yesterday, i was out shopping with my friend and two of her young boys(who are awesome and smart and sweet and call me Ames the Flames). we were school clothes shopping (awesome), because they start school on monday. we hopped off the bus and were crossing the street (holding hands so safe) when caleb, carrianne's first grader, started talking:
"you know when people first come to china and all they do is just stop still and look at everything?"
"well, i still feel like that. i really like looking at china a lot."
which is awesome. this kid has spent his whole life in china, and he's still amazed by it sometimes.
which made me start thinking. when i was here last time, i was so awestruck by china, i would often stand still and just look and exclaim over e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.
this time though, i have prided myself a little on adjusting quickly, being efficient, generally not being a total tourist foreigner. which, i realized yesterday, is ridiculous! what is the point in me being somewhere completely foreign to me, if i am not going to be awestruck by it? why would i change up my scenery so intensely, and then not revel in it and exclaim over it? i don't think i have been altogether callous to my change in culture/country/lifestyle, but i think i am going to pay more attention, generally, and see awesome things as awesome, and take time to soak things in. which means i will be taking more photos. hopefully.
i have been having a difficult time taking photos lately, because it always seems to me that photo taking in china is something that tourists do. and i am not a tourist (growing up in juneau, i have an enormous aversion to being mistaken for a 'tourist'). also, because i already get so much attention for being a gawky, redheaded, tattooed foreigner, i am not so keen on drawing more eyes to me by taking photos of 'everyday' things. really though, it is the daily things that are so interesting to me. i will try to become better at sucking up my pride and capturing these intricacies that strike so much awe in me.
of course, i haven't completely abstained from using my new camera (thank you aunt bobbi!), though most of these photos are taken from my 13th floor window. more voyeurism, less attention. that's what i'm all about. so, in the spirit of an amazing website, The Big Picture, i am going to do a photo journal today. probably expect more of these to come.
CHINA. IT'S A BIG, BIG DEAL.
this is the sport center that is located across the street from my new apartment. in the morning and at night there is a huge circle of tibetan dancing on the near field. also in the mornings, the field is full of people walking and exercising (there is even a group of people who do kung fu with staffs!). then, in the afternoons there are people playing soccer and flying kites. also, that big bluish structure is a climbing wall!this is not a picture of cute kids who attend a sports school. instead, it is a photo of the military base that i could spy on from the apartment i lived at for the first few weeks. these guys would wake me up every morning with their shouts and drills.
here, across the street from those sports fields, is a sports school. the children who attend are outfitted in army fatigues (uniforms). camouflage is very 'in' in china, as are any other sort of combat outfit.
this is on the way to the place i stayed when i first moved here. when it rains, the sewer overflows and there is literally a flood of shit that rushes down the street. awesome.
this man lives on my street. i think he has a fake leg. he is very proud of his birds, and sets them in the sun every day.
this is my street. my apartments are yellow and red. that woman sells lovely plants, and i see her with her cart all over town.
this is a truck full of sheep. when the truck slows down or speeds up, they stumble back and forth in a wave. it is so strange to me the different things that trucks carry in this town.