Tag Archives: Shandong Province

Take luck

This afternoon I had a serendipitous experience. I was doing my coddiwomple thing after having coffee with my son and his girlfriend. They headed off to work and I just headed off. I tend to wander in a spiral, keeping a sense of where my ground zero is, but at the same time getting farther and farther afield. As I was headed back toward the center I spied a fascinating looking lion. Of the mythical type you often see on either side of an entrance in China. The thing that caught was the colors of the lion. It turned out that it was ceramic and the amazing coloration was from a brilliant job of glazing.

The shop appeared open but empty. I first peeked in through, then pressed my nose against the window to get a good view of the lions and other merchandise. From the shop next door a woman came out and said “Welcome to Shouguang” and invited me into her shop. She was happy to have me take pictures and she and her assistant served me tea. I believe, and I may learn more tomorrow when I visit another of her shops with my son, who will be able to understand her, it is a special collector’s type of ceramic. I am certain that it is gorgeous.

This is one of those times when I couldn’t have planned to do something I really enjoyed, because I didn’t know it existed.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Serendipity

Shouguang in a row

A gallery of rows I’ve seen around town.

Posted for Travel at Wit’s End: Photo Yoga: Rows

If we were having coffee…

When I’m at home I rarely go out for coffee these days. My husband and I make and share coffee over the morning paper. Here in China, visiting my son solo, I go out more, and often am alone since he has to work. But it is nice to share now and then. There is something…nice isn’t a big enough word but I’ll use it…to realizing that you like your adult offspring and it’s enjoyable to just visit.

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This is a fun place we’ve gone to a couple of times during this visit. It stands out from the street and the quirky interior lives up to the exterior. Technically it is a juice bar, although they serve quite a variety of things including coffee.

I’m in a time warp. When I didn’t get this post done last night because I went to get a foot massage with my son and his girlfriend it was Sunday night, this morning my computer says it’s early Sunday evening (it stays on Seattle time, which helps me not call home at 3:00 am to chit chat about inconsequential things).

This trip I’m not doing an outing to another city, as I have often done in the past. Instead I am trying out some new experiences that are not tourist things: the foot massage was one and the Tai Chi lesson planned for later this morning is another.

Judging by the number of people who were in on Sunday night this is a fairly popular activity. We left at 9:45 pm and they still had people coming in. I’ve never had a foot massage before, so I can’t compare it to a pedicure that you might get at home, but I can say that I am surprised I don’t have bruises this morning. First you soak your feet in a very hot tub of water. It took me several minutes of dipping and retreating to get my feet to stay in. Then they take scrapers, sharp ones!, to remove the dead skin, even between the toes. Then he rubbed with a cream and slapped and pummeled, actually beating on my lower legs, I think this was to improve circulation since he seemed to be checking pulse points earlier. Meanwhile a couple of fairly violent movies were playing. I wouldn’t exactly say it was relaxing, not exactly, but kind of.

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This morning we are going to Tai Chi, something I’ve wanted to try after seeing people do it in the parks beside the river. I’m not a very graceful or balanced person so we’ll see.

I’ve become reclusive at home and actually, beyond walking the dogs, go out and about here more than I generally do. I learned a new word a few months ago from the Ragtag Daily Prompt: Coddiwomple. It is the perfect word for what I do: head out purposefully but without a goal. My post A Colorful Day along the Mihe River talks about a couple of them. As I get older I try to plan time into my travels for these coddiwomples. I realized that using guide books, Trip Adviser and the Google to plan every moment doesn’t let me really be where I am.

Do you ever have that feeling?

Happy Sunday, Monday or whatever it is where you are.

 

Pull up a Seat Photo Challenge-Week 6

PHOTO CHALLENGE OF PLACES WE SIT…OR MIGHT SIT…OR ART ABOUT SITTING

Welcome to week 6 of Pull up a Seat. Take a load off and share a favorite perch by linking your post to this one, either with a comment or ping-back. For more detailed directions go to Pull Up a Seat page.

Quick reminder: I am traveling for the next couple of weeks and have limited internet access at times, so will be a little slower than usual approving ping-backs. Please be patient with me.

Thank you to everyone who is participating. It is really fun to see all the different ideas conjured up by the theme.

My contribution:

I am visiting my son in Shouguang, Shandong Province, China. As I have mentioned in a couple of other recent posts, there is a lovely river that has long stretches of park that runs along the east side of town. In nice weather I like to walk there in the mornings. There are several benches, it’s a great place to people watch.

Here are a few things I saw sitting on one of the benches in the first picture:

 

Over to you.

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Which Way to the fish?

These are pictures of a pedestrian bridge across the Mihe River in Shouguang, a bit to the south of town, one of three I have found so far. It was damaged by floods a couple of months ago, when a typhoon passed over the area on its way to Korea. Being, technically, closed doesn’t stop the local fishermen.

Even though I have a map of town it doesn’t show these pedestrian bridges. Maybe the map is old, as in the US most people seem to use their phone for navigation these days. I like a map myself. It doesn’t have a tiny, hard to read screen, connections to lose, or batteries to die.

Posted for Son of a Beach’s Which Way Photo Challenge

A Colorful Day along the Mihe River

Ah yesterday. Last night I tried to write a post about it and fell asleep. Jet lag plus busy day does not equal cogent prose.

Today’s RDP: Color brought a couple of things from yesterday to mind, so here goes again:

The day before yesterday there was rain and that resulted in a clear blue sky. These things don’t last: today is already hazy. Yesterday I rolled off the bed early, intending to enjoy the walk by the Mihe River in clear morning light. It was beautiful.

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Art installation of swimmers.

Walking back along a near-by road I saw this art studio painted in vibrant primary colors:

Later in the day I was walking back to my son’s apartment from his place of work, I had some time to kill so I decided to take a longer path, one that ran along a fun park/trail they had made from an abandoned railroad through town. It starts near where he works with a train station art installation:

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Train depot
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New friend

As I started to wander up the line a man came over and introduced himself. After a bit of almost communication (I finally called my son and had him talk to the guy and translate back to me), I wound up going with him and another gentleman to a huge rose garden, 250 thousand square meters, along the Mihe, well to the south of the stretch I had wandered in the morning. They worked at this garden on the structures.

They wanted to let me take pictures of their garden. You could tell they were rose buffs and also very proud of the garden as a whole…and rightly so. I’ve been to a few rose gardens here and there in the world, and this one is wonderful by any standard.

Quite a few roses were blooming and the weather was perfect. Sadly my SD card filled up and my extra hadn’t made my backpack.

As we were leaving the man at the gate came out with clippers and went around, in conference with the two I had come with and sent me home with this colorful sampling from their garden.

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Speaking of coffee…

If we were having coffee I’d probably be a bit talkative. I’m visiting my son in Shouguang, Shandong Province, China right now. There are a lot of different coffee shops. Each each shop is unique. While my son is at work I go walkabout and that, almost always, involves stopping somewhere, often one of the little coffee shops, for refreshment.

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Yesterday I had my morning coffee at a bakery, along with a…I’m not quite sure what to call it…it looked like it was savory: a bun with some corn and pepper visible and what looked like cheese on top. Turned out there was no cheese (it was a drizzle of a sweetish frosting-like substance) I was surprised, upon biting in, to discover that it also had a fairly tasteless hot dog inside. I should have known, this is my tenth trip to China and my fourth to Shouguang. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t the kind of treat that kept you eating after you were full, so I ate about half of it.

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At this bakery the seating for drinking one’s coffee was on the second floor and they have windows so you can look down and watch them decorate the cakes which is nice for those of us going solo. It’s much more pleasant to linger with something to watch.

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Today’s morning coffee was at Cat Kingdom…yes they had cats. I was the only customer. It was a Mom, Pop, and child shop. I think they had about seven cats. The boss cat was a fluffy grey.

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I realized, once again, that having a stiff-ish cup of coffee is a very cheering thing. As I sipped and watched the cats I felt my eyelids and my mood elevate.

Posted for Weekend Coffee Share

Keep on truckin’

One thing I always enjoy when traveling abroad is vehicle watching. Here in Shouguang city most of the trucks one sees are not what one sees in Seattle, in fact I don’t think I’ve seen a single American style pick up or semi since I arrived. But people still need to haul stuff. Here are some of the trucks I saw when I was out and about yesterday.

These vehicles are more practical in many ways: inexpensive to run, less resource intensive to make and nimble for getting around in narrow, often crowded places.

Interesting “truck” trivia: in Chinese they usually call trucks “ka che” which is “pi ka che” shortened. “pi ka” is from what Chinese think “pick up” sounds like.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Truck