Friday, August 31, 2012

A wedding

 Suddenly there was this commotion and every body was running along the water's edge. I looked and saw a wedding party coming down the canal. I get cught up and ran with every one else. The groom was throing candy at everyone. The crowd wanted to know if it was a real wedding party or they were just horsing around. The groom said, it was real. He was getting married, Chinese style.

 The limo!
 The limo and driver!
Here the wedding party got off the boat and went to another place. It was a lot of fun having witnessed it.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lunch, at last

A simple lunch of dumplings.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Another tea room

 This is a gorgeous piece of batik. Wax is applied onto the fabric in a very intricate pattern, then the whole piece is dyed in indigo. The wax is washed off in hot water and where the wax was applied, the fabric remained undyed and hence it looked like this. This area is famous for this kind of batik fabric.
 Here on the second floor is a sort of musuem and an area is cordoned off for a tea room. There's this beautiful view of the canal. Here some old ladies sings acapela to requests of old Chinese folk songs. She taps on this wooden piece to accompany her as she sings.

Others are waiting for their turn as this gentleman client sits, drinking his tea and makes requests for songs. It was a tremendous feeling to see this old form of entertainment still exists in China.

A tea break

 Bolts of old home spun fabric.

 It's an old house over the water, a museum, an antique store and a tea room. On the one side there's a fantastic view of the canal.

The old loom that was used to weave all those bolts of fabric.
We sat, drank tea, watched the action on the canal, wrote in our journal, took lots of pictures and whiled away the afternoon.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Far from the madding crowd

Just round the corner, the locals live a very quiet existence, away from the maddening hordes of tourists that decend on it every day. There are lots of little and big creeks in the area and lots of water villages. Some are ancient and still very picturesque and receives a lot of notice from outsiders. I don't mind living here, have a little boat moored nearby and on weekends, take it out and paddle on the water and while away the hours.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Chinese painting

Peach or plum blossoms, the lotus, the peony, what have they in common? These are popular subjects for Chinese paintings. It was fun to look into all the art shops in this little village.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Another world

 The birds speak Chinese. As we approached the gate, they started their 'ni hao.'

If not for the Chinese writing, it is hard to guess that this is in China. Shanghai has a lot of such cosmopolitan neighborhoods.In fact its expatriate population is growing. Shanghai is a lot of fun.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Weird stuff

 What the heck are these things? That was the first thought that came to my mind.
 It was only after I saw what this man was doing with it that I realised what it was. A scalp massager.
This guy was making weird shapes with caramel. He was pretty talented.
 Salt baked quail's eggs.
 I still don't know what part of what animal these are from.
 Chung.... steamed rice wrapped in bamboo leaves.
 These are critters that came out of the creek around the area and then dried and used for human consumption. Sometimes when one does not have anything to sell, they gather from the area around them and sell whatever they can find. We, in the West, have no clue about being dirt poor. We always have some form of government assistance to fall back on. In so many parts of the world, they either sink or swim. I come home each time more appreciative than ever.
Life and travel has been one huge classroom. I thank God that He has so blessed me with curiousity.