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You know you are back in China when….

There are vaccum-packed pig snouts next to the lunch meat.

Cristal

Here’s a few more photos from brunch at Cristal a few weeks ago.  I think it’s  a great place to enjoy some sun!

Cristal

4/F, 269 Wujiang Lu, near Maoming Bei Lu; 吴江路269号4楼, 近茂名北路

Maori at the Expo

The Maori are the indigenious people of New Zealand. at the New Zealand pavillion at the Expo, they are performing the Kapa Haka several times a day. I was only at the expo for a short time, but managed to catch part of the show. Suzy and I took 15 Maori on a shopping tour; it was awesome to hear about their traditions of tattooing. I’m looking forward to going back to the pavillion to see their entire performance!

De He Teahouse

This teahouse is at 135 Jian Guo Xi Lu, near Shaanxi Nan Lu. You buy your tea for at least 78 RMB and then a massive buffet of snacks is included. Inside it’s decorated with antique furniture, stone statues and trickling streams with fish swimming in them. It is a very pleasant way to spend a few hours!

Beautifying the City

Planting flowers everywhere possible really does improve the enviroment. Sandhya said she read that they’d created new hybrid flowers that will withstand the flower-wilting hot summer!

Expo Taxi

These new taxis have just hit the streets 2 weeks ago. They’re pretty flash! Leather seats, GPS and even seat belts!! They are the only ones that will be allowed on/around the Expo site.

Mailboxes on Changle Lu

Changle Lu – 52 Weeks 52 Streets

Changle Lu is a nice street for a walk through the French Concession.

Birds at the Market

The address of this little market is 261 Changhua Lu, near Kangding Lu. Look for a small entrance to the alleyway (above).  I was the only foreigner there and everyone stared a lot (not surprising, but always a bit uncomfortable!)  You can read another article about it here.

Pet and Plant Market – Changsha Lu

Yan’an Lu at Night, near Jing’an Temple

Night Photos

Here are a few night photos from around People’s Square.  They were all hand-held.

The new blue LED lights made it look very cool, but hard to get a good color representation in the photos.  The camera thought that there was no way there could be so much blue, so it added in a lot of red to compensate.  I tried several things in-camera to fix this, but in the end I just had to fix it by using a point on the photo to tell the computer what white was supposed to be.


Beihai Lu – 52 Weeks, 52 Streets

I need to have some variety in times I shoot or everything will start to look the same!  Gary over at Expatriate Games has some really great night photos; if I remember correctly we have the same camera so technically I should be able to shoot in as low of light as he does.  These were all hand-held photos.

Beautifying the streets

These planters with hanging vines actually do make the streets look nicer – they hide the piles of bikes parked along the road.


Beijing Dong Lu – part II

Lots of work is going on… only a couple weeks until the Expo starts!  My favorite photo here is of the worker scraping the Chinese character for “demolish” off of a huge glass window.  I’m not certain if this means the building isn’t going to be demolished (at least not while Expo is going on), or if the window will be reused so they need to remove the paint first.

Beijing Dong Lu – 52 Weeks, 52 Streets

Beijing Dong (East) Road is known for all of little shops selling everything having to do with building things: pipes, wheels, nuts, bolts, screws, transformers, tools, ball bearings, and many dohickies and thingamagigs that I have no idea what they might be used for.

Antique/Junk Warehouse

Alicia told us last week about this massive building with old furniture piled to the ceiling.  Today, Suzy, Johnna, Alicia and I went to check it out.  You could spend days digging through all of the stuff – our guess is that some is antique, and some is freshly-made to look antique.  It’s really dirty, dusty and you should bring a flashlight to get a better look at things.

Hanging Meat

Now you see meat hanging outside all of the time.  These were on our roof.  I don’t think it’s cold enough to keep meat fresh.

McDonald’s delivered.

In America, we have drive-thrus.  We can get any type of food, do our banking, or pick up a prescription at the drive-thru.  The concept hasn’t been heard of here.

Instead, we have things delivered.  McDonald’s included.  You see the McDonald’s guys on bikes everywhere (petal bikes, not scooters. McDonald’s must be cheap.)  I read how to do this a while ago, and Claire and I decided to test it out.

We called the number…. ordered…  and 16 minutes later a guy was at her door with our order!  We were amazed.

Store in the Subway

I’ve never noticed this store before, but it is right in the People’s Square metro station, by exit 7.  I was waiting to meet someone and noticed it.  Check out the cute little “hats” the little “men” are wearing.

Bathhouses

I’ve gotten into the whole Bathhouse thing.  First, I went to one with Casey and Helen, and we spent an all-too-quick 5 hours there.  (Helen needed to do research for this article previously, so knew the whole routine.)  The next week, I went to another one with Claire and we spent 6 hours there.  This week, I took Hanna and Henrik and we spent about 7 hours there.  Today, we soaked in the baths, got a body scrub, then an olive oil “body beauty treatment” and cucumber face mask, showered, got a shoulder massage, took a little nap, ate a few dumplings at the restaurant, then got a head massage.  It cost about 350 RMB.

New Star is the one I like best so far.  It’s actually Korean (there’s even dog meat on the menu) and they have some interesting things, like sweat-lodge type things that have special crystals in them.  It’s no-smoking, which is the best, and also headphones in the room where you can lay and watch TV and get a foot massage.  It’s much more relaxing that Xiao Nan Guo.

I feel kind of like a puddle when I get done.  Very loose and relaxed.  Ahhhhh……

Claire and I in the pajamas they give you to wear around.  At New Star, the floors are heated so there is no need to wear slippers!

Demolition

I always carry my camera around with me for moments like this – when something interesting is happening on the street!  This was about a month ago before Suzy and I did a tour.  Look at the purple and orange rooms in the torn-down house!

Stuck in the Mud

The boys got a little crazy off-roading with their sidecars.

Jon S. thinks Oh S*#$!

Oops.

It took Li a couple hours to fix his bike.

Jon’s Sidecar Trip

Here are a lot of Jon’s photos from the sidecar trip he took with Steve and Jon in November.  They had a lot of fun!!

52 Weeks, 52 Streets – Anfu Lu

On Friday, I gave my friends KC and Erica a photography lesson.  We discussion composition at my house, looked at a few examples from my photos, and then all went out to Anfu Lu to see what we could find to shoot.  There is always something – you just have to look for it!!  I realized that I could also probably do “sculptures around Shanghai”, “Shanghai Dogs” and “Shanghai’s Dirty Laundry” for photo books too.  Plus a book of textures.

Dragon Dance Ceremony

This is one of the most interesting things to watch!  The dragons dance all around, jump up on their hind legs, and are fed and get eyes painted on.  Very interesting!

Opening Ceremony Dragon Dance

I recently went to an opening ceremony where they had the traditional dragon dance!  It was one of the coolest traditions that I’ve seen here.  I’ll be posting a photo gallery later.

Opening Ceremony Fireworks

China lights fireworks to celebrate everything!  Plus it scares off evil spirits.  Businesses will also send flowers such as the ones pictured upon the opening of a new business.

Where are you from?

At the Cuisine Festival, a group of us were walking around but only two stopped at a booth.  Shane and I were interested in more information, and I asked if I could have a brochure too since we weren’t together.  The Chinese guy talking to us asked me to fill out a form so he could send me some more information.

I filled in my name, gender, and country of origin.

Chinese guy:  “Oh, you are from the US?”

Emily:  “Yes; where did you think I was from?”

Chinese guy: ” I thought you were an angel fallen down from Heaven.”

Spidermen

IMG_4558These guys must be fearless.

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