiyuan, but this one didn't have donkey meat.

Another Late Night Meal

A return to a familiar place . . .

restaurant in Zhuhai, China