Exchange of Scenery

I am leaving the Shanghai skyline behind for a few days in exchange for a new one; a change of scenery. I’ll post soon on the new vistas and views.

 

Stay tuned….

A view  of the glittering night sky from outside my apartment.

A view of the glittering night sky from outside my apartment.

 

 

 

 

Categories: China, Tourist in My Own Town | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Early Bird Catches the Photo: WP Photo Challenge

If you get up early before the world awakes the quiet stillness surrounds you. I must admit I am more of a night owl, but early mornings are nice….sparingly. Sometimes they are forced upon me and that isn’t always a treat, but getting to see this rare sunrise in Shanghai from my balcony was.

Morning splendor

Morning splendor

Most times the sun rise is blocked by the neighbouring buildings, but a few short days a year, I get to share  the morning splendor as I wake early for work.

 

People flock to Angkor Wat to see the sun rise behind the ancient walls and temples. The early bird here gets the best spot to capture the view.

Early Bird catches the photo

Early Bird catches the photo

If you want to read about our trip to Angkor click on this link.

 

This past summer I was up early and enjoying a quiet house before everyone was up. Looking out as the sunrise was just coming up a little sparkle caught my eye. I noticed these amazing spider webs, covered in morning dew. A few minutes later, as the sun shifted, they became invisible once more. A lucky chance of an early morning to capture those pics. If you want to see more of the natural beauties click on this link here.

natures jewles

natures jewels

Be sure to visit Word Press for more examples of this theme.

Stay tuned for more…

 

Categories: Photography, unique experiences, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Shanghai Silly: Potato Chips

When I was kid I remember the strange potato chip flavours coming out. Grape seems to be the one I recall and wanted to try the most. Funny I don’t remember if I ever tried them – maybe I was to chicken. :)

When we first arrived in Shanghai that memory came back as we walked down the aisle of chips. I tried lime, a sweetish more like key lime pie and ice tea, a lemony flavour. They did have grape or blueberry and I assumed it was ‘normal’, but the next time we went to shop they no longer carried that flavour. This time I was going to be sure to try them and I missed out. Another time I bought Cheetos and was surprised by the unusual flavour. I can’t read Chinese, but on closer inspection I realised I bought steak Cheetos. :( I don’t know if it was the flavour or not what I expected, but I wasn’t a fan and never bought them again. Recently I saw another kind of cheesies had something on top that looked like cheese. Mmmm cheesies with extra cheese on top. Nope it was vanilla icing like. Bizarre.

funny chip flavours

funny chip flavours

We usually stick to our old standards now. John likes the plain Lays, which are not as salty or greasy as home. Large bags are a third the size of home, but the flavour is great. I like the cheese Pringles. We bought some at home, but again the greasier and saltier flavour are not as good.

While out shopping I decided to snap a few photos of some of the new flavours that came out recently. Maybe they were just for Chinese New Year, or will be more long-term if they are a hit. My new favourite is Thai Green Curry. They are lime and a hint of coconut…. sounds strange, but it is good. Before that I discovered chocolate and sea salt. It is sweeter than usual chips, but nice too. The chocolate is light and just enough. I tried the numb and spicy hot-pot, but it was something I would not eat again. That and the sour plum melon is too Chinese for me. It has this spice that is in many dishes here and I don’t like it. The pepper and chicken were OK, but I prefer my favs thanks.

My favs in the middle and 2 new ones to try.

My favs in the middle and 2 new ones to try.

Chips are not too expensive; about the same price as home. The small bags run 3.80 RMB, which is around .75c Canadian and the larger bags are 5.20 RMB or $1.00. The tins are 8.00 RMB about $1.50.

What is your favourite chip flavour? Do you ever try any of the new flavours that come out?

 

Categories: China, Culture, everyday occurances, strange adventures, Tourist in My Own Town, unique experiences | Tags: , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Blur -WP Photo Challenge

Blur… sometimes life moves so fast it is all a blur. If you try to capture it on film you lose focus. Last week we showed ephemeral (here and here); mine was lucky shots of a quick passing moment in focus. This week we are asked to show something in a blur. It could be purposely out of focus or accidentally out of focus with cool results. Usually I deleted such photos, but surprisingly I had a few tucked away.

Of course I had to show Willow. Many photos of her in a blur because she is always moving.

Willow in a blur

Willow in a blur

 

The next photo was an accident with the camera as it wouldn’t focus and was over exposed. Kinda cool effect of a busy alley way in Tianzifang.

Blur of Shanghai

soon Shanghai will only be a blur of memories

 

Lighted Pagoda

Lighted Pagoda

Last night we went out for dinner at this interesting restaurant. We go dropped off at the wrong location, but a happy accident since the view was great. As we waited for a ride to the correct location I snapped a few pictures of the lighted pagoda across this small lake. I purposely moved the camera to create blur and this cool effect.

Shanghai skyline

Shanghai skyline

The view of the Shanghai Skyline from our apartment is beautiful. I always pause and soak it all in because one day it will be a blur of memories. The clear sky with soft colours proved difficult to focus with the changing and flashing lights creating a blur.

Shanghai Totems of recycle piled high

Shanghai Totems of recycle piled high

Since we arrived 5 years ago we were stunned by the small motorised trikes piled high with things to be recycled. We always tried to get photos of them, but they move so quickly by the time you pull out a camera or smart phone they are gone. One night my husband spotted this one gaining on us as we sped by in a taxi. It is in such a blur that the bike and man is invisible. Something I am sure he would wish for in real life because the police have started to monitor these ‘totems’ and limit their height and movements.

I have kept some photos even though they are blurry because of the subject, memory or cool effect. What do you do with your blurry photos?

Stay tuned…

 

 

 

Categories: China, Tourist in My Own Town, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Ephemeral #2 -Frozen in Time

This week I have done 2 posts for the WP Photo Challenge. The first one Ephemeral: Shanghai Sillies made me think of the time and how quickly my last few months in Shanghai are flying by. I can’t wait to go home, but there is a bit of sadness as some things I will have to leave and experience for the last time.

Ephemeral is something fleeting, that passes quickly. Sometimes we are lucky to capture something on film that you probably could never re-create, or capture again. A moment in time that flashed by, and forever frozen on film. These are my ultimate examples.

These are my nephews and for the last few summers our tradition is to capture a photo of them as they jump into the pool. This by far was our favourite as they were frozen sitting in midair.

1, 2, 3.... splash!

1, 2, 3…. splash!

The second picture makes me laugh every time I see it. My nephew looks like he is falling from the sky, or the picture was photo-shopped. Nope, none of the above. This was pure luck as I caught this shot of my husband tossing my nephew into the air and catching him. Their hands and position made it extra funny, making my nephew look like he is dropping from the sky, while the entire event took milliseconds in real time.

It's a bird, it's a plane..... WT****.....?

It’s a bird, it’s a plane….. WT****…..?

Stay tuned…

 

Categories: everyday occurances, Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Ephemeral -Shanghai Silly

Time and life is fleeting… As Ferris Bueller said “If you don’t stop and look around once and awhile – you will miss it.”  Our time in Shanghai has become ephemeral, fleeting and lasting for a short time. Sure it has been almost 5 years, but now we are down to months. Three more months. As I reflect and look around I try to soak up those sounds, smells and sights that I want to remember. What will I see and do for the last time? What do I want to hold onto? Counting down the days is bitter-sweet. I am excited to go home and start a new adventure, but want to savour the last days here too. Enjoy it while I can.

As you know there is always things in Shanghai that you may never see anywhere else. That awe and wonder is what made the little daily things fun. It kept us sane as we would laugh and say “Now that will make a good post!”. I didn’t want to lose that feeling, but after a few years many things became normal and part of the every day. Somethings still stood out and once I finally invested in a smart phone I was able to capture more of those fleeting moments that only could be seen to believed.

What do you notice about this picture?

What do you notice about this picture?

One day I was out walking and it was a beautiful sunny day. At the light we waited for it to turn green, so we could cross. A large truck did not advance when the light changed and as we stood waiting I realised the driver had his shoes off and feet on the dash. Ok…

I thought I had seen it all, but napping at the intersection coming off a major highway? NOW I have seen it all.

I thought I had seen it all, but napping at the intersection coming off a major highway? NOW I have seen it all.

as I crossed the street I noticed in fact he was sleeping at the intersection! Now that was worthy of going back and snapping a pic. Another Shanghai Silly, ephemeral…

What is the funniest thing you have seen at an intersection?

Stay tuned… and check out WP for other interpretations.

 

 

Categories: China, Chinese Adventures, Tourist in My Own Town, unique experiences, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Spring Fresh

This week’s theme for WP is FRESH. I could use some fresh air… living in a large city which has issues with pollution it is something we all wish for. The thick smoggy air blocks out the clouds and blue skies, something most of us would take for granted. Due to smog, rain and fog over the last 7 weeks we have seen full on bright sun only 4-6 days. The less than fresh air has lead to another cold and sinus infection. Down right depressing.

As the saying goes April showers bring May flowers, where in Shanghai it must be February and March showers. The beautiful magnolia tree, outside my building, started to bud just the other day. I thought about capturing its progress and here is the first shot.

March 12th first buds. Spring is finally coming!

March 12th first buds. Spring is finally coming!

…..  6 days later you can tell what colour they will be. We just need some sun and warmth.

March 18th they are opening! Not long now.

March 18th they are opening! Not long now.

Finally temperatures started to rise and become seasonal. We have also had a longer winter and over the last 4-6 weeks below average temperatures. However, change is in the air. One day this past week we even peaked at 18c a few degrees  above normal. Finally! Look what it did!

March 20th after 2 warm days they have started to open, but today is a bit chilly. Happy to stay closed a little longer.

March 20th after 2 warm days they have started to open, but today is a bit chilly. Happy to stay closed a little longer.

Then today a glorious day with subtle sunshine, but 17c and I captured this. Full bloom. Fresh flowers and sunny days give me energy and lift my spirits. I am suddenly feeling re’freshed’ and have a ‘spring’ in my step.

March 22.... we did it.

March 22…. we did it.

What makes you feel energised?

Stay tuned….

 

Categories: China, Tourist in My Own Town, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Walls -WP Photo Challenge

I could show you yet another photo of the Great Wall in China, but you have seen it from me before. Just look up at my banner ;) Instead I want to show you a lesser known part of China -Tianzifang (pronounced tea-anne -zzz fawn). In the old French Concession part of Shanghai is a maze of little streets. Once a thriving neighbourhood with tightly compact brick buildings, narrow streets and low rise buildings. Areas like this are now rare, from the days of old, as they have been demolished to make way for steel and glass modern skyscrapers. However, this area remains and has turned into a little gem. It is popular with the locals and expats and any nice weather weekend the streets are jam packed. Many unique shops housing handicrafts, galleries with works for sale and restaurants make it a wonderful day out. It is fun to poke around in the little shops looking at leather-bound books, purses and amazing photos of China. Tired feet? Stop at one of the many restaurants with a variety of food tastes from Thai, Indian and local fares. Adventurous and have a quirky sense of humour then try the restaurant called Toilet.

Over Chinese Holiday this year I stayed in Shanghai. A few of us wandered the streets of Tianzifang and I captured some interesting photos which, happen to fit the WP theme WALLS this week.

This sign was interesting and I think it is about the holiday and maybe fireworks related? I did see other signs saying no fireworks. If anyone out there that can translate please leave a comment below on what the sign is saying.

 

20150226_122919

This wall was very unique with the little bottles of grass growing. Decoration? Salad or food toppings? What do you think?

20150226_122702

This last one was a little graffiti maybe…? It was too cute, so I snapped a quick pic.

20150226_125637

If you are in Shanghai, or planning a visit and want to check it out here is the information:

Tianzifang In Chinese Characters 田子坊 and pinyin: Tiánzǐfāng

泰康路210弄, Huangpu, Shanghai, China. In English the address is Lane 210, Taikang Road.

It is a fairly cheap taxi ride even from Pudong (30-40 RMB or $6-8) and the metro is right across the street in a large shopping mall.

 

Stay tuned…

Categories: China, Tourist in My Own Town, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Orange you glad… WP Photo Challenge

This week WP wants us to look at orange. They suggested using 3 photos to show orange as the main focus, or something tucked away in the background. My immediate thought was this incredible sunset I posted a few weeks back.

Citrus Shanghai Skyline

Citrus Shanghai Skyline

Michelle I also like to play with words and use alliteration ;)

Then there is Willow. Our cute 4 legged baby. She is gray with orange eyes… so unique.

Willow with her amber eyes.

Willow with her amber eyes.

Every other week I treat myself to a bouquet of flowers. They are pretty reasonable and smell divine. As the gray dull days of winter wind down I picked a sign of spring with these bright orange tulips.

Orange tulips -unedited

Orange tulips – unedited

I played with my photo editing program and enhanced it a bit too.

photo enhanced to show saturation of colour

photo enhanced to show saturation of colour

Orange is not a colour I am drawn too, but after this challenge I will be on the look out for it more. It is a happy colour that really lifts your spirits.

What is your favourite orange?

Stay tuned…

Categories: China, Tourist in My Own Town, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Reward -WP Photo Challenge

If you could have anything as a reward what would it be? Word Press asked us to show reward this week. The trick is showing a reward in a photo. Sure working out, a good grade, or accomplishing a difficult task is a great reward for hard work. My greatest reward, if I could have anything, is…. travel. A quiet beach with waves soothing and relaxing me, a new city to explore or a culture and different food to experience is such a reward for me.

Hong Kong -bright lights big city

Hong Kong – bright lights big city

 

A small section of the Great Wall.

A small section of the Great Wall.

 

Where's the Beach?

Where’s the Beach?

Mui Ne, Vietnam

Mui Ne, Vietnam

Luckily after long waits or hidden areas within the large temple maze I was able to get some incredible shots I was hoping for.

Luckily after long waits or hidden areas within the large temple maze I was able to get some incredible shots I was hoping for. Angkor Wat, Cambodia

 

What a view!

What a view! – Philippines

I have been very lucky to travel to so many places and reward myself :) My reward is looking at all the stamps in my passport and photos I have taken. Enjoy sharing my reward.

How do you reward yourself?

 

Stay tuned…

 

Categories: Photography, travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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