Am giving you the cultural view -what struck me as a Westerner. We went the year before the Olympics for a week, so many things were more authentically Chinese. Our son lived there, and  staying at his apartment,  gave us more insight of the life of the locals.



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PandasChina 319

THE GOOD: The Giant Pandas have a den you see during the tour of the Great Wall

Also Good: You barter for anything, except in Western stores or restaurants. Everything is dirt cheap and our son kept saying “You pay too much!” Food is super cheap (also in restaurants) and hotels are half of the price in the USA.




Fence in the foreground for safety. Hazy sky and 95 % humidity!

THE RANDOM:  Hubby and son went to the Great Wall, and I went painting here, left from this bridge. Some of you have already asked for the painting,  Here it is, below





Two Bridges in Beijing, Oil, © StGermain
Painted like a fairy tale and other worldly style, which this whole trip was for me. Also, so I could break some naturalistic rules here (like, putting the focus in the middle)

The middle new bridge is the one above. On the right is the old marble looking bridge-very close by.
One of the workers at the bed and breakfast told it’s very unusual here to paint in the street, and even more for a woman to be alone and paint, but since I obviously was a Westerner, they let me get away with it:)
Felt safe, even though I couldn’t speak one word, let alone read Chinese, and felt those watching eyes. Back then westerners were still kind of a celebrity. We got used to people staring:):)



GteatWall 299

THE FUN:  At the Great Wall most visitors were Chinese.
Surprisingly for Asia, most women work and have a voice here.

While my two guys were taken up with bartering for a Sony phone in a giant mall specifically for gadgets, I watched a woman – across from us, blast a Middle Eastern man – no doubt wanting the special treatment – not giving in to his demands.
I loved watching when Miss High and Mighty spewed fire and won the half hour lasting loud argument. Priceless:):) Didn’t need to understand Chinese for this. The body language came over loud and clear!




BougainvillaChina 312




Quang Zhou 050

Only pic from Shen-Shen in this post.
China loves replications ….  and mishmash – From left to right, German Dutch, English, and in the back the Eiffel Tower:) The mainland has an unusual mix of communism mixed with  a democratic slant in business. Hong Kong is called (which is a half hour walk over the bridge) “the West.”



RoyalRobeForbDity 268

All the reflections are from Catching the Light  behind us.

Royal silk Robe display behind glass in the Forbidden City (that means China had a royal family before Communism took over). The Forbidden City are the former Royal palaces, and visiting them is like the Louvre – never enough time!


 Mind boggling for a Westerner
No special education for the handicapped*
(Six Words Sat)
yet 2 and 3 year olds start learning English in (Pre)Kindergarden


* mentally handicapped. Some are taken care of by the parents. Others are abandoned and wander the streets

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  1. An interesting post of somewhere I probably will never get to. The royal robe in glass case is very lovely. I too like the Chinese footbridge. I’m sure you had many great photo opportunities especially at the Forbidden City and along the Great Wall.


  2. Hi Jesh,

    What a fascinating place! Thanks for the tour.

    There was an error in your link, but I fixed it.

    That was the beginning of Rock n’ Roll, not jazz.

    Happy Blue Monday!


  3. What wonderful photos. I am always delighted to be here because your photo shares are amazing. I love the purple bloom here too. Thank you and enjoy your week.


  4. I was in Beijing in 2010 and enjoyed it very much despite the guide having to stick to the government ‘s propaganda that events in Tiananmen Square never happened. I am sure you would have had a completely different experience being there with your son rather than a tour guide.


  5. Wonderful pictures ! …And yes…. that culture is totaly different, its always intriging to experience it, isn’t it?

    Thank you for participating in this weeks entry, nice to see you back every week

    Have a nice day
    Melody (abc-w-team)


  6. Your painting is like a dream come true, Jeanette. Hmmm, I get it now — that line “dream come true.” Shen-shen with the hodgepodge reminds me of Las Vegas. I think it would be fun to build a mini Eiffel tower in our front yard. Ah, the talk it would cause in our neighborhood. lol


  7. Really interesting post. You got to see a part of China that few of us will ever see. Being stared at all the time like you were a celebrity must have been very strange!!


  8. Very interesting. So what did they do? Stand around and watch you paint? That would have seemed strange to me. Your painting is very good. I was sorry to learn about the mentally handicapped being left on the street to fend for themselves. That’s so sad.


  9. I was in China in 2008, after the Olympics. People still stared like you wouldn’t believe. And by the end of the trip, I was so tired of being harassed by young boys poking me “lady want t-shirt, lady want bag, etc”. It was still very interesting though and we came home with lots of treasures and memories.
    I guess with the one child only rule, people don’t want handicapped children. 😦 Very sad.
    On a positive note, love your painting!


  10. Interesting views of China. The buildings copying European housing styles and the Eiffel tower are really amusing! I like the photo of the bridges and your painting. That’s funny that a woman should not be painting alone. I don’t know if I would do well either having to haggle in my shopping.


  11. I just love Asia! I haven’t been to mainland China, yet. My closest experience would be Hong Kong about 5 years post hand over from the UK. Would love to see more. Great shots and I love your Son’s art work!


  12. Such a wonderful and fun experience!!
    we lived in Heidelberg, W. Germany for 3 years and loved every second of it — the food, the people, the history, the sights, but wasn’t cheap like in China!!
    Did you buy lots of silk???


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