Monday, November 10, 2008

Shanghai Street Scenes

Good morning all,

I was out walking around with CeCe and we decided to stop and have a Frappacino at Starbucks around the corner just taking in the sights!

Everywhere you go there are amazing things to see. Whether it be architecture or people. I find Shanghai soooo interesting. Yes, Italy was beautiful and amazing in itself but Shanghai, well, it's just China -

Check out the photos of the people on bicycles I've uploaded. The man with the empty bottles of water must be on his way to the recycling plant. You will also see men on bicycles with FULL bottles of water too, just like this. I don't know how they get around - the full ones are so heavy. We have a huge bottle of water in our apartment. That's the water we cook with each and every day. I go through one of them about every two weeks. It costs us about 20 RMB which is about $2.85. It goes in one of those dispensers and you can get hot or cold water at the flick of a wrist.

The Chinese are very big on the environment. Their country is so huge and they realize the need to clean up the place. All over town, you will see people with these huge plastic bags that have recyclable items in them like plastic water bottles. On the Bund the little old ladies will walk by you as your are finishing your water, hoping that you'll give the empty to them. Some of them rely on this to supplement the money they receive from the government.

Every so often you'll see little men on bicycles with huge piles of cardboard broken down. They are taking them to the recycle plant too. I wish we had people in the US that are as environmentally conscious as the Chinese. We talk the talk but don't walk the walk. . .

The Chinese people are very proud but they realize the need to make a Buck - or a Yuan. I so admire them for that. In the US you don't see many people on welfare getting out there to help themselves. That's a shame but that's another story for another day.

Check out the man with the plants. I cannot figure out how he gets around. He's not a very big man but he manages to get those plants to where they need to be. He must have powerful legs, maybe that's why he's so thin. . .

In the evening, maybe about 6 pm, you'll see men and women who are riding bicycles with floral baskets, filled to the brims, on them. I think they come from the flower markets and try to sell the leftover flowers on the street. I sometimes pick up some calla lillies or some carnations. The jasmine smells divine! On the way to the subway, there is always a little lady sitting on the ground creating jasmine bracelets. We've talked about buying them - maybe we'll do that this week. The Hongqaio Flower Market is one of our favorite places to go. They don't just have flowers and plants there.

The Chinese love their gold fish - koi - I think that's what the term is. There are lots of vendors there who sell koi and fish tanks and food. At one vendor last week we saw a huge lizard - makes me get chills each time I think about it.

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