A walk down memory lane, goes via the market place

A walk down memory lane.jpgMy night time journey home through the market place is usually a good place for photographs, and this being no exception. They’d been talking for a while as the tea service looked cold and there was a small mound of pumpkin seed shells on the ground at one of the groups feet. The ‘tea set’ looked standard with cold tea being disposed of into the drain holes within the tray with a bottom.

The sing song of Cantonese syllables lit through the air. Familiar, but, sadly incomprehensible. I strode on, with memories of my childhood and family gatherings, born anew.

All work and no play

All work and no play.jpg

Twisty, and it’s from Fuzhou

Twisty and from Fuzhou.jpgWhat a pleasant surprise when I found these at a chain bakery in Fuzhou. Certainly the shape was familiar*, but that was the only thing that was the same.  The snack was rock hard, and coated in a sugar glaze. Okay, so far, so good. The glaze however was infused with a

Li zhu pork.jpgslight ginger taste. Wow, Twisty, sugar glazed snacks with a ginger after-taste kick to them. I get the impression that this is what Fujianese cuisine is about.

Sweetness with a slight ginger after taste. I say this because earlier in the week I’d eaten Fujianese pork which they are famous for. It was not unlike sweet and sour pork from Hong Kong. Chunks and pieces of pork coated in some sort of batter and then served in a sweet and ginger sauce. It has my approval, but the twisty snacks I shared with my work mates met with mixed reviews.

*They also have this kind of snack in Guangzhou but without the sugar-ginger glaze.


This ain’t no cage match, it’s how I live

Ain't no cage match, it's how I live.jpg
Houses and apartments have always fascinated me. In the place where I currently live, Guangzhou, the living arrangements are particularly interesting. This one is an older style, low-rise house made of brick. Seriously old school then, because most of the contemporary buildings are made of concrete and then have brick tiling put on over the top. Cladding if you like. But the interesting feature about this house (and photograph) is the caging that they have, which to say is comprehensive to say the least. Most houses and apartments have these ‘cagings’. Evidently to stop thieves though, since some of the apartments are on the 5th floors and higher, I think they’re be expecting a visit from Spiderman.

Near miss, trashed

Near miss, trashed.jpgIt does make a really bad visual pun, but do think that the person depositing the said rubbish wasn’t trying hard enough. It is quite normal for a person to ‘dispose’ of their rubbish, a sales docket for example by simply letting it fall to the ground. The reasoning being that it’s someone’s job to pick up rubbish. Sure, in Asia there exists a job, but, I’ve seen this behaviour in Korea too. The exception in Northern Asia is Japan; all the times I’d been there the streets residential or commercial, were scrupulously clean. Go figure.

Without an explanation, it does sort of grate against your sensibilities. The slogan while I was growing up it was “be a tidy Kiwi” seemed to work well. There was also an abundance of rubbish bins too to aid the cause of tidiness, too.

The campaign has since been run again.

Time well spent, just letting the cards fall

Just letting the cards fall.jpgA common past-time amongst men of all ages in China is games. Card games, board games; played for what seems hours on end. Of course these fix-it men could also be just on their breaks too.

Three degrees, not even chilly

3 degrees, not even chilly.jpgThree degrees of separation might be no joke in this case. The subjects in the photo were taken on a recent visit to my ancestral village in Guang-dong. Once introduced they made good photographic subjects and they even smiled for the camera. I didn’t get their names, nor did I ask any of their relationship with the Chang Clan. In fact, all the people in this village have the Chang or Chen surname. Three degrees of separation? Maybe not even that.

Old boy writer, hits the spot

Old boy writer.jpgBegging is not an uncommon activity in China and, I’d seen this old boy before. But, I didn’t make the connection between his doing calligraphy and, him asking for money. He was obviously going about it the right way, as I watched someone search through his wallet for ‘small change’* and put it into the old boy’s collection bucket.

I felt moved. I’d always intended to pay my ‘models’ for the posing they’d done. I gave him some small change too.

* Small change in Guangzhou, usually comes in the form of notes of small denominations as coins are seldom circulated in this province.