Monday, May 18, 2009

5 years ago today, May 18

May 18, 2004 saw:
(From Phil's camera...as a continuation of what I was realizing yesterday...Phil didn't change the date on his camera, either...as a result, the date changes mid-afternoon. I could probably do the calculations to figure out which day these events were actually taking place on...but I figure it doesn't matter enough to warrant the time it would take me, and heck, I've already started with the it being off and no one has complained, so...)

The photos from yesterdays post in Jing An Park were actually from this morning...we got up early to go explore before the day officially began.

Once the rest of the group was up, we had the official start to the day exploring in Old Shanghai

While we were there, we got to see the gorgeous Yu Yuan Garden.  It's a walled - in garden with a lot of history...the details of which I don't rember well enough to regurgitate here.  I'm glad Phil got so many pictures of it, but even so there was just so much to this place...I totally fell in love with it.

A circular doorway in the garden.

detailing from the top of the wall

These chairs are each carved out of a single pice of wood.

The pavilion in the garden

Stone characters on the garden wall

detailing on the roofing in the garden

a glimpse over the wall

glass windows in the garden

Rocks in the landscaping

A cool shot of some of our companions taking pictures

Empty windows looking out on the garden

Me, Kir, Carlos's legs and a whole lot of Koi!  

a long shot over the pond in the garden

That was it for the garden pics...I wish I had more pictures of the garden itself, it really was awe-inspiring.
Anyway, back in old shanghai,  Kir was on a mission to find a specific kind of film that was not readily available.  But this guy was working hard to help her track it down.

While we were waiting, Phil snapped this picture...in the bottom right you'll see a father holding his toddler over the tree planter...the kid had no diaper on, just cleverly designed pants which allowed the parent to tell the kid needed to go, and he held him over the tree...

Then we headed to a museum...it was a shame (though also totally understandable) that you couldn't take pics anywhere but the lobby, 'cause they had some really cool exhibits.

Hassan & Christine

At the bund
So anyway, that is it for Phil's pics this day. BUT, after our foray into the Yu Yuan Gardens, we stopped by a (different) kodak kiosk, and I was able to get a replacement memory card. So here are my photos from the rest of that day.

I'm going to go ahead and assume that the grumpy look on Kir's face here is because I was being a brat about not having the memory card before we went into the garden.  That place really had a lasting effect on me; I still think about it and talk about it fairly often.

The chaperons Pari, (Kir, help me out, I don't remember the name of the gentleman in the middle!  I'm terrible!), and Arnie enjoying a drink in old shanghai

Pari and some monks in old shanghai

Phil and some sugar-coated fruit...it was seriously like half an inch all the way around.

I really liked the turtle-dragon statues

These gentleman were artists selling their wares to the tourists in old shanghai.  The guy on the left spoke english and did calligraphy, the guy on the right made grass sculptures but spoke no english.  His sculptures were AMAZING...his biggest piece on display was a tall dragon, twisted as if in flight or dance, balancing on one foot and holding a pearl in his mouth.  The intricacy of the design, especially when you take into account how well it had to be balanced in order to stand on one foot (really five toes, the whole foot doesn't touch the ground) and how delicate the medium must be, was really breathtaking.  

(I ended up buying it, pictured here on my parents' mantle...[I really should get a better shot of it, this seriously doesn't do it justice]...there is a 3 tiered pricing system in chinese markets, one price for locals, one (higher)price for non-local chinese, and a third (much higher) price for foreigners.  You are supposed to haggle down, too, so the the price quoted to me as an obvious foreigner is usually ridiculously inflated.  This guy quoted me the equivalent of $20 for that sculpture.  I thought he deserved a lot more for it, and thought I must have misheard his price quote.  I hadn't, and decided to support him and his work and didn't haggle.  He was very grateful and threw in a couple of small ornaments and a stand, and wouldn't take no for an answer.  By their standards I'm sure I was ripped off; but by mine, I got quite a steal, and heck, if it helps him in the process, why should I care that I could have gotten it for less?)

Old Shanghai

We stopped to see this puppy, and the shop owner came out and tried to sell us something (I don't remember what...) but asked us to follow to the back of the store...and then took us into this weird maze behind the shops...we were pretty sure it was a BAD idea to go back there, called ouselves naive dumb tourists and managed to get out unscathed.


Wishing tree in old shanghai

Pond in old shanghai

Kir and her fairygodfish!

so many koi

I am amazed that I got this close up of the fairygodfish...I love it.

I know these next too are redundant, but I decided to put both on because the subtle difference in the expression on Kir's face is priceless.

Kir and Carlos in old shanghai.

Phil, mid-sentence, in front of beautiful architecture.

The little girl second from the left called herself alice.  She latched onto this group and followed them around all day, to practice her english, which was flawless anyway.  She was very intelligent and genuinely interested in these strange american artsy folk.

Later that day, I got these shots of some shanghai architecture


That's our teacher annie in the middle

another lobby shot...
And we finished the whole thing off with some yummy dinner. mmmm, food. (notice that Hassan's shirt says 'soul food' on it...)