Wednesday, April 15, 2009

China recap--segment 3 (The People)

This post is dedicated to the Chinese people. This trip was filled with some cool sites yes, but for me one of the best parts about the trip was learning more about this unique culture and becoming more familiar with its people. Overall, we found the people to be very friendly, quick to smile, helpful and contrary to my previous opinion--not shy and demure in the least. (As this post should give ample evidence of.) I might also add relentless to that list of character traits--especially if you are dealing with salespeople hawking their wares.

I was told that the Chinese love Kareoke and now after watching them belt it out right in the middle of the park with literally hundreds of other people watching them I believe it. No shame!
This huge-long covered corridor at the Temple of Heavan Park was filled the entire way with groups of people playing cards--seriously hundreds of them just playing, chatting and laughing.

These people were just chatting among some of the card players--sitting directly across from this sign--just laughing and having a good time. Notice the cigarette in his right hand. We decided that we just had to get a picture with him. He had no idea that we strategically placed him next to the no smoking sign. They just thought it was great fun that the whitey's wanted a photograph of them. :)

This girl sold us a bunch of ties for Jeff. She was at the Silk Market. The market in and of itself is a huge adventure--but I just had to grab a quick picture of her in particular because she just happened to be wearing a BYU pin on her vest. Go-figure. I should have gotten a closeup--maybe if you blow it up you can see it better.
We were a little tired of Chinese food towards the end of the week so we decided to hit up Mickey D's. I think that might be the only time that we will ever be waited on at a McDonalds. We actually had someone show us to our seats, take our order, bring our food and clear everything away when we were done. We also got a kick out of the fact that they actually deliver. We couldn't resist taking a picture of the delivery guy hangin' with Jeff and another Jones rep. Aren't the helmets great? They actually have a delivery pack--like the pizza ones--that straps onto the back of their bicycles, and away they go.
I thought the ribbon twirlers were fun. I tried to find some of the ribbons for the girls. I thought that they would have loved them but I never could find any to buy.

We saw these "split pants" for the first time on the first day we were there. Evidently they are very common among the toddler set. I guess it makes for "easy access". They are definitely more "free and open" with the potty training than we are here in the states. Usually they just wear the diaper under the split pants however some friends saw one kid with the diaper on TOP of the Pants. (Can you say Eeeewwww!) Jeff and I were walking down the street and came across a mom holding up a baby to a tree so that he could pee through the opening. Then another time as we were walking we walked past a baby laying down in a baby carriage without the diaper even on. He was just freeballing it--hangin' loose with his little thing just flopping through the opening. We both did a double take and quickly checked with each other to make sure that we had seen right. We had! We had a bit of a chuckle over that one.

At one of our dinners one night this man was there drawing Chinese characters. You tell them the name that you want and he translates and does the characters in the Chinese calligraphy. We had the girls names done and our last name. Not sure what we'll do with them but they are kind of fun.

This lady was cutting the most intricate designs out of paper. It truly was impressive how detailed and ornate she could make those things.

Jeff and I both had our fortunes read by this man. You pick two of the thingamabobbers and he turns them over and puts them together then writes it all down. The girl to his left translates the answer. My fortune said something like my family life and career would peak in about 4 years and that it would be hard but that I was supposed to take heart in the meantime. I can't remember what Jeff's said. I'll have to ask him and insert it in here later.

Where ever we went we constantly had chinese people asking us to pose with them while a friend took our picture. Sometimes they asked to take the picture with Jeff and sometimes with me. Usually when they took one with their camera we would have them take one with ours too--just for fun. Who knows, maybe we'll make onto someones refridgerator door and be the famous "American friend".

Think Mary Poppins--sort of. Remember when Burt was doing the chalk sidewalk drawings? That is what this guy is doing--only he is drawing with just a paintbrush and water. These are true water paintings. When he looked up and saw the white American watching he chuckled and after re-wetting his brush started to draw the picture of me. Yes, that is me and no, I'm not grabbing my breast--I was holding my camera across my chest video-ing him while he painted me. Kinda cool huh? A bunch of chinese park goers gathered around while he was painting and one woman started jabbering in Chinese to me. I had no earthly idea what she wanted me to do. She wouldn't rest until I figured out that she wanted me to take a picture of it.

I guess instead of crazy Chinese--you have a crazy American who just couldn't resist rubbing the Budda. Could you?

This is a fun Chinese Hackey-sack game. The hackey is made out of some washers stacked together attached to some feathers to slow the decent a little bit. They play it in the parks all the time. This couple asked Jeff if he wanted to play a bit and so he did. He had a fun time with them. We bought one to take home with us. Maybe you'll see us at the park this summer kicking it around.

We were wandering around Bei Hai park and thought we had found the greatest spot to just kick back and relax for a bit when all of a sudden these two "musicians" broke out in song. Yikes! It's a short segment. I didn't want to subject you to their full rendition. I am not a fan of Chinese music--I definitely like my music to be played on pitch. It just cracks me up that they just sing it out, right there in the park. I'm telling you--no inhibitions.

These guys were practising the chinese yo-yo's. This guy was fairly decent. We saw some girls do it at an acrobat show a few nights later and they were awesome. They would throw them about 20 feet up to themselves and also to each other--not one miss. They were also a bit more elaborate with their tricks. Pretty cool aye?

Tai Che anyone?

I had no idea that the Chinese people love to dance so much. They dance all over the place. This is some sort of aerobic-tap type. People just join in whenever they want. There is some sort of leader--I wonder how she is chosen. Does she just show up with a boom box and start the music and dancing and people just join in or is there more organization to it than that? I don't know. All I know is that I got a kick out of the fact that in every park we went in--there was a group of dancers dancing--aerobic, ballroom, by themselves, with partners--you name it.

I'm tellin' ya, the fun never stops!

Check out how fast this girl can string and knot this pearl necklace. It's crazy fast!

Well, there you have it! Some of the interesting and fun things that we witnessed. We had such a fun time being able to see some of the character traits and amusements that make the Chinese people unique and different from us. Hope you had fun seeing a small sampling of what we saw while we were there.

I think I'll have a few more segments to add in the next couple days. I wanted to show you some from the acrobat show and probably some Summer palace pictures as well as Tienenmen Square and some other random stuff. Until then!


Becky said...

Loved your post. The split pants thing is something I had read about in an early potty training book!

Emily said...

I think the pic of you that the guy painted looks like you are holding a newborn baby...hmmm

Loughmiller's said...

Your trip makes me want to go somewhere. Great memories! Take care!

Matt and Melinda Bailey said...

It was so interesting to see everything. It was great, I loved it. Maybe you rubbing the budda will give you enough good luck to take away the 4 years before your life peaks. Ha HA!

The Bloomin' Fields said...

Great fun! After watching the videos of the dancers and singers, I've decided that Americans are way too uptight! We should all be dancing and singing in the parks, too. ha, ha : ) And that string of!! Thanks for sharing.