Saturday, September 29, 2012

Another cute Tibetan song

Listen to the song, its a fun song, watch the video, it depicts traditional Tibetan clothing being worn and displayed.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Palgon sings agu pema Tibetan song)

Palgon is the original singer of agu pema. It's a sweet Tibetan song.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

American girl sings Tibetan song

This is very cute, an American Jewish girl singing a Tibetan song while playing a traditional Tibetan string instrument. It's a lot of fun. Agu pema is a popular Tibetan song. Enjoy!

Monday, September 24, 2012

A favorite Tibetan song

I love this Tibetan singer. It's a song about the menfolk from the Kham region of Tibet. During the uprising against the Chinese, it was the Khampa men that fought valiantly, giving up their lives and those who survived left for exile in India. This is a tribute to them.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Leaving for Spain

I'm leaving for Europe next weekend. So no more of these pictures for a while. I hope it'll be a more restful trip, afterall I was in Jordan in January and China in June. Now I need some R and R. But next year, my plate is full, I'll try to squeeze in four trips.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The children

It is the children that breaks your heart. Most travelers would know, those who went to Russian or other Eastern block orphanages. A friend of mine is involved in treating exploited children, kids sold into the sex trade. Here we met some lovely children, poor they maybe but they are loved. I grew up in very similar condition, poor though we were but loved and wanted. I pray that they will grow up to have a better life than their parents. While some parts of China are experiencing economic good times, there are many in the rural areas who are dirt poor.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Shuttle Endeavour has landed safely at Los Angeles International Airport - 9/21/2012 2:54:34 PM | Newser

Shuttle Endeavour has landed safely at Los Angeles International Airport - 9/21/2012 2:54:34 PM | Newser

The Endeavor shuttle comes home

It's coming home to rest in the Science museum in Los Angeles. It was built here in Southern California. I just read it has touched down at LAX and will travel the streets of Los Angeles to the museum. I saw the double flyover it did in the city. It was so awesome. I sstill have cills.

Endeavor shuttle This was so amazing. I was shopping in Santa Monica when I saw a huge crowd at the water front. I knew the Endeavor shuttle is going to make its fly by.... we waited and soon, bursting through the clouds, there it was, piggybacked onto a 747 and followed by 2 chase planes, the Endeavor made its first flyover, right above us, then it turned around and did a second. It was such an awesome moment. I still have was about an hour ago!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The bund

A symbol of colonial Shanghai, back in the days when the foreign powers began to carve out the coast of China for themselves. They built the bund and stock it with buildings belonging to the world's financial business. This is akin to Wall street. Today visitors flock here to view the financial might of Shanghai. Across the Huang Po river is the Pudong area and again the sky scrapers dot the river banks, every one is all lit up and posting gigantic neon signs that changed with each passing minute. It was a spectacular sight to behold. We waited for the night sky to come and to see the lights go up. Wow!

I love Shanghai

Even as I write this, I have plans to return to China, to another city and to another Tibetan area. My first encounter with Tibetans was not in Tibet but in China. It's a little known fact that a lot of Tibetans live outside Tibet in two areas that were in very ancient times part of Tibet but over the years of strife and turmoil has been included into two Chinese provinces. While Tibet or what China calls 'TAR" or the Tibetan Autonomous Region is closed to foreign visitors, one needs another special permit for the TAR, the two provinces of China where the rest of the Tibetans live are opened to visitors. Here the Tibetan culture and religion thrives and is the most delightful to see.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It's not France

 Cute ateliers abound in this area of Shanghai.This may not not be France but it has its own uniqueness that warrants people of the world to visit. Shanghai is clean and organised. The toilets at the metro are spotless, every single one of them. The airport is wonderfully signed, its huge but the signage is so incredible. I'm thoroughly impressed.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lao wai

Lao wai means 'old foreigner'. We add 'old' or 'lao' into every endearing term we use. Instead the proper usage is 'wai guo ren' or foreigner. 'wai' means outside, 'guo' is country, 'ren' is people. This is Chinese 101 or Mandarin 101.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Tianzifeng, Shanghai

Tucked in a corner of the former French concession is this alley full of hip shops. It's a very happening place, filled with tourists and locals. If you want to meet the expatriate community, this is the place in Shanghai. Just walk up to anyone and start chatting. It's a really fun place.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The former French concession

After losing the Opium war, the foreigners began to carve out for themselves bits and pieces of the Chinese coast. This part of Shanghai went to the French. Today's Chinese have no clue if you ask them about the French concession, its an embarassing part of their history. But we as foreigners know and often refer to it. Except for the plane trees, there's nothing that says it was French territory.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Old Shanghai

Old posters showing women wearing the tight qipao or Cheong sam (Cantonese). They simply took the baggy llong sleeved jacket of the Manchus, cut the sleeves off and cinched the waist and et viola a slimmer and sexier outfit emerged.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Shopping in Shanghai

Shopping, what other fun is there besides sightseeing? China is an incredible place for shopping but I'm not into shopping. If I shop, my house will be filled and there'll be a lot of dusting to do. I hardly clean the house and it's only possible because I pick up after myself and have very little to dust. All I have are memories of wonderful trips abroad.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Hui restaurant

With all the choices, what to have for lunch becomes a difficult decision. Until I noticed this kid pulling noodles. How about some soupy pulled noodles. Lunch and a free show, how great is that? It was great, a delicious and cheap meal and a free show. I never tire of watching people pull noodles in China. It is the most amazing thing, how by pulling, stretching and twisting some dough, some delicate strands of noodles could form and all without the help of a pasta machine.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New Shanghai

Shanghai, more than any other Chinese cities, has the better architectural styles. Most writers complain about the square cement blocks they call buildings in most Chinese cities. One can't say that of Shanghai. As one moves away from the coast of China and into the hinterland, the construction becomes more and more shoddy. We stayed in this supposedly renovated hotel in Urumqi and the construction was so bad, there is paint streaking down the window panes, it's obvious nobody masked the glass first before painting, something so basic.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Old Shanghai

Chinese business shun the new gleaming malls preferring to set up shop in little alleys. While the whole YY garden district is full of massive and new gleaming shops, the majority of business are situated in the alleys next to it. Here old Shanghai thrives, there is a whole slew of all kinds of shops and restaurants. This is what I noticed about China. The developers love to build new shops modeled after the ones we have in the West and these remain mostly empty everywhere. The locals prefer the sidewalks, the alleys and every corner. The rents are cheaper and they feel more at home.