winter in china
so, i havent been posting anything for quite a while. feel like rectifying that. not much, just some little bites. Have been kept quite busy but i havent forgotten sofla or elsewhere. not at all. so today, november 15, marks when many chinese give thanks to a higher power… the government of course. today the heat comes on and will last til somewhere is march. finally. the frozen tundra of my apartment now feels like a tropical paradise. i had become a tad annoyed at sleeping in a fridge. you can see the steam pipes at left… a set in every room.
i can hear some people criticising the govt controlled heat. truth is, no one is stopping me from going out and buying a heater. the price of electricity and the price of heat are well, lets say the season’s heat won’t bankrupt us. the other significance of this day is that it is the start of period when the chinese commemorate their ancestors. just read a wiki about joss but what i am seeing seem to be a little different from that. i went out near my apartment where i observed some people lighting small fires. i conversed with youngish man who was commemorating the parting of his father and his wife’s father. it was on the corner of an intersection (crossroads) and he explained that’s where it is usually done… a symbolic way of commemorating the ancestors crossing. didn’t want to intrude too much so i didn’t get too inquisitive. the ashes in the front is for his father in law. the fire still burning is for his father this family did their thing near him. they burn paper, sometimes clothes, false money so the ancestor can be supplied in the afterlife. above dead center is the olympic stadium, the shops an either side are the exterior shops of ao cheng today, i also went to ao cheng (pronounced ow chung) which is quite a sizable mall. it is not a luxury mall by any sense even tho there are some such shops. however, its a nice place with many interesting restaurants. it also near a lot of semi-luxury apartments where westerners live. not me however, tho i might wish. left above is caffe bene. china has many coffee type shops trying to erode the popularity of tea. starbucks proliferate but there are others like caffe bene, costa (british), tous les jours, paris baguette and caffe bene (south korean). there are some others and quite a few chinese shops. true story. so last week we were at ao change and decided to eat. the place we selected had a private party, but we smelled a waft of delicious pizza. following our noses we found this pizza place. we went in only to find a receptionist and a kitchen… no restaurant. trying to figure out where the restaurant was, i started to ask the young woman who just came off the phone. she said, “go away”. what the fu..! a flash of anger crossed my mind… but it immediately came to me that she meant no insult. it was a ‘go away’ business… pizza delivery. lol