Newly updated on May 1! (Please scroll down.)
It's been a few days since I arrived in China, but I just realized that I had not taken many photos. I'm posting below a few that I found in my phone. Not something you see everyday from else where in the world.
Breakfast buffet at the hotel in Beijing. Mr. Mud said I must have felt like I was in heaven. He knew me well.
I witnessed the pollution in Beijing — the worst among the three cities I visited on this trip. This was taken at around 4pm on a "sunny" day.
Maybe places like this exist in the US, but I wonder if they are advertised so prominently.
I know that public transportation can get crowded in the US as well, but I'm not sure if it would ever get this crowded — during peak hours, you literally get sandwiched by people all around you, 360 degree physical contact. I feel for the chickens being raised on chicken farms because they spend all their short lives living like that. (I have given up meat for a couple of months now and expect to continue.)
At 8am, the field at a middle school. This is the routine — a day starts with all the students gathering at the track and field ground in a very orderly fashion and do exercises following the prompts from loud speakers. That's how I grew up as well.
Updates. May 1, 2013:
When my sister saw what I posted earlier, she complained because she thought I was only revealing the negative side of China. She is right. Unfortunately, I was so busy spending time with my family that I again forgot to take photos when I should.
We are used to crowds in Chinese restaurants in the Bay Area. There are many of these in China, that's for sure. But there are also many restaurants that are almost beyond description. One such restaurant can take up an entire multi-level building. There is usually one level that serves small parties, and then there are private rooms on other floors if you want to dine without any distraction. The photo below is the "open" floor where small parties are served.
One of the highlights of my visit in Shanghai is a trip to the 2010 World Expo site. Most exhibits have been taken down, but the China Exhibit and Saudi Arabia Exhibit stayed.
Following is an enlarged (x30) and animated rendition of a famous Chinese painting, which is named (in English) Along the River During the Qingming Festival . It is a painting that's full of mystery.
Arts from different eras:
Winter blossom (Mei – 梅)
A famous story where the hero sacrificed his life trying to save
one log from the village's lumber pile.
I liked this painting because of the cat.
A traditional Chinese Nian Hua (Spring Festival Painting).
After China Exhibit, we visited Saudi Arabia pavilion. During World Expo, hundreds of people waited for 9 hours outside to get in for this eight-minute 4-D, as my sister calls it, movie. Many of them say it's worth the wait.
We also went to a concert hall.
Shanghai Concert Hall is a marvel in the construction field. in 2003, it was jacked up in its entirety and moved 66 meters (around 200 feet).