Life in China 2017: A Picture a Day, April 24 –While we were in Shanghai, although the weather was nice, everyone was still dressed for winter. Even the electric bikes were still outfitted for winter. Think about it, you’re zipping along on your ebike, in the cold open air! Yes, I would want some of these if I lived farther north too! They are gloves, and a piece that hangs down in front to block the wind, plus a piece that lays on your lap, all in one! Some even have side pieces. I enjoyed seeing the variety of fabric designs where the rows of scooters were lined up.
Life in China 2017: A Picture a Day, February 28 - This type of three-wheeled carts are very common around us, but usually they are used for work purposes. They carry all sorts of items: recycling, furniture, street food, plants, and .... sometimes people. You don't usually see little kids sitting in the back alone though, but these two were very well-behaved as we drove past them!
Life in China 2016: A Picture A Day, December 17 – In areas away from the large city centers, especially smaller towns, there are usually motorcycle-taxis waiting to give you a ride. They wait at bus stops, near shopping areas, etc. They are a little cheaper than a regular taxi, but they are often illegal also! When we go shopping in the next town, there are always men there waiting; some ask us if we want a ride (in Chinese) and others don’t. I took this picture from the bus, these two men didn’t seem to be trying very hard to get work!
Life in China 2016: A Picture A Day, November 6 – For many people in China, owning a car is a luxury they can’t afford. Many people, including families, use regular or electric bikes for transportation. It’s fairly common to see families riding together, usually Dad, Mom and 1 or 2 children. In this picture, it looks like the grandmother on the back. The way the little boys are standing in front of the Mom is typical. If they are really small, I’ve seen them turned around and holding on to their mother’s legs instead of the handlebars. www.myownchinesebrocade.com
Life in China 2016: A Picture A Day, October 4 – Mobile app food delivery services are a big business in China. Rain or shine, fast food restaurants like KFC, McDonald’s (and Pizza Hut) even deliver! One of the biggest services is called “Eleme” which broken down into Chinese pinyin “E le me?” basically means “Are you hungry?” The other biggest ones are Baidu and Meituan. You can also often get discounts with these apps. Many restaurants also have their own delivery service instead of or in addition to through one of these larger companies. For many smaller Chinese restaurants, they just have a plastic crate attached to the back of the bicycle or electric bike for their deliveries. The larger companies have insulated boxes, and some places have insulated backpacks.
Quoted from a January 2016 article: “Founded in May 2014, Baidu's restaurant delivery service, waimai.baidu.com, has developed into a leading Internet take-out delivery platform with over 30 million registered users. The quantity of food delivered by these "knights" (their nickname) each day amounts to some 480 tonnes of grains, 400 tonnes of vegetables and 640 heads of cattle. Each delivery man travels about 14,000 kilometers per year on average, about the distance from Shanghai to New York.” http://www.chinadailyasia.com/chinafocus/2016-01/04/content_15367329.html
Pictured are food delivery drivers from: top - McDonald’s, lower left – Baidu, lower right – Meituan.
Life in China 2016: A Picture A Day, September 21 – I think I have mentioned before that much of the “western” social media is blocked in China. This internet censorship in China is referred to as “The Great Firewall of China.” Most Chinese people have no access to Facebook, You Tube, Instagram, Wordpress blogs, many news sites, etc. Most foreigners, and some Chinese, use VPNs (verified personal networks) in order to gain access to the blocked content. In an article from 2015, including Chinese social media statistics, it states “To put Chinese social networking into perspective …. QQ (the #1 platform) has more users than Linkedin, Twitter and Instagram put together!” I use WeChat, the #4 platform to keep in touch with my friends living in China. It’s messaging, voice calls, video calls, and so much more! It has a newsfeed similar to FB, except on friends posts, you can only see comments/likes from those who are also your friends. We also have used it to send our location to others, add money to our phones, buy movie tickets, order taxis and pay them, pay for purchases at a store, and it enables you to do much more! I love the large amount of free stickers :-) A large amount of the content I receive is in Chinese, but it has a built in translator, so ‘usually’ works well for me to be able to read, although at times, it makes absolutely no sense at all! It enables me to chat with a Chinese person who doesn’t know English, we both send messages in our native language and then translate them. It’s a little strange standing next to someone and quietly communicating on your phone, but, it works! I’ve even communicated with the pharmacist in this way! Since I like to take pictures with my regular camera, not my phone, I recently learned that I can log in to Wechat on the web and easily transfer my pictures to post them on Wechat. I know I have SOOO MUCH more to learn about it, but little by little is good, then I can remember! Photos are just a bunch of screen shots from my phone! Here’s the link to the social media article I quoted: http://makeawebsitehub.com/chinese-social-media-statistics/
Life in China 2016: A Picture A Day, September 6 - Today, we had to go to Hong Kong. We have many options of how to go: by car, bus, metro, train or ferry, and sometimes a combination. Depending on where in Hong Kong we need to go, we choose a different way. Today, we went to Jim's company Headquarters, which Is on Hong Kong Island. We had a car drive us the hour back to where we used to live and then took the ferry, which is a one hour trip one way. The nice part of going this way is that you get through immigration quickly because it is only those people taking the ferry that go through at this point - this makes a big difference compared to places where you walk or drive to cross the border! On weekdays, a one way ferry ticket costs 120rmb (18usd) for an economy class ticket or 150 rmb (22.50) for round trip. I think weekends are a little less. The ferry is nothing fancy, but I think more comfortable than by bus or car. The terminal in Hong Kong is attached to a shopping mall and the metro system, so it's very convenient :-) The lower picture is a ferry on the way there in the rain. The upper picture was crossing the footbridge to enter the terminal to return to China and by then the weather had cleared up :-)
Life in China 2016: A Picture A Day, July 3 – I have new “wheels”! :-) Back in April, my old scooter, which I had had for 4 years, died. Jim had been wanting me to get a new one so we gave the old one to someone who was glad to have it and get it repaired. This weekend, Jim and I went shopping and got my new electric scooter. I don’t go very far on mine like Jim does, but still got one capable of going a little farther if I decide to. It’s a total different look from my old one, and Robin’s egg blue, which I love :-) The pictures show the inside and outside of the shop we bought it at, and the green scooter you see in the picture of the outside is Jim's. The drop cloths are covering the bikes and scooters that were sitting outside because it was VERY hot and sunny!
Life in China: A Picture A Day 2016, January 10 - This is a fairly normal sight for my friends who live in China, but the rest of you should enjoy it – it’s surprising what can be carried on a bicycle or cart! Actually, I don’t think I’m surprised anymore no matter what is being carried on a bicycle! Just amused smile emoticon Photo credit goes to Leah, she snapped this today from the back of the scooter when her and Jim went to the grocery store in the nearby town.
Photo credit today goes to my daughter Leah :-)
Life in China: A Picture a Day 2016, January 4 - I haven't ridden a public bus anywhere except in China for at least 45 years, so I'm not sure how buses here compare to other places, but I'm fine with them. Some routes are a set fee and others depend on the distance. Today we had to find our China Post Office to pick up a package. It was about a 25 minute ride and cost us 1 yuan, or about 15 cents in US currency. With our bus cards, it's actually less than that! The problem I have with riding buses is that the schedules are only in Chinese (as you can see on the left side of the picture!), so, without my sweet Leah.....I'm lost!