The typhoon passed through Shanghai over a week ago, leaving behind lots of water and more than a few toppled trees. Fortunately, it also left a few of us with some great photographs. Check out Shanghai Sky‘s typhoon set on Flickr: Train Station. (Hey, better late than never, right??)
I’ve been told they exist here too, but I haven’t yet seen an ice cream truck here in China. What I have seen, as of last Saturday, is a cricket bicycle. No circus music tunes coming from this bicycle. Instead, incessant cricket chirping is what alerts you of its presence. It drew me right over.
Below, Cricket Man is showing me his goods. 3 rmb for the little crickets, 5 rmb for the big ones. You have to cut the little baskets open if you want to get them out.
Look at that bike… Loaded up, with crickety goodness! (Each of the spherical baskets on the back of the bike has a cricket inside it.)
At my request, Cricket Man is transferring a cricket to one of the nicer cages (which sell for 5 rmb each). He says they do bite, but it doesn’t hurt much. I noticed he didn’t want to touch the cricket, though.
Imprisoned again… more attractively, this time.
I didn’t buy a cricket. I gave Cricket Man a tip for going to the trouble of tranferring a cricket so I could get some pictures. He said the crickets he sold will fight each other. I guess these are the crickets I heard about, so long ago…
P.S. It strikes me that maybe these are locusts, not crickets. But so what? This is Sinosplice, not Entomosplice!
The picture on the back has it served with a mug of beer. Nice.
This product seems to be part of a larger trend of miniaturizing foods to turns them into snack foods. Another example is the “mini ramen” snack food. It comes in a bag, and each piece is a tiny version of the solid chunk of dry noodles of an uncooked bowl of instant ramen. (Anyone have a picture of that?)
Browsing Flickr’s Shanghai-related photos, I came across A Taste of Shanghai, a “food photo diary” by user yusheng. The intro states:
> Let me just say, right off the bat, that aside from maybe Beijing and possibly the Pearl River Delta region, Shanghai has, by a wide margin, the best food in China. Of course, the rest of China’s food is barely edible (IMO, obviously), so it’s not that difficult be the best.
> That said, Shanghai’s Chinese food is still far, far behind HK and Taipei. And Western cuisine? Let’s just say Shanghai isn’t even good enough to hold New York’s jock strap when it comes to Western cuisine. Of course, to be fair, New York’s Chinese food stinks to high heaven as well (with a few exceptions, of course).
> On the plus side, if you know where to look, you can find incredibly cheap (and I mean incredible) good eats.
Whether or not you agree with the guy’s opinions, the point is the pictures of the food. Note that each picture has its own detailed description which you can read if you click on the thumbnail.
拉面 is a kind of Chinese noodle. (Its cousin better known in the West is the Japanese adaptation, ramen.) It’s fun watching 拉面 being made. The process (via About.com):
> To make the noodles, roll the dough into a long cylinder. Rub sesame oil over. Grab both ends of the dough. Twist the dough, and then pull it out, stretching your arms apart. Fold the dough in half. Continue stretching and folding the dough until it forms fine noodles.
You really have to see it to understand. It looks like it takes a lot of skill. I guess it’s not surprising, then, that there could be a school (拉面学校) for it:
I am just starting to get into Flickr. I’m a little slow to jump on that bandwagon, yes, I know. I’ve discovered that I’m too lazy to bother designing photo albums anymore, and somehow even something like Gallery doesn’t seem that appealing. I’m still exploring Flickr, but I may end up using it in the feature.
Frank Yu is responsible, in part, for what this site has become. It was because of Frank Yu that I first discovered in 2002 that there were other people blogging about China too (gasp!). Shortly thereafter I started the China Blog List (which seems to be blocked now; working on it!).
Anyway, I’m glad to see that Frank is alive and well in Beijing and snapping away…
As Micah mentions, there’s definitely a slant to the people who were chosen for the portraits and profiles. To me, the slant seemed a lot like, “the Chinese are no longer the backwards Communists you think they are,” and since there are still people with this misperception, it’s good to keep getting that message out. Whatever the message, and however imperfect, I found the collection really entertaining.
Browsing the photos, it also made me recall that back in the day I once discussed doing something similar with Wilson. Probably out of laziness, I never did. But I’m sure there are otherpeople with nice cameras that could do just as good a job as the NY Times if they wanted to.
Xitek.com is a Chinese site which takes photography very seriously and showcases some of its members’ work. I’ve selected a sample of the more notable galleries currently online.
– 《矿工写真》: A collection of pictures of Chinese miners as a memorial to those lost in the Henan mining distaster.
– 粤西禁地 – 汉森病康复村: Photos from a leprosy recovery village in Guongdong province.
– 《大山之子》: 岜沙 is a village near Guizhou populated with people of the 苗 minority group.
– 香格里拉: This is mainly a bunch of maps, but I imagine they could be very useful if you’re planning a trip to Tibet and can read Chinese.
– 《中国模特之星》: Chinese model competition. The photographer seems to favor #3, at least in the beginning. I can’t say I blame him. (Don’t miss the links at the bottom of the page. There are nine pages in all.)
– 我的长城行: Ahhh, the Great Wall… forever photogenic. (Two pages)
– 行行色色之锦绣中华: This is kind of cool — a collection of links to photography posted in the forum, organized by geographic region, and complete with clickable map. (Warning: some of the albums linked to are not so hot.)
I while back I added a new blog to the CBL called Shanghai Streets. It’s a photoblog covering life in Shanghai. It has had some good shots. My favorite so far is probably these shopping girls, but I really like this building, and this picture of Taco Popo, a decent attempt at Mexican that I’ll always remember fondly. So there’s a photoblog to keep your eye on. You’ll also notice that zanhe.com (mentioned in a previous comment on Shanghainese) is using Shanghai Streets’ images (with permission).
Anyway, recently Shanghai Streets has expanded its scope to cover Shanghai’s local music scene. This is pretty great, if you ask me. People in Shanghai complain about a lack of a good local music scene, but I think the truth is that most people aren’t aware that they can regularly go see metal, hip hop, punk, and indie rock shows in Shanghai. I was only dimly aware myself until recently. Shanghai’s offerings might be sort of pathetic for as monstrous a city as it is, but Beijing does not have the monopoly on a Chinese local music scene.
Shanghai Streets: Music is a group music blog. The group members post reviews of local shows they have seen. Perhaps even more useful, though, is the calendar which lists all the upcoming underground shows. You won’t see all these in That’s Shanghai.
Micah recently brought a great site to my attention called SmartShanghai. It’s an awesome site, but it looks like it mostly caters to the rich expat clubbing niche. Shanghai Streets fulfills a different need. If you’re in Shanghai and you’re at all interested in the local band scene, be sure to check it out.
There are three shows coming up this Saturday alone. Too bad I’ll be moving into my new apartment all day. I’m definitely going to go see Cold Fairyland and the Verse on Monday.
I’m still getting over jetlag and don’t feel like writing much. Instead, I’ll share this little qipao gallery of some of China’s famous female stars. (Note that there are 4 pages in all; the links to the other pages are at the bottom of the pages.) Notably absent is Gong Li. Also, page one is not the best of the lot.
I don’t explore these Chinese portals very much, but I was kinda surprised by some of the content put online when the media are “controlled” and the government tries to always keep a wholesome image. Some of the ones I’m talking about are the “leisure” section’s Christy Chungfeature (quite bizarre, and revealing), the creative bust cover-up feature, and the Maxim gallery (gee, I wonder if Maxim’s getting those royalties…).
What’s the strategy here? Give people just enough of what they’re looking for on Chinese sites so they don’t go elsewhere and discover the immense wealth of information (AKA “porn”) out there on non-Chinese sites?
Seems to be.
Update: Micah in the comments has pointed out a similar gallery which has better, higher res images. Very nice.
It seems almost silly to bother to say that the photos at Ziboy.com are really good. I think most people that read this blog have seen them and know. If you haven’t taken a look before, go do it now.
The photographer, Wen Ling, has very little to say about himself on his site, however. Well, I got curious and decided to exercise my Chinese. I wrote to him and asked if I could interview him by e-mail. He was happy to do it. It’s not long, but it still took me a while to actually get it all done. The interview is now completely translated and online, in English as well as the original Chinese. Go ahead and take a look.
This is but one of the many sorts of things I’d like to do with this site if I only had unlimited time….
I’ve really let putting pictures online slide. (Remember those Yunnan photos I’ve been meaning to get online for over a month now?) Well, I finally did a little catching up, and further integrated Racingmix‘s photos with Sinosplice’s. The mirroring continues.
> Yunnan Photos are finally online — two pages of them. Story to follow.
In the past I have done a little introductory mug shot page for the English-teaching foreign teachers here at ZUCC. This semester Wilson did it. It’s hosted on his site, but since his site is blocked in China and mine isn’t, it’s also mirrored on my site. Check it out! I’m sure I’ll be mentioning these people on here in the future.
During his time here, Wilson has gotten really imaginative with his photography and web design. I envy his creative eye, his Photoshop skills, his awesome camera. Even if these talents don’t rub off on me, though, at least I can enjoy his results. Don’t miss: Jade Emperor’s Hill [mirrored], Viewing Fish at Flower Pond [mirrored].
I mentioned recently that I’ll be on TV in China March 22nd. Being on TV is a pretty common occurrence for foreigners living in China. Frequent readers/commenters of this blog will be familiar with my friend Ray. He was on TV in Shanghai some months ago when he still worked there. They did a bit of a bio on him. Anyway, he sent me some vidcaps of his 10 minutes of glory, and I think they’re pretty funny, so I’m sharing them. I don’t think he’ll mind everyone having a look at his studly countenance. If he ever put up a site of his own, I’m sure he’d put these pics up.
“So I want to write a book, right? …”
(That’s mantou, a kind of Chinese bun.)
What a fascinating lesson, eh? The students are riveted!
Speaking of commenters on Sinosplice, “Prince Roy,” a rather new regular commenter here, now has his own blog too. Check it.
Students, your pictures are finally online! Go look at them. To the classes that I didn’t see that week, I’m sorry I couldn’t take pictures of you guys too, but it was your decision not to come…
Those are some happy-looking students, eh? That’s even right before their final exam! It doesn’t take as much to bribe them as you might think… heh heh.
Hey students! All of you know about this blog, but none of you have ever left a comment, even once! Now that you have something that directly relates to you, how about if some of you leave some nice English comments??
OK, I just don’t know when to quit. (Or when to sleep.)
I have added “the least technologically advanced message board ever” to the bottom of the China Blogs page. I’m hoping that people who use my China blogs links page will provide feedback on recent posts and stuff for other users. Check it.
Also, Wilson took a few picks of our stroll around West Lake (and other “adventures”) yesterday afternoon. He made a nice little photo album. Includes some excellent shots of mouth-watering Chinese Muslim noodles. Take a look.
Hmmm, it’s a new weekend already and I seem to have neglected to mention what went down last weekend. Nicola and I headed over to Shaoxing to meet up with Erin Shutty and gang. Part of that gang is Vivienne Carr, who the ZUCC gang had already met earlier in October when we went to Putuo Shan together. Erin was the connection to Vivienne, but I hadn’t actually met Erin face to face until this past weekend. (As I’ve mentioned before, I was supposed to meet both Erin and “Black Man in China” Aaron over the National Holiday vacation, but neither worked out.) Erin and I have been in pretty regular e-mail contact ever since she wrote me in the spring about teaching in China. Now she’s been here months, and we finally met up. Here’s the pics.
Oh yeah, and Erin and Vivienne are coming to Hangzhou this weekend! Erin is also bringing “the Brit,” whom we met only in passing last weekend in Shaoxing.