Tag Archives: Chinglish

Chinese Food

Do you know what they call Chinese food in China?  Food.  Yup, that’s right, in some parts of the world it is just food.  Delicious food, by the way.  I was always skeptical about Chinese restaurants and Chinese food in the USA, mostly because any Chinese food I have ever eaten in the States is a far cry from what I grew to love in China.  There is so much variety in Chinese food, so many distinct cuisines under the giant umbrella we just classify as Chinese food.  Most of which American’s have never heard of.  Americanized chow mein, beef and broccoli, and orange chicken were not items I ate in China. Last night, however, I discovered there is good food (of the Chinese variety) in the Portland, OR metropolitan area.

I have about six days left in Oregon before I head out on my new adventure (to Nashville, TN – check out my new blog) and I had been trying to figure out where to stay for my last few nights in town.  My dad mentioned that he had some friends from Southern Oregon who had a condo in Beaverton and they would be willing to let me stay.  Awesome.  Turns out it is an older couple, my dad sings in the Rogue Valley Chorale with the woman who is American and her husband is Chinese.  They were going to be in town over the weekend, as was my dad, so it was arranged that we would all meet up at their place on Sunday and we would all go out to Chinese food!

I have to say, not only am I incredibly thankful for their generosity in letting me use the condo for a week.  But they were also a lot of fun to get to know.  Gene is a 77 year old man from China, who came to the US sometime after college.  Now, for those of you who know ANYTHING about Chinese history, stop and think about what this man lived through growing up in China in the 1930’s-1950’s.  He has some stories to tell, to say the least.  He also is one of the most energetic, talkative and lively 77 year olds I have ever met.  He was quite a riot.  When we first came in and sat down, he tossed me a newspaper in Chinese and said, “Let’s test her Chinese!”

Anyways… this was supposed to be about food.  They took us to this place called Taste of Sichuan (Sichuan is only my favorite of Chinese cuisines). I had never heard of it and when we pulled up I knew it was new because the building housed a Marie Calendars when I moved away in 2011.  We go inside to a crowd of people waiting to be seated, and luckily they tell us it will only be about 15 minutes.  I sit down in front of the board with some of their specials written on it and see 小笼包 xiaolongbao or steamed dumplings. My first thought is “YUMMY!”  My second thought is “$7.95!?!? I would never pay that much for xiaolongbao!”

We are seated, ordered the xiaolongbao right away as a starter and looked at the menu.  Oh there are so many delightful things it is hard to chose!  But no pictures?  In China, your menu is normally a fat book filled with 15-50 pages of pictures of every single dish.  Of course, when you can’t speak Chinese this is helpful to see what looks good.  But also, the Chinglish translations (although entertaining) leave a lot to be desired.  (Like the time I ordered delicious pork spareribs that were described as octopus in English… hmmm.) Fortunately, in the States the English was more accurate.  However, I did have to ask Gene about some of the characters because I knew the Chinese names for dishes and not the English names.

I opted out of the Tsingdao beer when I learned they had good microbrews to offer as well, so I went Oregonian and ordered a Widmer hef.  Funny thing, I was a little put off about it at the time, but after awhile I realized in China it wouldn’t have been a big deal.  You see, in many non-western establishments in China it is a safe bet to ask for a COLD beer, as they often serve it in bottles at room temperature.  This wasn’t really on my mind when the waitress came out handed me a beer and a glass of ice.  She said, “I brought you ice because we ran out of cold bottles of the beer.”  Indeed my bottle of hefeweizen was room temperature.  In my moment of cultural insensitivity, I was obviously not thrilled with the prospect of pouring my beer over ice and she offered me a different one – Ninkasi IPA to go with my Chinese food.

After choosing items from the menu, with lots of discussion and debate.  I think I shocked the waiter when I did all the ordering for the table – in Chinese.  Okay, so it was broken Chinese and Gene had to help me out with a couple of them, but I did it.  茄子,回锅肉,宫保鸡丁(eggplant in hot garlic sauce, twice cooked pork, Kung Pao chicken) and one more.

Four tell-tale signs that we were in America: there were forks on the table and we had to ask for chopsticks.  The rice came out with the dishes (not last).  Most of the dishes came out at the same time.  And we got a fortune cookie at the end of the meal.  Newsflash America: you don’t get fortune cookies in China. My fortune was pretty good though: You will have a fine capacity for the enjoyment of life.  They know me so well.

Oh…it was delicious.  A bit spicy, as good Sichuan food should be.  But they were all the tastes and smells I have been living without for the past two months being back in the States.  For dessert (which none of us really had room for) we had 芝麻汤圆 or sesame sticky rice balls.

Good food, good company and conversations about China with a little Chinese thrown in… it made me want to go back.  But for now, I might just have to make do with leftovers.


Buses, Boats, Boas & Lady Boys? Part II

Day 2: Boats, Beautiful Scenery and …

On the second day of our trip, we actually got to see the beautiful Qiandao Lake.  Qiandao Lake (千岛湖) is actually a huge man-made lake (covers 573 square kilometers or 221 square miles) with literally thousands of islands (the name translates to Thousand Island Lake).  There are 1078 larger islands and thousands of smaller islands.  The islands were once actually the tops of mountains and hills in the region.  However, after a flood in the 1950’s, the Chinese decided to build a dam and hydro-power station on the Xin’an River which created the lake as a reservoir. The lake is know for its clear and clean green and sometimes drinkable waters.

Green water

After an early breakfast at the hotel, it was a short (yet bumpy) bus ride to the main touristy area of the lake, where we were able to board boats to go check out the lake. On the way over, a tour guide told us a lot of facts and interesting tidbits about the lake, in Chinese.  I did, however, understand when he said about 8-10 times that it was a very big lake.

A beautiful day at 千岛湖!

After quick stop to pose for pictures at the little fake waterfall and large gates by the entrance of the tourist area, we boarded three boats to go visit a couple of the islands.  At first when we boarded and asked if we could go upstairs on to the deck of the boat, we were told it would be an extra 30rmb.  When we took off the price had dropped to 20rmb, and about 15 minutes into the ride the extra charge went away, and we allowed upstairs to see the view and take pictures.  Oh, China!

On the boat, zippin' along between the islands.

It was a beautiful morning, and zipping along between the islands, sometimes coming within a couple meters of the land on either side was delightful and relaxing.  We soon stopped at the first island for the day (I was hoping to see at least thousand, but alas, had to settle for three.)

Chairlift up the island!

As we got off the boats and walked up a short hill, we found ourselves waiting in line for a chairlift to the top of the island.  Beautiful views, blue skies, wooded areas and short walks through nature were enough to make it worthwhile.  We had about an hour to spend exploring the island before we had to be back on the boats to go to island #2.

View from the top of the island

My Royal Branch Kid Castle coworkers!

The second island of the day was the snake island.  Apparently, when you have over a thousand islands you should create themed islands for the enjoyment of your tourists.  The monkey island sounded like fun to all of us, but it was closed.  (I heard rumors of high waters making it hard to access, monkeys not being friendly to tourists and monkeys swimming away to escape to other islands…)

Snake Art Show = Lady Boys

Upon arrival to the snake island, I heard talk of there being a snake show – complete with “Thai trannies”.  Personally, I did not know what Thai trannies had to do with snakes, but after being underwhelmed by the pit of poisonous snakes 0r the “Venomous Snakes Pool Civilization Ornamental”, I decided to pay the 15rmb to see the snake show.

I did not make up that name! Chinglish.

Upon entering and sitting down in the small outdoor auditorium for the show, we quickly discovered that photos were not allowed.  Holding up a cell phone would get you yelled at by security, and a friend who merely had a camera sitting on her lap was approached by a security guard who took the lens of her camera and turned it away from the stage.  Apparently, the three pretty boys in dresses, high heels, wigs and make-up singing and dancing for us did not like their pictures taken.  We watched them sing and dance without any snakes.  Next another beautiful lady-boy came out and did a duet for us, singing beautifully both the woman and man’s parts of the song in Chinese, his voice changing instantly between the higher and lower sections of the song.

Lots of snakes!

Just as we were beginning to wonder why this was featured on the snake island as a snake show, some Chinese(?) girls (they were actually girls) came out with snakes around their necks for a quick dance.  A 30-second display by a Chinese man and a cobra, another song and dance by the lady-boys and the show was over.  It was rather disappointing, but also quite hilarious.  They certainly managed to get our money!  However, when the show came to an end and we were suddenly allowed to have our pictures taken (for a fee) with the lady-boys, we opted out.

A boa - as promised.

Walking around the island, they had other pits full of a variety of snakes, and a few boa constrictors that you could hold and for a price (as always) have your picture taken with.  A co-worker of mine managed to get one on her shoulders before she let them know she had no interest in paying – and I managed to snap a couple shots before getting pushed out of the way by the woman trying to get us to pay for the opportunity.

I felt bad for the boas, obviously getting way to much human attention.  The one in the picture below was unusually lethargic, I know snakes aren’t the most energetic of creatures, but this one almost seemed dead for part of the time.  As it was picked up, poked, prodded and wrapped around yet another tourists shoulders.

Char with a boa around her neck.

As we boarded the boats we saw that a meal had been laid out for us.  Oh yay!  Fish.  More fish dishes of every variety.  Luckily, there was one chicken dish again and white rice to fill up empty space in my stomach.  Everyone was sick of fish after dinner the night before and this lunch.  After lunch we went to our final island of the day.

Mmmm.... Fishy!!

Lunch on the boat!

I avoided the head of the chicken...

This island was connected to another smaller island by a large bridge which you could walk across, for a small price!  I decided to stay put, spend my money on an ice cream and soak up the sun instead.

Bridge connecting islands

Staying put also gave me the opportunity to be the tourist attraction of the day for a large group of Chinese who arrived to the island shortly after we did.  Pictures with the blond for everyone!  The real excitement for the Chinese came when they learned that the blond and the black girl were BOTH Americans and we let them take pictures with both of us.  One Chinese man was so delighted to have both of us in a picture, that he squeezed my head and Char’s head up against his for a picture of a nice colorful sandwich of ethnicity.

Soaking up the sun!

After taking the boat back to the main dock, we climbed back aboard our buses for the 5+ hour ride back home to Shanghai.  I could have stayed a couple extra days, but it is always nice to be home.


As it is summertime, I’m not taking Chinese classes at the moment and I’m always up for getting out and having a little adventure, I decided to take an afternoon and go to Suzhou (苏州).  I have been to Suzhou twice before, once a couple months ago with my friend Roger when we met up with Katherine from the MIM program, and once over a year ago when I was in China with the MIM program.  But it is a neat city with lots of things to do, plus it is only about 30 minutes away by high speed train so I decided to go back.

I invited my friend, Heather, to go with me, who I learned had never been to Suzhou in her 3 years in Shanghai, and we headed off for a Monday day-cation!  I didn’t really know my way around town, or what exactly to go see, but I jotted down a few notes on places to check out before I took off and decided to just figure it out when we got there.

One of the places I wrote down was the Lingering Garden or Liu Yuan (留园).  Suzhou is famous for their gardens. I had previously been to the Humble Administrator’s Garden with the MIM program and Roger and I went to Tiger Hill to see the leaning tower of Suzhou, as I like to call it.  Therefore, I picked a new one.  After two failed attempts of getting on buses I thought went to the Lingering Garden, we finally found a bus from the train station to take us there.

It really leans!

The 40rmb peak season entry fee we figured was justifiable because of the extensive upkeep that must be done on such a large beautiful garden.  And a beautiful garden it was!  I think it is much smaller than the Humble Administrator’s Garden, and unlike the last two times I visited tourist attractions in Suzhou, we didn’t have a tour guide to stop and explain to us the history, meaning and significance of each plant, stone, sculpture and building.  Instead, Heather and I just lingered around the Lingering Garden.

The very green lingering garden

It was pleasant, even though the rain decided to come as soon as we walked in.  Thankfully there were plenty of covered passages and walkways with greenery draped over them to keep us dry.

What I would recommend the most, if you ever decide to linger around this garden – is to make sure to read the signs.  Because there is some delightful Chinglish to see on the signs!  I got pictures of a few good ones, but there were many more.

Be warned! In case you are tempted to take a dip...

I'm not sure how to omnivorously do something...

Ahh... the bright scenery of civilized human beings!

Feeling ill? Try being a bit more civilized.

After the gardens, I some how managed to find the little area of canals lined with old buildings, and trendy little shops and cafe’s Roger had taken me to before.  We wandered around town for a few hours, had some ice cream at DQ and then headed back to Shanghai!

Woman selling fruit

What does this say to you?

Classic Suzhou

Qipu Monday

Part I of III: Inside the Qipu shops

Lessons from part one:

  • When shopping in China, always bring your camera
  • Even clothing manufacturers need spell check
  • Don’t be afraid to pee in front of strangers
  • Hold on to your purse – TIGHT

A simple, “hey, you want to go shopping Monday afternoon?” can translate into all kinds of adventure in Shanghai.  I hadn’t really done much actually shopping in Shanghai and with the weather changing, my waistline growing and my appreciation/curiosity of Chinese fashion deepening, I wanted to go do some shopping – not just looking.  I talked to my friend (and fellow Portland State MIM alum), Yumi and was easily able to convince her to ditch her husband for the afternoon and join me on a little trip to Qipu.  We had both been to the area before, but were both in a rush and never really had the time to truly appreciate the 6-10 huge buildings filled with 4+ stories of all the cheap goods China has to offer.  Yumi, her husband Adam and some friends had, however, explored the streets of food in the area and blogged about it on their fun blog: Shanghai’d! Life and Love in China.

I asked a co-worker if she wanted to join us for shopping, and she had already planned on going to Qipu with a few friends and co-workers.  Perfect! Yumi and I planned on meeting three Taiwanese/Chinese teachers from my (Kid Castle) school to see what Qipu’s cheap, Chinese fashion had to offer.

Everyone needs a South Park dress - it is SO hip right now.

I had Chinese class from 9:25-12:10 Monday morning, so after class I jumped on the subway and met Yumi at her subway station just two stops away from my university.  We continued on the subway and got to the Qipu area right about 1pm, before any of the others arrived. Hungry, we hit the street for a random selection of food.  I settled with a crepe-type thing filled with red bean paste, some fried dumplings and a pearl milk tea with coconut jelly!  Delicious!

Shortly thereafter, we met up with Amanda (a Chinese co-worker of mine) and starting hitting up one of the many buildings of shops.  The exit for the subway station dropped you off in the basement of this particular building so it seemed like a natural place to start.  The basement level was all shoes, bags, wallets, scarves, jewelry and nail salons- where you could also get a real tattoo (we felt it was a bit of a sketchy place for doing so).  We weren’t in the mood for shoes, bags, or hepatitis tattoos, so we went on up to the main floor.

Each of these floors is hard to describe.  Imagine a building that takes up an entire city block.  Now imagine inside this building rows and rows of small shops. (Some so small more that than one or two people can barely fit in the shop.)  You can get lost on one floor as there are probably several hundred of these little shops and they all look amazingly similar.  A fascinating experience even if you aren’t particularly interested buying anything.  If you do want to buy something, it is a challenge and an experience!

Most clothing items come in one size (which in Asia seems to means extra small) they will only have one of an item on display among crowded racks and on the walls.  If you want something and find a defect (look closely!) like a hole or a snag on the one on the display they may or may not have a “new” one in a plastic bag somewhere hidden in their little shop.  I learned (unlike when buying jeans at the fake market) most places won’t even let you try things on.  Hold it up and think about whether or not it will fit.

So you find something, you think it will actually fit – the seams are holding together relatively well and the quality doesn’t seem so bad.  Sure – let’s buy it!  How much?  Ahh… to bargain in China, a learned talent that takes time, development, practice and patience, I think I could write a whole blog on it.  Let’s just say our general rule of thumb for the afternoon (after I spent too much – almost $8.00 – on a shirt) was to pay at most one third the offered price.

Back to our day, after meeting up with Amanda we walked around the first floor not really having anything grab our eye – expect for a very low quality shirt from a vendor that refused to bargain.  (I decided to pass that one up, luckily.) We were starting to wander around the 2nd floor – also women & men’s Chinese fashion, when my friends/coworkers from Taiwan, May and Osteen showed up.  Once May was there the wandering and occasionally looking turned into a more in-depth search, going into many shops to look at their sometimes outrageous styles.  Some of the best Chinglish around can actually be found on clothing…

I think they want to know if you BELIEVE in DESTINY (not "Do you betleve in desting")

Could we at least make our typos rhyme? "Pugs not Drigs"

Buy this brand - "This is very good brand of a trousers"! (But only in one size...)

From store to store we went looking, laughing, bargaining and occasionally purchasing clothing.  We made it to the third floor at one point to discover it was completely children’s clothing; the 4th floor was set aside for “Korean fashion”, the shops were bigger, a bit nicer, more expensive and not as willing to bargain.  So we headed back to the second floor.  May had been deliberating about a skirt that she had passed up when the woman wouldn’t bring the price down from 25rmb to 20rmb.  We told her if she spent so much time thinking about it, then she should buy it.  It was worth the $3.80 the woman wanted to charge her.

At one point, Yumi and I ran off to find a restroom.  All I can say, is you haven’t travelled together until you have squat peed together – with about 20 other women.  I don’t understand how Chinese woman can squat over a trough in the floor, in the open, with everyone else’s waste flowing by for such a long time while playing with their iphones.  I guess I’m just not that into the culture.  I will squat and get my white butt outta there as quickly as possible!!  (We were thankful & pleasantly surprised by the soap – a rarity at public restrooms).

A different restroom - of similar variety. The one in Qipu had at least 10 stalls without doors on either side of the room.

Bags of clothes: the receiving department?

Around 5pm, (after almost 4 hours of exploring the first building) we were feeling the need for a snack and Amanda wanted to sit down for a bit.  The Asian girls headed to KFC for a seat, while Yumi and I hit the street for some more street food.  Why eat American fast food when there is plenty to eat on the street!  Walking with my trash after devouring more delicious fried dumplings (a different variety), I realized even on a disgusting, crowded, filthy, littered street – my upbringing caused me to search for a garbage can.  The crowded streets in this area are filled with trash – but we couldn’t imagine adding ours to the mix.  Ironically – the trash bin was half empty. We met up with the girls back at KFC to rest our feet, indulge in some ice cream and discuss further plans.  But not without our first pick pocketing experience!

As we were walking towards KFC, a couple of Chinese woman and a younger looking girl were walking towards us.  The girl was walking very close behind the other two and I assumed they were together.  As they walked by I saw the girl was digging in one of the woman’s purses and after a split second still thinking they knew each other I realized she was digging for something to steal.  I grabbed Yumi and pointed them out as they were walking away, “that girl is has her hand in that woman’s purse – she is trying to take her wallet!!”  As they were getting further down the street, we couldn’t do anything about it, but just as Yumi started to question if what we were thinking was really what was happening, the women walked into the building and tugged on her purse – without looking back – causing the young girl to snatch her hand back and walk in the other direction.  We continued on, a bit more alert and holding out bags close as we walked to KFC.

To be continued….

Green Things

It is amazing how much some trees and greenery can excite foreigners who have been in Shanghai for a couple months.  I was looking for somewhere to go this afternoon as tomorrow (Tuesday) is my one full day off each week, but this week I have training for work all afternoon.  I needed to get out and do some exploring.  I sent out a text to a couple friends this morning during Chinese class and got a response from Adam & Yumi (fellow MIM 2010 graduates who are studying in Shanghai this term) saying, “Going to a picnic to see cherry blossoms. Meet at Jing’an subway stop at one.”  Hmmm… I don’t know where there are any cherry blossoms (or spots to picnic) anywhere near Jing’an Temple or on West Nanjing road – but I headed in that direction after getting out of class.

Map of phase 1 of Gucun park

Apparently, Jing’an was only the meet up point.  After a few delays and meeting up with Adam, Yumi and six others from their university, we hopped on the line 7 to ride all the way (14 subway stops) out to Gucun park.  When we finally arrived and walked out of the subway station we saw – construction, more construction, cranes and an empty shopping center that reminded us of an outlet mall in the states more than anything.  But it was further out of the city than any of us had been in quite some time, and beyond the newly constructed, still empty shopping center it appeared to be the end of the world.  No more city, no more buildings, just… wait for it…. TREES and an empty road lined with colorful flags.

Where are the cherry blossoms?

Gucun park – phase 1 is 180 hectares of manufactured nature.  Yes, it is true they manufacture everything in China, even nature.  Phase one is still being implemented, as we noticed when we were unable to enter the “exotic romance garden” as it was still under construction, and we saw truck driving loads of blooming flowers into the park. Phase 2, the sign says, will be another 250 hectares.  I’m assuming of more gardens, pathways, amusement park rides (which strangely no one ever seems to be ride) and really odd out of place statues, artwork?  Like machine guns, or the giant Tarzan like man with an ape .

Children in a fort, a child in a boat, flags and... a ninja with a machine gun??

Posing with the giant machine gun statue

Was it the Princess and the Pea or the Princess IN the Pea? I don't know, I was just excited to see another blonde!

We did find a grassy spot to sit down in and eat our lunch, and after awhile, were joined by a Chinese man who asked (in Chinese), “May I look at you for awhile?”  We said he could, so he did.  He observed the foreigners sitting on the grass eating, made some remarks in Chinese about us and then walked away as we got up to leave.

This is really hard to do...

I think they meant get off your bike...

The cherry blossoms which were blooming were beautiful, but there were many more not in bloom yet. Waterways, bridges, the random art and plenty of good Chinglish made it a delightful afternoon.  But honestly, greenery, trees, flowers and quiet open spaces made it worth the hour long subway ride.  Was the air “fresh”? Perhaps not – the horizon in all directions was the normal China-grey, the sun slightly dimmed by the haze; yet, the CO2 loving, oxygen producing, trees and plants did feel nice.  We felt that perhaps a bit more oxygen was being delivered to our nostrils.  Maybe Shanghai has driven us to fantasize – but we take what we can get.

Trees! And flowers! Is this heaven?

Cherry blossoms in the sun

I might as well be out in the country!


I decided to take a walk to the fabric market today and check it out.  I had been reminded in my Chinese class yesterday (oh yea, I’m a student AGAIN!) that it is really close to where I lived.  I figured it would be a good way to spend part of the day before heading off to work, get a little exercise and fresh air.

The fabric market was more than I expected, I expected fabric (duh) and people that could custom make suits and stuff.  But I didn’t expect all the types of clothes, all the types of fabric and examples of any item of clothing you could ever want.  Needless to say, I wondered why on earth I ever bought clothes in a store and decided I probably never should again.

If I ever need bridesmaid's dresses, might need to have them made here.

You know you want a custom tailored red plaid suit!

I had to get a picture of this sign because the world needs to know intellectual property laws in China are alive and well.  Or so they say.  I saw many brand name items before seeing this sign and chuckled at the sight of it.  If it is too small to read, the basic idea is “the following trademarks cannot be sold in clothing markets without the authorization of the trademark owner.”

Trademark Enforcement

Do you think Louis Vuitton and Coco Chanel approved the sale of these leggings?

I actually found the leggings on my detour on the way back from the fabric market.  I was distracted by little streets of rundown shops and food stands and may have gotten a bit turned around as I was headed north instead of west.  I walked about an hour farther than I needed or intended to, but it was quite enjoyable and I saw some of the ‘real China’ along the way.

Chinglish of the day. Someone, please tell me what this means. "Noodles Anticipates to Wholesale Quantity Body to Make to Order"

The 'real' Shanghai

I wish my photo could show the little old man with spectacles on his face, bundled up because of the cold working under a small hanging lamp inside this home (below).

Homes in Shanghai

Working for a Living

Itty bitty kitty eating noodles for lunch.

Selling roasted sweet potatoes

Typical fruit stand

I couldn’t get a good picture showing what this woman (in the background bending over) was doing as well as the metal barrel with bread/rolls for sale.  But she is doing laundry, by her feet is a small bucket of water and she is scrubbing clothes on a washboard. Not only is it normal to see laundry hanging out to dry everywhere (like above the fruit stand in the previous picture), but you also see laundry being done, dishes being washed and other chores taking place on the street or sidewalk in front of a home (which may also be a “storefront”).

Breakfast & Laundry

First, I just saw this pigeon on a leash in the street with her owner.  Then I saw the basket the pigeon was tied to, then I wondered why another man was trying to catch the pigeon and pick it up.  Looking in the basket answered my question.  “Yes, of course my pigeon is healthy!  Feel her, nice and plump!!  Buy some eggs – they are mighty fine!”

Buy her eggs! She's a good pigeon!

If you aren’t much for pigeon, no worries.  There are plenty of chickens around.  I saw a crate of these strapped to the back of a bicycle the other day; unfortunately, did not have a camera handy.

Plenty of chickens...

You can use a bike (or a tricycle…) for anything in China.

Veggies on wheels!

And as I’ve said, you can also buy anything in whatever form you like.

Tea in bulk!

My last picture for the day, although not the greatest, is for the old Chinese man I saw on the street today.  He was calling at me, waving at me, beckoning to me and when I tried to walk away yelled down the street to me.  I finally gave in, all he wanted was for me to take a picture of  this lady playing with her dog & smoking a cigarette.  He could have been her father, a friend, neighbor or stranger.  But he saw me with my camera and just needed me to take her picture.  If only he knew the world could see it now.

The lady & her dog to please the old man.

Valentine’s Day

This post has absolutely nothing to do with Valentine’s Day; however, it happens to be the day I am posting it and perhaps it got your attention. If you are planning something for the commercial holiday, make sure you aren’t in Malaysia.

One link to an interesting article I read in the “Shanghai Daily” this morning: Devastation

Just a few pictures from the past week. starting with a little spelling error.  A common theme amongst signs written in English.

Wonderful Spelling on Wonderful Street.

How do you know you’ve found the right place to go for meat on a stick?  Well, if the line into the middle of the street doesn’t give it away, I’m sure the trash can will!  I didn’t stop to have any, but it sure smelled delicious.

Check out the trash can!

I have to say, 99.9% of the time I disagree with PETA.  Obviously, considering my previous comment about delicious smelling meat.  I think they go a little over board.  On the other hand, I wasn’t 100% in agreement with the idea of piercing a bird through its chest in order to leash it down and sell it…

In front of a pet shop

On Saturday, I randomly had a day off work.  Classes were canceled, all of the Chinese teachers had training and I spent a beautiful & sunny Shanghai day wandering around Yu Gardens with a friend.

Prestine day in 豫园

After a touristy day, I had a lovely dinner with Xiaoping Ma (Dr. Ma, from Shanghai, worked at Casey Eye Institute for a year and is now back in Shanghai) and her family.

Dr. Ma's daughters (Betty is 14 and Amy is 6)

And no one guessed what I was drinking in my last photo blog post.  Here is me before buying the drink, munching on it.

Sweet and a bit woody

And the sweet old man who sold it to me juicing it.

Old man making juice


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