Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Almost every day in Shaoxing, there are processions lead by a strange group of six musicians who sit in the back of a unitlity - crammed in, in fact - playing music as they tour the streets of the city followed by a strange entourage of vehicles. The vehicle immediately following the musicians is a black car with a person holding a movie camera standing up though the skylight.
The next car - usually decorated with flowers often held on with sticky tape, is the car with the bride and groom. Following - and there are always 6 or 8 cars (never 5) with various family members.
This happens rain, hail or shine (although I've never seen it hail here!)
On this occasion, it was raining and miserable. The muso's had stopped - which was good to take a photo, and they were playing Oh, Susanna - click here to hear it. Although our brass band on the back of the "ute" did not sound like this.
Soon we three Aussie English teachers were having an impromptu dance on the footpath, much to the amusement of the band and the passers by. At the same time a tricycle and a bus passed, and then the street cleaners gathered laughing to see what these strangers were doing in the midst of Shaoxing.
In the end we were all laughing!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
It is not uncommon to see one of these three wheeled cycles travelling through a city in China, loaded, or overloaded with strange things. I've posted many here, but find that I can not always get my camera ready in time to take the photo, and often I am passing in a crowded bus with no hope of getting the photo.
This laod was empty plastic crates of some sort. I have no idea what might have been in them. There was no sign of the cyclist. He was probably behind a bush!!!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
At this time of the year the local Chinese people eat lots of sugar cane These great stalks of cane appear in fruit and vegetable markets. They are cut into pieces about 1/2 meter long, the outside "skin" is peeled off, and the students and others hold the base of the remaining stalk with a piece of plastic and bit off pieces of the cane.
They chew it and then spit out the hard whitish strands - onto the road or the footpath. The whole process leaves quite a mess but no one seems to care. The roads are covered with the peeled skin, and the chewed over and spat out dregs.
The photo is near Anchung, where the vendors sit with great piles of the cane, and peel and chop it to hand to customers.
All sorts of wheeled vehicles travel back and forth all the time - hard to tell what is carried in some of them!
The tut-tut rescued us from the village, the name of which we have no idea. It was a most uncomfortable ride with our long legs finding little room in the back of the vehicle, as it bumped and shook us for about 15 minutes.
A load of brooms being delivered - probably picked up from the village where they were made!
Huge trucks with great white bags often overloaded and bulging out over the road, ply their way back and forth. I have no idea what is in the big bags - though many are delivered to a big factory near the college. A chemical of some sort, but other than that have no idea.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
In Hangzhou there are many workers - men and women - working on the streets at any time. They are very busy in Autumn and Winter as the leaves fall from all the trees in the streets and they are swept up along with all the other flotsam and jetsam that is discarded on the roads.
These blue carts with workers with their home made (or made in a local village) brooms sweep non stop, and load the carts with the rubbish which is in due course collected by a large rubbish truck.
Hangzhou is a clean city - so much better than Shaoxing, although there are workers in both cities cleaning non stop.
The people that do these jobs are often poorly educated, and even disabled people earning a small income from the government for the work they do. As well as clean and sweep, they must dodge the cars and bikes that run rampant in the streets. Once again Hangzhou is much better organised - for a start the streets are wider, but regardless the traffic is much more orderly.
However, you would get the impression that taxis do not have to obey road rules, and they seem to drive through red lights without any concern.
I love it that despite all the plastic things that are used - they still use the stick brooms that are in fact very effective and I am sure much better for the environment in more ways that one!
There are whole villages where the people are employed making these brush brooms and you see them everywhere.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
It is time to put in new plantings around the City Square in Shaoxing - neat rows are already planted by the hard working gardening teams.
Tricycles arrive with the seedlings in individual pots, and the workers get too and plant. Soon the plants will flourish and the flowers blooming. Pansies are being planted, as well as other varieties of seedlings.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
We have been told that these are not rickshaws - rickshaws were the carts with seats that were pulled by fit and healthy Chinese men - usually in more traditional clothes with a straw "triangle" hat, and their hair in a long "pigtail" or queue.
When I first saw these carts in Shaoxing, I immediately thought of "rickshaws" but I'm told they are called "tricycles". In any case they are familiar especially round the city streets of Shaoxing. I've not yet ridden in one, as I have not had reason to. They are quite a challenge in traffic which is chaotic anyway, and these guys (oh, and there are some ladies who ride them) are usually used for short rides around the city.
One day I will. I promise. But so far I have had not real need to.
These were all lined up near the markets - where my favourite dressmaker, and coffee shop can be found!
From this story it appears that they are called rickshaws in Beijing.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
The lane was a pretty old lane, but with thriving businesses along either side of it.
The lanes are pretty narrow - and this type of vehicle is certainly ideal for removing rubbish and unwanted items in these old villages.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Back and forth they go - carrying any items that need carrying. One day I'd like to sit on a street and just keep the camera rolling as things pass by. Sadly I miss many photos of strange items as I do not have my camera "at the ready" all the time.
Can you work out what is in the carts? I certainly cannot.
I can imagine there is some sort of oil recycling system - though have no idea what it would be and I am not sure that I really want to know. These little "tricycles" carry all sorts of tings back and forth. In some places there are many men with these carts sitting on certain street corners waiting for work.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
These green carts can be seen around the city of Shaoxing. They seem to be people movers and near one of the bus stops not far from the college there are often several waiting for passengers. No doubt if someone has some heavy parcels and some distance to travel these will be great little vehicles to use.
They don't travel at high speed but seem to just putter around to their destination. i've not travelled in any of the smaller strange vehicles, as I am somewhat cautious about using "light" transport and would prefer something heavier. I don't know the significance of the colour as I think all the vehicles of this shape, size, and model are green. Like little green toy carts in a way.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Mostly the "good" stuff has been taken by other workers. All bottles, cardboard, clean paper etc. will have been collected by the many staff who cannot pass a bin without checking its contents.
This guy was also wearing a "triangle hat" made of bamboo I think. He was happy to be photographed.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I can only guess that this was the tricycle of a peddlar of some sort. In the basket as some sort of gluey rice paste, and I have no idea if it was for eating or some other use. There was a basked beside the tricycle that had a similar content, but different consistency.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
I'm not sure how it happens, but this semester there are new students all riding orange bicycles. All the same brand and there are rows of them. This lone cycle was near the bakery, and I received some stares as I photographed it.
What I thought was odd - apart from so many bikes of this colour on campus, is that few are "unwrapped" and still sport their bubble wrap packaging, just as they would have been at purchase.
So many are like this. For me, I was keen to remove all my packaging very quickly to reveal my new shiney bike.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Apparently these cane chairs are made by villagers, and the truck loads of these chairs come into the cities on a regular basis, and guys with tricycles load them on their carts and head off to furniture shops and markets. Some of the loads of cane chairs are amazing - and I have been unable to get a photo of them.
This one was in Hangzhou - not many chairs on board, but enough to see the challenges that the rider has, when negotiating the traffic.
There are narrow alley ways to negotiate - places where bigger vehicles have not a hope of getting through. These guys are really the backbone of much commercial activity.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I couldn't help myself - just had to take a picture of it. And I heard giggles from behind me when I stopped to take the photo. Three new students were following me along the pathway and thought it odd that I would stop and take such a photo.
"Where are you from?" they asked in good English. I pretended to hop like a kangaroo - and let's face it, it is not easy to do, but they shrieked with laughter and shouted "Australia." We all laughed and went on with our respective journeys.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
We would wave a taxi, but it would either not stop, or pick up some locals. Eventually one actually refused a local and chose to take us to our destination. I wonder why he did that? Wait and you will understand.
We gave him the address in Chinese characters, he nodded and set off. Along the route we noticed that he had 40 RMB on the meter. He had either not changed it from the previous passenger or set it because he was going to make some money out of foreigners.
In any case, we pointed it out to him. His English was not good - or it was and he played ignorant - but he refused to change it. Eventually it was clear that he was going to try and make extra money from us. Now my friend knew the cost of a taxi from the city to her place - she'd done it more than once before, so she knew it was far less than 40 RMB.
We argued with him, and let him know that we had recorded his taxi driver number (which we had). Without saying anything he turned the taxi around and took us right back to where he had picked us up. As it turns out, just before he turned into the particular street, he was stopped behind a bus, so we got out quickly. We obviously did not pay him.
We caught another taxi back eventually - after a short wait - and paid the right amount of money.
We thought he was a crazy taxi man. The photo on his ID card did not match the face of the man, so it will be interesting to see what happens when we do report him. At least we know that he tried to take on three ladies in Shanghai and at this point we can claim victory over him.
Monday, September 15, 2008
The railway staff promote products for sale, during the train trip from Shaoxing to Shanghai. As the train rolls on it's 2 - 3 hour journey, the railway staff come through the train offering drinks, noodles, and fruit. Then they do slick presentation promoting a rang of products. One of the products is a torch (no batteries - is powered by hand - almost winding it up, so that it provides the power to turn on the LED light. They torch was great. I bought one.