TRAVEL CONUNDRUMS

The year before the Olympics we visited four cities in China after our son’s first year of teaching there.

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sidestreetGuangZhou

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Plenty of plants from the residents in one of the alleys in Quang Zhou we passed when looking for a size 12 tennis shoe. Large shoe sizes are hard to come by) in China, even in the big cities. The street market in Guang Zhou so big, that it’s a town within a city. We even saw some home made ice cream there. Ah some relief from the heat with 80-90% humidity!

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RoofModFardensNanchang

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If there’s no place inside the house, or on the balcony, there’s always the roof to grow your plants:)  Like most places on the globe everyone hangs their laundry to dry.
This apartment  building across the street from where our son lived  (a teaching job comes with a free apartment ), is by no means a ghetto.
They just do not (know how to?) keep up their buildings.

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Alley2Beijing

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The front of the building looks nice, but when I put a few steps back and saw this alley
a few feet from our bed and breakfast in Beijing  …

Had to make some decisions wanting to paint this plein air. Even in shorts and sandals I was treated like a rich American. Saw next door’s lights were on, meaning people were home. So, as discretely as I could, I took this pic.

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Painting2BeijingAlleyu

and painted this little oil (9 x 12 inch, I believe – have to look it up) back in the USA, because I felt I would intrude on the family’s privacy next door.

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The rest of this post tells you what inspired me.  No matter how much or how little they have, they do the best they can with what they have to enjoy life. Even if it’s a few potted peppers on stacks of bricks next to the house.

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Beanstalktoroof2Crop (2)

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This looks like a “better” neighborhood on a main street in Beijing.  I love how the beanstalk wound itself up to the roof. The bike and train is the normal transportation for a middle class person. Only the rich and the foreigners drive cars.

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 one of the many first impressions of a Westerner
My biggest conundrums?
to find souvenirs! Because “everything” in the USA is “made in china”
and not being able to read the Chinese signs
 fortunately to have our son with us as a translator:)

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Thanks to All the hosts
N.B. For this weeks Blo-Ma, Waterworld, Sky Watch, Weekend Reflect., Pink Sat. & Malevik  see, “Beauties of California”

Blue Monday  * Travel Photo  *
Our World  * Nature Notes  *
ABC – F  *  Outdoor Wednesday  *
Favorite Things  Share the Joy  Alphabe –  N *

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33 thoughts on “TRAVEL CONUNDRUMS

  1. These are wonderful honest picutres of a life style unlike our own. We should know how people live and think,to expand our understanding of them, but also to remind ourselves that we really are not different … People are people no matter where and we should respect our differences ways as much as our sameness. Lovely post ….

    Andrea @ From The Sol.

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  2. I love the myriad of textures found on the various streets you shared with us. what a wonderful painting! I appreciate your sharing China with us because I know that I’ll never be able to travel so far.

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  3. Oh my, you have a son studying in China, how exotic and fun to go visit him too! Yes, I love oolong tea, I love Chinese teas and everything else. Your painting is awesome and the gardens. China is such a fascinating place for me, I’d love to go there someday…hope my dream comes true! Thank you so much for the sweet comment, you made my day!
    FABBY

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  4. It is amazing how we all like or want those uncommon with us. That photo of what you painted will not be as attractive to people with the same style, but now that it’s in painting, it seems more attractive to wider audience. I smiled also at so many incidents you cited here, I can relate so well. You should experience riding on a bus in their small towns where they bargained for the fares before they ride in, and the people seem to be all quarelling while talking, haha! I appreciate your son’s willingness to work there! Enjoy your stay.

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  5. It’s always interesting to me how beautiful people can make their homes, even with the smallest of spaces. I love the hutongs of Beijing!

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  6. The curb appeal in this country is so very different from here. I must admit that they are very vreative with their plants, love your rendition in painting form. Just looking at the photo of it, I felt inspired to do a drawing of it. Great photos!

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  7. Jesh – the year before the Olympics I too spent a lot of time visiting Beijing as I was planning a wedding on the Great Wall!! I wonder if you and I were both there at the same time? I love your photos as it brought back some fun memories. I remember all the taxi drivers had been given a booklet of English words to learn so I had some great Taxi rides – the only word not in the book was traffic jam!!!
    Your painting is fabulous, love it.
    Wren x

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  8. That’s a beautiful picture. I enjoyed looking at China through your eyes. Being there with your son who was living there gives you a unique lens. We went to China back in October but did it in a very touristy way.

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  9. I LOVE your 9 x 12 oil painting – and really like how you did the bricks with less detail on the back bricks and all that nice outlining of the bottom bricks holding the pots. I can see why you chose to paint that wall too – very cool shot. And I noticed that you left out the house number – hmmm I like comparing the photo and your painting – and get more of a feel for your artist touch! ~Yvette

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    1. Reading your reply makes it more clear why I made a difference between the red wall and the individual bricks where the pots are standing on. The latter tell me about what all they built in their lives. It may not all fit together, but do not feel the need to make it “pretty.” For the Chinese red is the color of merry and happy. To them, it’s a celebration of life. To me, spoiled Westerner, I just want to cry – although there’s beauty even in brokenness. I like that you think/ask questions beyond the surface:) Jesh

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      1. Hi Jesh – I am so excited that I was able to find this post again. As I wind down the 2014 year of blogging – I began thinking of favorite posts from certain bloggers. This one was one of two that we my favs from you – and I do not have a lot of time to search back posts and so I really felt like the Lord led me to this quickly (I am grateful for that because it is just a small thing that was fun to feel His hand in) – anyhow, just wanted to let you know that this was a top post for me – and hope you have a great ending to your year… 🙂
        ~y.

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