Music in the Park

Life in China 2016: A Picture A Day, May 8 – Chinese cities, although very crowded, seem to always have parks within fairly easy reach of most areas. Many people use the parks for socializing and relaxation. There are quite a variety of activities that go on in these parks and music is a regular one. Sometimes one person is playing, sometimes a group, and sometimes they are singing. Today, we saw this man playing the erhu, a traditional 2 stringed Chinese instrument, and quite a few people sitting around listening.

Staff Pep Talk

A fairly common site in China as you are out and about is to see staff “pep talks,” either inside of a business or outside in front of the business. These seem to last quite a long time from the ones I’ve seen, but, I’ve never actually seen one from beginning to end because I’ve moved on. The employees line up in nice neat rows, and I assume it’s their manager speaking at the front.  At times, I’ve seen them saying things in unison and even dancing! This group was in a supermarket where we were shopping today.


Today, we went to Walmart: Visiting Walmart in China is somewhat different than in the USA. At first glance, walking into “Wa Er Ma” 沃尔玛 (pronounced waw - rhyming with raw- are ma -like your mom), which is the Chinese name, I can pretend I’m in the USA - if I don’t look at the fact that all the people around me are Chinese! But, as soon as I start shopping, that vision is usually shattered! There are a few more familiar items than in Chinese brand supermarkets, but, we are in China, and Walmart must sell what the Chinese people will buy! There are “Great Value” items, but, I don’t think you’ll find these same items in your local American Walmart: marinated duck gizzard, a huge bag of rice, watermelon seeds, chrysanthemum tea, plus a lot more! And that isn’t even taking into account everything else they sell! Like most supermarkets here, they are basically inside of shopping malls, and typically 2 floors. The towns on either side of us each have fairly new Walmart stores, but for us to get to them means 2 or 3 buses, and 45 minutes to an hour transport time. So, we usually go to closer stores.

Life in China: A Picture A Day, March 7, 2016

Gong Cha is my favorite tea shop for a drink while we’re out. The company is originally from Taiwan, first started in 2006, but now has over 1000 stores in about a dozen countries, including CA and NY in the USA J We’ve had it in many parts of China, Hong Kong, and Singapore. When we lived in Shenzhen, it could be found in just about every shopping mall. They are known for Taiwan Style Bubble Tea. Teas with different kinds of fruit are plentiful, and you can add in extras to any drink: things like pearls, red beans (adzuki), milk caps, various jellies (herbal, coconut, aloe, fig, etc). You also choose your level of sugar and ice. We have found that different locations have different options though, and depending on the location, they may or may not have an English menu. This picture is from our neighboring town of Dalingshan. Photo credit goes to my husband Jim.