Saturday, November 22, 2008

It's a beautiful day in the NEIGHborhood!

Yesterday was a great day. The sky was clear, the sun was shining, and you would have never guessed that the month of November was coming to a close. It was the perfect day to get out and ride your bike, which was exactly what we ended up doing. Along the way we stopped and checked out one of the natural springs that Jinan has turned into a nature park. Kind of a rip-off for $40 yuan but it WAS beautiful, and the people were rockin...
Adorable Asians... These were some children we saw dressed in traditional clothing. Bright colors and many many layers. They often wear jackets that tie in the back, much like hospital gowns. If you take a good look at the picture below, you'll notice a white bulge hanging out of drawers. This child has a diaper on, but most of the children where nothing, and everything is bared. They have this hole in the middle of their pants and they simply squat whenever nature calls. There will be the a small child in full winter garb, with his little buns hanging cute!

It was beautiful at the park and we appreciated the last of the fall colors before winter shows up in full force.

Mike, taking it all in...I take FOREVER to take pictures so in this one, Mike is really just being patient with me...what a swell guy!

And of course, the trees.....and me. Everyone has got to travel with at least one piece of flair. Mine, is my Burberry sunglasses, with the obnoxiously large, I just might be a movie-star, but you'll never know look to them.

Mike among the foliage.....A vision in blue and green...Look how long his curls are getting! They build dozens of these houses right along the edges of the spring-fed lakes. Asians are really funny because they will spend a ton of money to build something really extravagant, and then do absolutely no maintenance on the building, just letting the elements take their toll.

Much of the walk-way was inlaid with these stones arranged into various shapes and designs. It's amazing to think of the manual labor that must have been needed to complete that.
I love this picture for several reasons. First, because it is TOTALLY your typical old lady. The traditional clothing, complete with flat soled fabric shoes, and not be forgotten, the walker....Asian style! Most old people have these and they use them to carry their chair (notice hers sticking out of the walker) and other goods they might have purchased throughout the day.
So, as we were getting ready to leave we found this precious girl and we had to take a picture. Presh....reaching out to touch the flower.....yellow rain boots and an eighties rock it girl!
I wanted to post this picture, not because it shows the slums of the city, which like any city, Jinan has it's fair share of as well. But because it shows the ever changing skyline of China, the old village style houses abolished for the newer edgier sky-rises. At any given time dozens of sites around the city are being torn down for redevelopment.
Mufasa seems to still be teething and so on the way home we stopped by our local butcher for some bones....Isn't this so neat?! It's how they roll...fifty deep in sheep...

Definitely not USDA approved....Isn't it amazing more people don't die of food poisoning here?
I left out the gross part of the picture where they have the skins of the butchered animals lying on a pile for them to sell. You have to give credit for utilizing the ENTIRE animal though.
Can you guess what this is used for?
This happens to be one of my favorite locals......the fruit lady! Every day we say 'hi' and stop to buy some fruit. She hooks us up on the goods, which is great because we can always trust that she is giving us a fair price. Right now she is weighing our tomatoes.

Just one more reason to love China, because all of this, cost us less than a $1.50! Hooo-raw!

Mike caught this shot as we were pulling around the corner to our house. My sweet ride! Check out the basket with the goods! Every time I ride the bike I feel hear the music from "Wicked Witch of the West" going "danun danun danuuunun danun danun danuuun danuuuuuuunnnn"


Brent Danley said...

So what do you two do when you're not gallivanting around the country?

I liked the explanation about the children's clothing. They're all bundled up and Michael is in short sleeves. Is it cold or is that just how Mike rolls?

Love you bike, Kim.


sparkyballet said...

Just how Michael rolls! No matter what the whether, Michael's Florida background think's short-sleeved shirts are perfect no matter what the sky may look like! Chris Longacre once described Mike and himself as a 'fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants' type of guys......I TOTALLY agree!