Here are the last of the photos from my 18-month-stint in Zhongshan, Guangdong, China. NEXT: Chile!
Happy New Year!
And New Year’s means EVERYTHING in the shops is RED!
I mean EVERYTHING.
Me in my cheongsam
The high school I taught at turned 260 years old.
Kai Yin primary school.
The science garden of Kai Yin.
At our year-end dinner…
Map of a city during a lesson.
Zhongshan as seen from the top of Lihe Plaza.
The garden of my complex, seen from the 116th floor.
Mmm mmm! Dried duck neck!
Party favour from co-worker’s wedding.
Some of the beauty products are really cute…
…and some are unsettling. Skin bleaching is common in China.
Taro – purple sweet potato – latte.
Spicy fish paste for squeezing onto nori.
In may snails post, I mistakenly said it appeared Zhongshan’s rainy season was nearly over. BWA HA HA.
Apologies for the picture being on its side — I turned my Android for the filming, but it didn’t follow me.
I’m ashamed that I go to McDonalds here, but I do. And they have this instead of apple pie — taro, purple sweet potato.
Yes. Purple. PURPLE. It’s good!
But even better is this. This this THIS.
Bendy straws are the only straws here. This is lemonade at a curry place I often go to. I guess they like me!
Carrefour is the supermarket closest to wear I live–it’s a French company. How Canadian am I? I picked up a can to read the English on the other side, and couldn’t figure out at first why it wasn’t bilingual!
The very aptly named Chinese version of Pringles.
Green tea being prepared. It needs its own table, cups, pots, and there’s a science to it I don’t understand.
On the left: BREAD. On the right: COCONUT JELLY CANDY.
My Starbucks name in China. (Yes, I go there too. Mostly to write.)
Look at the centre of the photo, right at the water’s surface. That’s a turtle for sale with the fish.
Karaoke, or KTV, involves beer. Lots of.
And salty snacks.
And fancy fruit for rehydration.
Live chickens in a basket.
This is why too many diseases first crop up here: NO separation between livestock and people, even in the city.
The food-handling standards are low, and washing hands with hot water – or drying them after – doesn’t happen here. But, fresh chicken!
Lots and lots of snails. We’re coming to the end of Zhongshan’s wet season (or one of many), and I’ve seen dozens of snails out every day, everywhere. And butterflies as big as my hand. One hummingbird, one lizard (both too fast for my camera).
And…a squirrel. Yeah.
I logically know how they do this, but it’s so WEIRD to see.
On the fence of the middle school I teach at.
Small snail, big snail. On a Wall.
I’m pretty sure these two are…gettin’ it on?
This is ONE FLOWER from a tree in our garden.
One of our neighbourhood cats. She recently had kittens.
That’s a snail…and that’s the toe of my shoe.
Close-up of THE tiniest snail I’ve ever seen.
For International Women’s Day, our school’s staff went on an outing to a fruit farm just outside Zhongshan. In Alberta, Canada, you see canola and wheat. Here, in a subtropical zone, you can see, and immediately EAT, these:
Photo by my co-worker Vicky.
The farm’s owner picked this starfruit just for me, and asked to take my photo with it.
Closeup of the ripest starfruit I’ve ever seen. At home they’re usually tiny, and green.
Not sure…sadly, not ripe enough to try.
Green dates! They tasted like mealy apples.
Me eating starfruit. Juice all over my face, hands, and shirt.
Field of dragonfruit.
Closer on dragonfruit plant — don’t they like cacti?
That’s a BANANA TREE!
Fresh. Cut. Papaya. Indescribable.
A very attractive photo of me masticating on a piece of newly cut SUGAR CANE.
And THEN, we had dinner.
All the meat. ALL.
This is meant to cool you down during smoky barbecues. Vanilla flavoured chrysanthemum milk won’t replace beer for me.
I was very kindly invited to New Year’s dinner by the family of Becky, one of my middle-school students. Before dinner, though, Becky’s mother had to get some new flowers. THIS is the Flower Fair.
These are decals! The backing is peeled off, and then you place them on your windows.
I love the lady at the bottom of this photo looking up — the flowers are beautiful, AND it’s a good price!
In case flowers aren’t enough, there are branches of ornaments too.
Orange trees for sale!
A non-flower booth!
Becky’s mother with her selections.
These are SILK.
Usually the many ponds and water features in our complex are dry. For the New Year, all were filled…
This one creates a bit of a waterfall.
Red and gold banners on a building down the street from mine.
Happy Year of the Monkey! This in One-Plus-One, a local supermarket.
THIS is the Monkey King. Don’t let the pretty flowers fool you. He will mess you up.
EVERY shop has flowers and/or mini-orange trees. Note also that almost all shops are CLOSED for the holidays.
The little shrines before most shops also have fresh incense burning. Oranges symbolize luck.
More and many, many flowers.
The aftermath of fireworks being set off. This was everywhere!
Note all the paper remains are red — the luckiest colour.
These were all taken on the eve of the Lunar New Year, the night of February 7th, in Sun-Yut-Sen Memorial Park. The sculptures you see are all made of a transluscent, coloured fabric, and then lit from the inside. EXCEPT for the House of the Monkey King — I’m told that’s made of ironwork, scaffolding, and magic!
PS: I cribbed some photos from my co-teacher Jennifer, since her camera is better than mine. Credit where due!
The main gate to the park.
Arches of light.
Snake? Alien plant life?
Lanterns and/or firecrackers!
Mysterious doors which do not open…
Peacock and friends.
Pandas! Because Pandas! Photo by Jennifer.
One of many monkeys.
Photo by Jennifer.
More overhead arches.
Lovebirds. Photo by Jennifer.
Garden. Photo by Jennifer.
I want this tree! Photo by Jennifer.
House of the Monkey King!
Cake provided by our school for the Secret Santa Gift Opening!
My present from my co-worker Claire, a Charlie Brown thermos!
Chinese snacks – packaged fish paste and sheets of seaweed. Smells like cat food. Tastes great!
Jasmine’s present from Joe. So cool!
Claire with her scarf from our supervisor Gloria.
View looking down from the 5th floor inside Lihe Plaza, where we went for Christmas Eve dinner.
Joe made us all Christmas crackers!
We went for pizza, and they provided…plastic gloves.
Scott’s mom and nanna came to visit from Australia…and they brought Christmas cake!
Christmas morning breakfast.
Tree at Sebastien and Nathaniel’s flat, where we had Christmas dinner.
Here you see Rio (very like Bacardi Breezer), Bombay Sapphire, Baileys, brandy, whisky, Captain Morgan, sujo, Harbin (Chinese beer)…and Amarula.
Injera! Ethiopian flatbread!
Red Lentils and steamed vegetables, to be eaten with injera. Ethiopian food is my new favourite.
Spaghetti sauce to die for.
I’m not sure how many glasses in of Amarula this is.
Display outside Holiday Plaza.
Display outside Lihe Plaza.
Around the corner from Lihe.
Walkway near Lihe.
Display in the expats’ supermarket BLT.
Outside Carre Four.
Outside Carre Four.
Outside Carre Four.
This is STEAK CITY, 3 floors of red meat, and where we had our office Christmas dinner.
One wall in our party room on the 3rd floor. Each room is named for a city or country – I imagine for guests AND servers to find where they’re going. Ours was the Canada room!
Another wall in our party room! (?!)
My steak was tender as butter. I still have dreams about it.
Draw for prizes!
Minnie was there!
Reindeer are plentiful in China in December!
This is the cake of fruit and fresh cream we had for the party at our main school. Mwah…
Most businesses have at least a small tree; this in Gina’s Pizza.
Very few apartment complexes DON’T have a Christmas display. Santa…!