Saturday, August 18, 2007

Zhujiajiao Water Town

Today we visited the Zhujiajiao (pron: Zoojyajyow) water town which was really enjoyable and very scenic. It's a famous historical town about an hour outside of Shanghai.  There are excavations nearby that have pottery and farming tools dating back about 6000 years!

Shopping District

The first thing we were greeted by, was an Ancient Chinese KFC.  Jack was very disappointed that they were closed because he had to use the restroom by then after the hour morning bus ride.Shanghai 001

We were given directions to where the public toilet was; and this is what we found:  Just a hole in this small countertop that we didn't exactly know how to use but we guessed and Jack was desperate by that time so few complaints were lodged.  This is for males and females, simultaneously, so timing is critical!Shanghai 002

My mother-in-law requested more pictures of Sophie awake.  The last few I have posted she has been asleep.  Sleeping for her is such a rare occasion that I like to take pictures of her in that state.  Here are several pictures below of her ready to party!

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As we were walking along, I captured this scene.  A boiling pot in the background, and a live chicken tied up in the foreground, on death row!

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A popular activity is to buy some of these small turtles, and release them into the river for good luck.  I'm sure there would be a lot of takers here!

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Here is Jack deciding if he should spend some of his money to better turtle-kind.

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Crickets are also popular pets here.  Here are elaborate little cages, each containing a major sized cricket!  Of course Jack wanted one, but the are SO NOISY there is no way we would get any sleep at night!

Shanghai 011Jack didn't have much breakfast this morning.  Luckily, 9am is the perfect time for some ice cream!  Peter concurred.

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Boating the Canals

We boarded a small san-pan like boat and made our way through some of the canals.  It was 93 degrees and very humid, so sitting on that little boat in the shade with a nice breeze was SO refreshing!

Shopaholic Jack really wanted a hat.  He found this rice hat but he didn't like the colors on it so he passed it up.

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The canal and boats, with the ubiquitous shopping opportunities close by!

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Loading the boats! Shanghai 020

The drivers move their paddles back and forth, like you'd see in Venice.  Check out the guy in the background who's really working hard!

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I told Sue to go stand by this boat pilot so I could get a picture of him :) 

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Sue, Sophie and Peter made it onto the boat below, but apparently Jack and I would have put the boat over its weight limit so we had to wait for the next one.

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Some scenes from our boat...

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This is a famous bridge in this town, called the Fangsheng bridge.  It is over 400 years old (built in 1571 during the Qing dynasty) and spans the Caogong river.

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More boat scenes...

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Keshi Garden

The Keshi Garden was built in 1912, and the owner spent 300,000 "taels" of silver and 15 years to build it!  Don't know what a "tael" is?  Me neither.  The garden has a combination of traditional and Western styles, and is divided into two parts, one for "study", and one for "farming", implying that people should study and farm to keep the house.

I saw this big blond lily growing out of all of the green ones.

Shanghai 046 Here's Sue enjoying the gardens on this very hot muggy day.  My shirt was completely soaked through.  When I see beads of sweat on the kids' upper lips, I know it's hot! Shanghai 048 Shanghai 049

Jack with an ancient carving, and Peter taking a rest in some authentic bamboo chairs.

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We were given a paper cutting demonstration that was really amazing.  This man is an award winning paper cutter and some of his designs were really amazing.  He cut out a rat for Peter and "gave" it to him for 10 kuai, but he said, don't worry, the demonstration was free!  What a relief!

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Here's a sample of one of his works, cut from a single sheet of paper!

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Jack and Peter holding up a HUGE rock carving.  I think Peter is trying to push it over onto Jack.

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We had to get the obligatory strong man picture for Jack, and here's Sophie, giving herself a much deserved spanking :). 

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The daughter of one of the other teachers, in a shady little pagoda, and one of the ceiling decorations.

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There goes Sophie, being cute again!

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Jack was still on his quest for a hat and he found this weird little hat that folded up when not in use.

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Here's Jack, showing proper usage...

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... and Peter showing improper usage.  Here's Jack in his Emporer's Garden, ready to hold court.

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And More Shopping

Our tour guide said this upside down bowl, pictured below was quite rare since nowadays everything is made out of plastic.

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We walked along the waterway to our next destination, a Buddhist temple.

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Many gentlemen of a certain age prefer to wear nothing but their underwear, or perhaps just stay in their pajamas.  Sue asked me to take the picture of the storekeeper below for Randy.  He would be in heaven here as he would never have to put any clothes on!

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Jack finally did find his rice hat, pictured right that he really likes.  Now he has two sun hats and he's thrilled!

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Alexis standing on the bridge on the way to the Buddhist temple.

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Theresa and Heather, white girls extraordinaire, posing for the masses.

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Alexis with her proud purchase of a brand new fan for this hot day.

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Jack again, in his "East Meets West" picture.  He's all set for the sun in his "Oakey" sunglasses and rice hat!

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  Yuan Jin Buddhist Temple

This temple was built in 1341, and it used to house an important figure called the statue of "Chenzhou Holy Mother".Shanghai 098

Prayers and wishes tied to a tree, with the temple in the background.         

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A man praying, with his lighted incense.  Looks like the idea is to bow in all 4 directions.

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More wishes, tied to the tree to the right.

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Sophie with her friends, Elena and Lillian, two other children of other teachers in the group.

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On the Way out of Town

Jack's money continued to burn a hole in his pocket, especially, when he saw he could fire a bb gun at a bunch of balloons - 40 shots for 4 kuai (60 cents). Shanghai 109

After Jack had his turn, Peter had to have a go! The balloons were set up in a tiny little alley.  I hope no one was walking behind!

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Here's Jack, obviously in training for the Chinese Army in his rice hat! Shanghai 113

Left; some crawdads, fresh from being caught, and ready to eat!  They were a very ambitious lot!  Jack found something  else to spend his money on, a Chinese flute like instrument.  It was sure nice to hear that instrument on the ONE HOUR bus ride back to our rooms!

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Before we left, we had to have one last look at these cute little turtles.

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We also saw some taffy pulling that was very interesting to watch.

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Finally it was back onto our nice cool bus for an hour.  Sophie jumped around the WHOLE time until 3 minutes before we got off.  THEN she chose to fall asleep!  Well, I guess a 3 minute nap is better than no nap!  Now it's off to plan my lesson for Monday!

1 comment:

momweatbrook said...

Oh Tim, the pictures today were great and it looks like you had awonderful time in the "water town"...we did put turtles in for good luck when we were there. Thanks for the photos of the kids. MomW