Babies and Balloons

Jintian tianqi hen piaoliang he dou ying’er waimian.

Yes it’s true, my chinese vocab is ever expanding, however I still can’t understand a darn thing anybody says to me, as we shall see.

The sentence above says: Today the weather was very beautiful and all the babies were outside. It seemed that all the babies, along with all the bedding in Shanghai had been put out for a good airing today in the 60+ weather and sunshine.

I love the pink quilt

From the clouds of dust this woman was beating out of this quilt, I can only hope that she uses it for some other purpose than covering up with.

I realize this is a random picture, but five seconds before I took this picture (that's how long it took to get my camera out of my bag!) the entire downstairs area and the stairs were both filled with wall to wall people. It was amazing.

A lone elderly man was doing Tai Chi in an empty lot beside the subway while the man behind him was sorting through the recycling he had collected.

Speaking of recycling!

Taking this photo prompted a man to come up and attempt to speak to me in Chinese.

It was pretty much a total fail, although he gave it the old college try.  I think he thought it was odd I was taking this picture, so I told him it was piaoliang–beautiful. Finally learned that one!

I did hear him use the word “guo”, so I thought he was asking what country (guo=country)I was from–the one phrase I have down pat. But then his next sentence had Shanghai and guo in it too–what was that all about? As it happens, just last night I learned another word guo, but a different tone. I couldn’t remember it though-I got over 60 new vocab words last night! (It means “to spend”) Sometimes I think I might understand if I could get people to repeat what they’re saying about 10 times.

Probably would be a real conversation killer, wouldn’t it?

Walking down one street I suddenly heard rousing music. Like a pied piper, I followed it and found it was coming from a school yard.

It was either recess or gym. The kids were slogging away, running back and forth the short distance of the yard while the teachers stood at attention in rows, somehow managing to appear disapproving and bored at the same time.

They stopped soon after I arrived and then lined up, like all children everywhere, to go back inside

Was that a guy on a bicycle with a giant bunch of balloons? Where'd he go? He was so fast!

The next pictures all came from same street–I think the same block, but it may have been two blocks. I love how so much life goes on right out where you can see it.

Street food being made

I should have known. Yes, they actually eat the duck heads here. And now I know where to buy them!

I just really like this picture

What's this guy selling?

I really don't know, but he'll make them for you on the spot. I think there's some dustbins and some nice buckets there too.

About this time, I saw a child with a balloon and I thought, hmm, maybe the balloon guy didn’t disappear after all. So I headed off in the direction they had come from and….

I found him!

He was selling balloons in a tiny park inhabited by elderly people and parents with small children.

This little boy was having quite the discussion with his mother about the merits of balloon ownership. Sadly, he lost the debate.

I got one and you didn't. Go away!

This little boy was fascinated by the balloons but was just as happy with the piece of paper he was ripping up.

When it was clear he was only going to sell a couple of balloons, the balloon man was off to greener pastures.

One more baby picture

The gold of Jing An temple was really glittering in the sun today

This is just a tiny fraction of the building. I'll show you other pictures of this grand building in another post.

Kelly brought us spring too!


About DECRYPTKNIT: knitter on the loose in Shanghai

Hi, I'm Marisa Newhouse, a former pharmacist (for a brief time during the Reagan administration) who's real calling was probably anything that has to do with cooking, plants, literature and especially knitting; hence my last and favorite job, working at Woolyminded, a wonderful yarn store. But now, I have moved half a world away to Shanghai where my husband will be working. Lots of people are interested in what we will be doing here and I have always kept journals of our travels, so I thought I'd do it the modern way and keep a blog.
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One Response to Babies and Balloons

  1. Jean-Louis et Dominique says:

    Hi Marisa
    i am spending my weekend in Paris and just discovered that Dominique has been visiting China reading regularly your “Knitter on the Loose in shanghai “blog. How are you both doing? very well from what I just read..We are still commuting from Paris to LA and have not yet come with a solid plan to end this monthly commute.
    All the best,
    Jean-Louis and Dominique

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