Monday, June 27, 2011


And once again, I underestimate the how much the weather affects my mood. Today was wonderfully warm and sunny, with the perfect dash of cool breeze like the mint to a mojito. We strolled down the street with our shorts and our sunglasses and our skins soaked in the sun as though vitamin D was contraband-rare. A special kind of positive contentment settled within me.

Nothing super special happened today, but it was lovely, so I thought I'd try and share it with you in pictures.

 We arrived in Xintiandi, otherwise known as The French Concession, at about lunchtime with some very vague directions to a new cafe/restaurant. We love spending time in Xintiandi because although it's an expat hub, it's still wonderfully genuine in so many ways. Exhibit A: man busking with traditional flute.

The alleys and laneways are brimming with character - the residents are equally interesting... 

The whole of Shanghai is an ever-changing mix of past and present and future. Some older generations remember the Cultural Revolution and yet the younger ones have never even had siblings. They dress in all manner of ways and often behave even stranger than their "style combinations" would suggest. 

I am reminded of this when I take pictures of people around the city, some become worried and object - giving action to the ye olde belief that a photo would capture and steal the soul of the subject. Others smile politely and laugh at my tourist-like manner. Others stare in awe at my camera, not even able to imagine how many dinners it might buy, or how many hours toil it would require to own. Others grin and pose, happy and more-than-appreciative of the attention. Taking a simple picture always reminds me of the complexities of everyday Shanghai.

This is the great restaurant where (once we finally found the place) had lunch. Delicious organic food and good coffee recharged our dealing-with-China-batteries. There is nothing quite like pancakes to heal the soul. Homemade yoghurt and muesli might also do the trick... or even a free-range omellete with some garlic mashed potato??? I may or may not have eaten all of that. There was a kids party on nearby too, so the lovely early-afternoon air was filled with laughter and squealing. Hahahaha.

 On our way home through the many mini-streets we had to navigate our way through to find the restaurant, there was a kind of permanent marketplace set up. There was a butchers and fresh vegetables and grains and live animals and people sleeping and all the other elements you would expect to find on a quiet market day, including a very well-fed, content-looking cat which guards your produce while you nap. Classic China.

 Small dogs ran around all through the streets, but they were happy and definitely looked after. This man was baffled by me wanting to take a photo of his bicycle...


It's also amazing that the dogs just ran past the chunks... they really must be trained well...

 And then we took a few detours back to the metro station... it was the 'siesta' hour of China, and as usual, I managed to find no less than five people sleeping - quite literally - on the job.

Lastly, while I was buying some fruit, back in the neighbourhood near the university where I live, I noticed that the fruit shop suddenly had two pet chickens. They just ran all over the place together and never left the sight of the owners. I have noticed that people in shops do this kind of thing all the time with cats, where they suddenly have one or two or even three kittens... They always disappear after a while, I'm not even kidding, but this is the first time I've seen a shop owner with bet chicks.

I don't wanna know.

But they were certainly a spectacle, dodging around the bicycle traffic and getting in between people's feet. Quite endearing indeed.

And thus was the end of the day! It was pleasant. I hope you enjoyed yours in all of its simplicity, as I did with mine.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...