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It must be China: fashion and cash

24 May

Ni hao, good Reader!

What I gots fer yee here is a sort of variety pack, a bag of mixed nuts, a combo platter of some different sights that make China, well, China. :) What do we think about that?

That's one heck of a thumbs-up you got there.

Right on, Bro. He’s (one of) our neighborhood, friendly, portable fruit vendors. And as you can see he doesn’t need to buy a peeler. Or a knife. Or a trowel.

Out and about, I’ve noticed a few fashion statements here in southern China. Sometimes they show a little more skin than we’re used to:

Okay, okay. So it's not fashion so much as function. Kinda cute--until you see the function operate.

And yeah, this next one is a stretch to call it fashion, too. But where else am I supposed to put this photo?:

Just another sidewalk in Zhuhai.

It’s cool when fashion and culture combine:

Unmistakable China

I saw this kid running around in a restaurant. Makes me wonder if kids in Norway wear old viking’s helmets for fun. Heck, how about even some Scandinavian boys back in Minnesota? Certainly would wear the horns prouder than our men in purple uniform.

At another restaurant I got a taste of more recent culture. After all, China (politically, anyway) is quite new. 1949. Many folks here are old enough to remember, and pay homage to, the leader who started it all.

A special area of this restaurant is devoted to this Mao Tse Tung memorial. Mmmm, mmmm. Whets my appetite.

Personally, I think that many Chinese folk’s capacity for religion is partially taken up by their near-worship of this guy. But to overstate his influence in China and worldwide would be a tough thing to do.

He’s on all their paper money, too.

And one day I tried to exchange some of this Chinese dough for a bit of Hong Kong bread. I went to a bank and asked if it would be cool to do this despite me not being a member there. They said sure. So the next day I returned, took out my wad, and waited for some service. “Okay, Mr. American man, but we’ll need to see your passport.” I brought it just in case. But then came the paperwork. Ugh, I remember being hungry and wanting to get moving:

Gotta hold on while we write, write, write, through the red tape. Yippee!

That got done, and now it was time to see a teller. She was a nice gal, but offered a troubled look. And you never want to see them talking to other tellers, either. :( Then she said to me, “Where did this money come from?” A printing press. No, wait, I mean a tree. Uh, wait a sec. Heaven. “I work here”, I said. A nice lady in the line next to mine helped me realize that I needed to provide proof of income.

Of course I didn’t bring that. Silly me. Then the feeling dawned that all this waiting and hunger was for absolutely nothing. I left with those very same pink bills. Later, I’d approach one of several money-changing ladies who sit on the corner with pouches of cash. I was trying to work one of these black-market transactions, but she looked around like it was a drug deal, so I backed off. I ended up changing money at the ferry port–for a good exchange rate, too: )

(Interesting side note: the Chinese currency, the RMB, is inching up against the dollar. Say, what are you guys doing to my country while I’m away?!) ;)

Yeah, China’s got its ups and downs. What place doesn’t, right? You like it for what it is. Unless, I suppose, they jail you for some unprovoked reason. And staying away from the black markets, I’ll keep my nose clean–just like my fingernail friend. And I’ll keep my eye on the prize–just like this fella–though sometimes the prize is darn-near blinding.

Oh, it's okay. His hand's in the way.

to offering you more and more about life far, far away,

to new plateaus,

-Brandon

 
 

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  1. lz

    May 25, 2011 at 12:28 am

    Am really enjoying you pictures & writing. Keep them coming.

     
  2. Hao Hao Report

    May 25, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Someone thinks this story is fantastic…

    This story was submitted to Hao Hao Report – a collection of China’s best stories and blog posts. If you like this story, be sure to go vote for it….