Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Things seen in China...

Sometimes I think I should have learned photography. I like taking pictures, having that frame to put around the world. It's a lot easier, at times, to share experiences of other places through photos than it is to write about them.

I have a semi-respectable camera but I really enjoy taking pictures with my smartphone. I like being able to edit and post on the fly, also that the phone is less obtrusive than a DSLR. The main reason I want to upgrade my phone at this point is for a better camera (I mean, does anyone actually use their smartphone to talk?)

Anyway, here are a few images taken on my trip to China last month. The purpose of the trip was visiting craft breweries there, but I did manage to do a few other things, apart from trying Chinese IPAs. In all instances, click to embiggen...

This is a blurry night shot done with that outdated smartphone, but I was so taken by the scene. Rather than having tables or blankets, a lot of vendors in this hip Kunming district were selling their wares out of the backs of cars and vans. All the better to outrun the chengguan if need be, the much hated "urban management" police force in charge of cracking down on illegal street vendors and other petty crimes. They have a reputation for brutality and excess, and even if you aren't crazy about illegal street vendors (who can be a real nuisance), hardly anyone roots for the chengguan.

Yeah, I know, I know. I have a thing about weird signs.

I was primarily seeking out "craft" beer from microbreweries. While this hardly fit the "craft" category, it was a pretty decent German lager. And, yellow.

The "vampire" trend in Beijing started a few years ago, and to my surprise is still hanging on. This is a bar on a very trendy hutong (alley) that's been around for a while.

A couple of Kunming fashion statements (and yes, the sign below really does translate to "smelly socks" -- someone has a sense of humor!)

Sure, they look innocent enough during the day...

Run away! RUN AWAY!!!!!

 You can find peaceful places in China if you look…

So. Much. Good. Food. The snaps below are all from Dali, in Yunnan.

I would so ride this.

Shanghai may be one of the most modern cities in the world, but in the older sections, this is how they do the scaffolding. In a lot of the newer ones, too…

Things seen in Beijing...

I always find these tranquil snapshots in the middle of Beijing.

But these old neighborhoods are almost gone now…

Lisa…every other Wednesday…


  1. Great photos, Lisa. One question, are those Chinese versions of good old American lawn gnomes that look innocent enough during the day but after dark join in common cause with zombies and vampires for control of the night?

    1. I am absolutely certain of this, Jeff.

  2. Wonderful, Lisa. How I love your photos of China!. The Vampire one is great on several levels.

    1. I still shake my head that the vampire thing is a "thing" in Beijing!

  3. I always find the collision between drastically different cultures to be fascinating! Thanks, Lisa. (And that gnome on the far left has a remarkable resemblance to Jeff...)

  4. Wonderful essay, Lisa, thank you. Gotta ask, though -- western style vampires, or jiangshi? I shall assume the former, given the style of the coffin, but wonder if there's also a touch of the sort that -- well, that hops. Which would be very fitting, considering why you were there in the first place.--Mario R.

    1. Mario, in this case, western-style. I think the "vampire" businesses in Beijing (there's another place that sells "blood" on Gulou Dong Dajie) were inspired by the popularity of Twilight, but this particular place looks like it takes its design cues from Anne Rice and Lestat.

      No hopping corpses in sight!

    2. Do I dare ask what this "blood" consists of? Or should I leave well enough alone? [laughs]

      Thanks for your reply, and for not coming after me with a blunt object for the hopping / hops pun.

    3. I will admit, I haven't tried the "blood" yet. Maybe next time I'm in Beijing!

      And how could I object to a pun involving hops? I'm into the IPAs...