Always Something

There is always something that stands out as odd and different here. These things make us do a double take and often chuckle… I hope we don’t become too immune and stop noticing these things.

I finally got a picture of the recycle bike piled high with styrofoam and other materials. It was a small pile compared to some that are so high I don’t know how they can balance their bikes and drive. The best is still the one that must have been 3m or higher and the cherry on top… the man’s wife was perched atop the pile as he drove along.

We talked about odd combinations before like buy a laptop and get a free turtle. Well they still are coming up with interesting mixtures of items. While shopping in Carrefour John happened to notice if you buy 2 chocolate bars you get a free AAA battery (only  1). Even now John is laughing and saying “what do batteries and chocolate have in common? AND what can you do with 1 AAA battery ?” Hmm maybe we haven’t realized it yet, but this is some social experiment or type of IQ test and we are failing miserably…. how are chocolate and batteries alike?

Yesterday we went back to IKEA and that is always a fun place to see interesting things. Again people come and hang out in the mattress department and have naps… not just one or two, but maybe 5 or more! Was a slow day since Good Friday is not a national holiday here, but my school was closed. A fashion shoot was going on in the fake kitchen… a lady dressed in a flowery dress posing…. not sure if this is going in the next IKEA catalogue or this is a man and his wife/girlfriend out for the day. We laugh that the Japanese take a lot of photos, well so do the Chinese. You will see many people posing like they are in a fashion shoot, very unnatural poses. They also love looking at themselves… they are always taking pictures of themselves with their mobile phones, staring into mirrors and glass. It is kinda creepy at times.

Two weeks ago we went to Century Park, a large park with small lakes, rides, gardens and paths. The blossoms were out, so it was a popular Sunday activity. We we rented a side – by – side bike and drove around. When we came to large open grassy areas it was a field of small tents. No this is not a camping ground, but the locals bring tents to lounge in and, I am guessing, avoid the sun. They don’t like to tan and you can even purchase whitening creams. Most sunscreens include whitening and that is a big selling feature, apparently. The funny thing was it was a pretty over cast day… just another things we observe and necessarily do not understand.

Diapers are not popular here and as I have been told they feel it is not healthy. Small children maybe 2 and under do not wear underwear and their pants have large slits in them between the legs. On the street you will see parents crouched with the child on their lap trying to get them to go to the toilet on the sidewalk. John even saw a man holding his child over a garbage can as the child peed like a fountain and aimed into the garbage! Most times the slit is not noticeable, but other times you will see little bums hanging out. Yesterday on the subway a man came on with his child and his bum was mooning everyone. As they sat down, the child  moved and everything was hanging out. Imagine my surprise as I turned my head around!

Last week we had a class trip into a central area of Shanghai, in the older section of the city. As we drove down the narrow crowded streets you could see laundry everywhere… hanging out of windows on bamboo poles, on coat hangers from trees, poles, wires -any available space. Gives a new and interesting meaning to the phrase “chinese laundry”.

The weather continues to be a roller coaster with last week over 30c, hot and humid to 14c and rainy. Its funny though days that are 14-21c feel much cooler than they would at home. I think it is the dampness in the air and the strong winds that makes the temperatures feel different. Last December a local pizza place was closing up and he gave us some chairs for our balcony and I have been waiting to use them… maybe this weekend. But as Murphy’s law would have it all week was sunny and rain, cloud and cooler temps are forecasted for the weekend. Surprisingly though today is sunny, so lets hope it warms up 🙂

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more…

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3 thoughts on “Always Something

  1. Freda Goulet

    Diana, I loved the humor in this blog…I hope you publish your blogs when you get back to Canada. Your words are so vivid it is easy to visualize everything you write about. I was reading an article last week about how cats and dogs are quite popular on menus in China…have you seen evidence of that? You won’t want your cat to get loose!
    Enjoy the sunshine and your time off this weekend. Happy Easter to you both.

    • In Shanghai I haven’t seen evidence of cat and dog on menus… people here are more “western” and have animals as pets. People in Shanghai have more money than some of the villages too. They dress them up in little outfits and even put little running shoes on them! I am sure if we went down some of the back streets in older parts of Shanghai we might see it as a menu item. There are pet and stray cats that wander around our neighbourhood, so no one has decided they are that hungry. John went to Shenzhen and many parts aren’t as modern as Shanghai — there he saw dog on the menu. One of the teachers at school went to her co-teacher’s village for Chinese New Year and they fed her dog one night. She was mortified since she is an animal lover and has a pet dog at home.

      Our cable guy saw Holly last time weekend and he motioned to John eating. He laughed so I hope he was joking!

      • Freda Goulet

        I hope so too.
        It was really warm here yesterday, almost 20*C. Hopefully, spring has sprung!
        Off to Dunnville this morning to play “Grandma Easter Bunny”…then to the Dunnville golf course for Easter Brunch.
        I hope you enjoyed Easter in Shainghai.
        Aunt Freda

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