Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hero Mountain

May 1st is a national holiday in all communist countries. Roslyn and I celebrated it in Jinan with two of our students, Crystal and Kyle, who graciously offered to take us on a tour of a section of Jinan we had never seen before. 
We visited Hero Mountain. Like the bear who went over the mountain, we spotted a even better mountain park on the other we explored further and saw Chinese folks celebrating their official opening day of summer. All kinds of singing and line dancing.  Plus we visited a nearby  antique market-open air Home Depot.  Then we had a Vietnamese lunch  at the spacious Parc 66 shopping mall.

Kyle and Crystal were wonderful guides.

Reminded me of Machu Picchu with all those hazardous, steep steps

It was a lovely sunny day albeit typically polluted. We learned that a huge contributor is dust that blows across China from the Gobi Desert.

Kyle is a British History major and Crystal is an English Translation major who wants to go into public service & management. They both speak fabulous English and are very, very smart.

As we "bears" were going over the mountain, we saw this impressive display of agility. I see older Chinese citizens stretching all the time in some of most creative ways.

That is lucky number 6 Kyle is flashing. 

Here are some of the celebatory things we saw Chinese engaged in on this first official day of summer.  
It is said that there is no spring or fall in Jinan. Cold switches to hot quickly. But, this year is the exception. We have had unusually cool weather so far for May...thank goodness.

You see this all the time. Water calligraphy. Very eco-friendly.
Sometimes they wax elequent with poetry...or maybe some op-ed rant. But the sun dispenses with the evidence.

Line dancing is huge in China. Really. Every park, every day, all the time, day or night. Someone pops open a boom box and off they go. Anyone can join in. The more the merrier.

Old folks singing old national songs.

More Line Dancers....and the conductor

May Day Sing-along

This is how a collective society plants trees. Tree Soldiers
....all in a nice, neat rows.

This lovely singer needed no boom box. She brought along her own Chinese ethnic band, complete with erhu, drums & funky cymbals. 

I wish you could see this fellow in action. His enthusiasm is a kick. Shake, Rattle & Roll!

Crystal helped me purchase some Chinese fans. Kyle and Crystal are champion bargainers. It's a aggressive art form.

The shopping possibilities at the antique market are mind boggling. 

These are ink wells for Chinese calligraphy brush dipping.

Chinese stamps on which one can get one's name carved.

Expensive ROCKS for sale. Surprisingly expensive. Almost everything is lucky in some way or another in China.
You would not believe how much they were asking for this black stone thing-a-mabobs!!

Parc 66 fountain

Great mall crawling in Parc 66

Every time I see one of these rats nests of electrical wiring I take a photo. That's not a work in progress. That's the finished job! And this workmanship is all over the place. Fascinating. 

1 comment: