Can You Say “Santa Claus”, part 3

I will attempt to post the rest of the pictures of my trip to Nanxun. Unfortunately, I brought the wrong notebook with my notes from the trip to the US, so I’m going to have to wing it.

Nanxun is a Chinese water town.

Nanxun is a Chinese water town.

Our first afternoon activity was to visit this delightful couple.

Our first afternoon activity was to visit this delightful couple.

We all crowded into their living room for a chat and the inevitable cup of tea

We all crowded into their living room for a chat and the inevitable cup of tea

The tiny little chairs we sat on are very popular in China

The tiny little chairs we sat on are very popular in China

This is the other end of the room, looking toward the front door.

This is the other end of the room, looking toward the front door.

This is their 50th wedding anniversary picture

This is their 50th wedding anniversary picture

Have some more tea!

Have some more tea!

This couple doesn't have to use a public bathroom.

This couple doesn’t have to use a public bathroom.

After we had chatted awhile, the lady of the house presented us with roasted sweet potatoes that were absolutely delicious.

After we had chatted awhile, the lady of the house presented us with roasted sweet potatoes that were absolutely delicious.

She roasted the potatoes in the little room behind the wall.

She roasted the potatoes in the little room behind the wall.

Veggies in a basket

Veggies in a basket

The inevitable rag mop, hanging out the back to dry. Notice how close the water is to the back of the house--just like Venice!

The inevitable rag mop, hanging out the back to dry. Notice how close the water is to the back of the house–just like Venice!

Her kettles.

Her kettles.

Some green veggies being grown in this back area where the kitchen is.

Some green veggies being grown in this back area where the kitchen is.

Looking at the opposite end of this partially open area, which looks out onto the river.

Looking at the opposite end of this partially open area, which looks out onto the river.

A picture of the husband as a blacksmith, making pots and pans.

A picture of the husband as a blacksmith, making pots and pans.

Their television--no flat screens here!

Their television–no flat screens here!

We all gasped when we saw the electric lighting in the bedroom.

We all gasped when we saw the electric lighting in the bedroom.

Their cozy bed in the bedroom.

Their cozy bed in the bedroom–underneath the bare lightbulbs on wires!

A counterfeit rmb note the husband had under a piece of glass in one of the bedrooms.

A counterfeit rmb note the husband had under a piece of glass in one of the bedrooms.

They had a small raised doorstep to help keep out the evil spirits. I also really liked the rugs!

They had a small raised doorstep to help keep out the evil spirits. I also really liked the rugs!

Lazy Boy, Chinese style

Lazy Boy, Chinese style

Space is at a premium, so you have to store bikes in the living room

Space is at a premium, so you have to store bikes in the living room

Chopstick and bowl storage in the living room.

Chopstick and bowl storage in the living room.

Back outside, showing the houses down the lane.

Back outside, showing the houses down the lane.

A final group shot with the couple.

A final group shot with the couple.

The following pictures are about we saw on our walk through the town to our next destination

The pictures that follow show what we saw on our walk through the town to our next destination

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The pretty bridge

The pretty bridge

Up and over the bridge to the other side.

Up and over the bridge to the other side.

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The only man in our group was extremely tall. These boys had wanted to take a picture with his cute teenage daughter, but they settled for the big tall guy when she declined.

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The silver tank is a contraption that heats water. Beside it is another tiny chair.

The silver tank is a contraption that heats water. Beside it is another tiny chair.

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Washing vegetables in the river.

Washing vegetables in the river.

The building along this part of the river were originally built for some man's (can't remember his name) wife and her hundreds of servants.

The buildings along this part of the river were originally built for some man’s (can’t remember his name) wife and her hundreds of servants.

Nanxun was incredibly prosperous in the 1800's. Because of (I think--can't exactly remember) the silk trade, 100's of millionaires (in 1800's money) lived there.

Nanxun was incredibly prosperous in the 1800’s. Because of (I think–can’t exactly remember) the silk trade, 100’s of millionaires (in 1800’s money) lived there.

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drying noodles

drying noodles

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Through these doors we entered into our next adventure.

Through these doors we entered into our next adventure.

Three teachers of traditional Chinese musical instruments welcomed us to their studio. They played Christmas songs they learned just for us and then they let us try to play their instruments!

Three teachers of traditional Chinese musical instruments welcomed us to their studio. They played Christmas songs they learned just for us and then they let us try to play their instruments!

Chinese music looks nothing like ours.

Chinese music looks nothing like ours.

Interesting doorway.

Interesting doorway.

Lastly, we went to a tea restaurant for a tea tasting. We entered through a beautiful courtyard. It is also an inn.

Lastly, we went to a tea restaurant for a tea tasting. We entered through a beautiful courtyard. It is also an inn.

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A pommelo tree!

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Ok, I'm a little hazy on this, but the first tea we had was a slightly sweet "soup" with noodles made from pounded rice. It is supposed to represent your youth when life is sweet.

Ok, I’m a little hazy on this, but the first tea we had was a slightly sweet “soup” with noodles made from pounded rice. It is supposed to represent your youth when life is sweet.

We also had snacks, although by this time we were already incredibly full.

We also had snacks, although by this time we were already incredibly full.

The second tea was a savory /salty tea with vegetables and smoked edamame (a specialty of Nanxun). It represented adulthood when life has it's ups and downs.

The second tea was a savory /salty tea with vegetables and smoked edamame (a specialty of Nanxun). It represented adulthood when life is more difficult with its ups and downs.

Lastly, we had green leaf tea which represented the sunset of one's life, when work is done and life is more peaceful.

Lastly, we had green leaf tea which represented the sunset of one’s life, when work is done and life is more peaceful (and you have the time and inclination to pick tea leaves out of your teeth.)

We were given these gourd Christmas ornaments.

We were given these gourd Christmas ornaments.

Each of us got a paper lotus flower with a candle in it to take out to the river. There we lighted the candle and placed the flower in the river along with a wish for something we want.

Each of us got a paper lotus flower with a candle in it to take out to the river. There we lighted the candle and placed the flower in the river along with a wish for something we desire.

They were so pretty floating down the river.

They were so pretty floating down the river.

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Very briefly the bridge was illuminated by someones' car lights.

Very briefly the bridge was illuminated by someones’ car lights.

Here's one of those water heating cans in action. The flames coming out of the top were quite dramatic.

Here’s one of those water heating cans in action. The flames coming out of the top were quite dramatic.

Elevator Flowers. Hope they aren't a repeat!

Elevator Flowers. Hope they aren’t a repeat!

Wow, it’s been so much faster posting here in the US without having to go through a vpn! We leave tomorrow morning for Shanghai. I’m writing this in the middle of the night, staying awake so I can get a jump on the jet lag. It will be interesting to see the state of the internet when we get back. Hopefully I won’t disappear, but if I do, know that I will post again as soon as I am able!

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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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4 Responses to Can You Say “Santa Claus”, part 3

  1. anneb54 says:

    These photos are fascinating. They are parts of China that I don’t get to see — such a different world to mine. The hospitality of your hosts seemed very welcoming.

  2. Tracy says:

    Hi Marisa, I stumbled across your blog when I was googling Nanxun Lions Club…what a detailed, amazing description of the tour-you must have taken notes. The photos of the day were all encompassing and dramatic. I’m so pleased that you felt moved enough to blog about it. Happy New Year! Tracy Lesh P.S. We didnt’ give the name of the man who had the houses built for 100 servants, so your memory is as sharp as a tack!

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