Some of My Favorites from China

Ah, vacation! We are slowly starting to get some traveling in since I retired. We have plans for September – Santa Fe and Taos, October – Austin, and November back again to San Diego. There’s a wonderful restaurant at Balboa Park, Prado, with wonderful food and fabulous service. You’re looking at our dessert: a chocolate martini (OMG, amazing….) and mango/raspberry/lemon sorbet with carmelized coconut. Lunch was in between the stop at the Mingei and then the Botanical building.

We are hoping  for a long travel trip next spring to the Maritime provinces. But in the meantime we are busy making art and organizing ourselves. One of my projects, as readers of the blog know, is organizing my China slides. I’ve got some pictures that are kind of miscellaneous – they are of some very interesting moments or things that struck me in my early-30-first-time-oversees mind.

Bicycles – lots and lots of bicycles, the major form of transportation. I look at these shots and then compare them with China today, and you have nothing but cars.

I should probably call these my transportation series. I took a lot of pics of people getting around – this was, 33 yeas ago, a third-world country.

Some things never change across cultures. We just need “the basics.”

Thirty-three years ago the Chinese people were wearing masks for protection, something we have just begun to adapt.

bicyclesLots more bicycles. I love the parking lots set aside for the bikes.

Every morning, regardless of where we went, people were out exercising.

Everywhere we went we were objects of curiosity. These wonderful people had not ween Westerners in a number of years, due to the Cultural Revolution. We were advised to bring only clothes that were blues and grays. The only place we saw color was in the children. When we stopped over in Tokyo on our way home, I was assaulted by all the color – the first time I had experienced something like that. If you see pictures of modern China, clothes look very Western. To suddenly come back to a culture that used – and celebrated – color was quite the change!

An absolutely amazing trip, even 33 years later. I watched “The Red Violin: a couple of weeks ago, and one of the stages for the violin was during the Cultural Revolution. Having seen the pictures and video from the time, and having talked to people who went “to the countryside,” the movie was a stab in the gut, to see it portrayed so realistically.

To someone who had never traveled overseas, it was the trip of a life time.

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