Seen and Not Seen in Shanghai

Last Sunday was the first sunny day we had had in Shanghai since coming back, so I decided to take a walk to Jing ‘An Park which is just down the street by the subway station.

Parks on a Sunday in China are a glorious thing. They are just seething with humanity, masses of people out enjoying each other. No matter how many times I’ve experienced it here, a day in the park always gives me a little thrill.

Another thing that makes me happy--flowers in January!

It doesn’t hurt that there are flowers in January!


Jing ‘An park is overrun by these white cats which are very tame (they’ll curl up on people’s legs if  allowed) and are fed by people like pigeons or ducks.


These people seemed to be performing some kind of opera. The women were singing back and forth to each other and every once in a while someone in the back would jump in and sing their two jiao worth.


This lady was singing her heart out too, but she was drowned out by the harmonica which was hooked up to a microphone. I find it interesting that people come to the park to sing. They’re not asking for money, they’re just singing. On the other hand, they are frequently terrible singers, so it may be this is their only venue!


I can’t decide which is funnier: bare bottom split pants or split pants with a diaper hanging out.


This man was enthralling the kids with his ability to spin this stick on the very tip of his finger.IMG_0996

His other trick was this “top on a string” which produced a very loud hum once he got it spinning back and forth on the string.


Here’s the kids trying it–the tiny little boy in red was trying it too, and would dance around with the joy and excitement of it.


Before you can spin it, you have to learn to balance it.


Out on the street there were a lot of young people wearing these blue coats and carrying the blue bags. There seemed to be money being exchanged and I thought they were selling the blue bags. Then these two bubbly girls approached me and asked for a donation “for the poor.” I asked them who they worked for and they explained that it was a school project. They reminded me so much of girls selling Girl Scout cookies in the US, that I gave them some money, getting a sticker in return to show that I had given.


The monks were out taking a walk with a lady friend. (who knew they had lady friends?)


Coming back into Shanghai Centre I saw this dog in his snappy outfit. When I asked to take a picture, he stood up and posed!

IMG_5522Meanwhile, many time zones away, in Denver, Mark was about to have an experience that  would never be seen in Shanghai.

IMG_5523                                             See what’s coming down the street?

Yes, it's cattle!

It’s marching cattle!

To be exact it was the National Western Stock Show Rodeo Kick-Off Parade.

IMG_5534                                                    Mooooooo! You enjoying the parade?

IMG_5536Wait–what’s going on? Why’s T-bone going back the other way? What do we do, what do we do, what do we do?


Ok, I’m going straight! You don’t have to yell!

IMG_5547                                  Geez, there’s always one who can’t follow directions.

IMG_5550                                                           Ok, now we’re good.

IMG_5562                             Women wearing big heart ponchos. Life has many mysteries.

IMG_5564                                  Pretty girls, but those outfits don’t look too queenly.

IMG_5568                                  What’s a parade without hairy guys on tractors?

IMG_5569                          She didn’t win the beauty contest, but she’s got a tractor.

IMG_5578               The street cleaners, the most important participant in a parade of animals.


The view out Mark’s window at sunset.

DSC07633                                        The view out my window in Shanghai at sunset.

Instead of ending with elevator flowers this post, I’m ending with some gorgeous orchids that the woman who was hosting our book group had in her dining room:

IMG_0972        These are easily purchased at the flower markets and aren’t even that expensive.                             Sadly, I would never be able to keep something like this alive!


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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