It's a school. The Hui minority Secondary School. The Hui are a large Muslim minority that are fairly integrated into Han Society. The school is government run and I don't know if Han Chinese (majority group) go there as well.
We often eat at this Hui Restaurant. Look at the Arabic and Muslim symbols on the sign.
You really have to look hard at the picture, but this Hui woman is wearing a veil. The Hui follow many but not all Islamic practices. They don't eat pork but they serve and drink alcohol. Notice the stacks of beer bottles in the blue boxes. Many people here like to buy their meat at the Muslim butchers because they are pretty clean and the meat tends to be really fresh.
Until we moved here, I was unaware of how many Muslims were here. Just some new facts about China.
So, in case you were wondering about our own assimilation into Chinese culture...let me show you two pictures.
Chinese family driving home from work or school or somewhere. Yes, that is child on that little motorcycle and no, no one wears a helmet.
Here is our version of the family car! Cycling in China is actually quite dangerous and you just don't see that many kids on bikes. It's not unusual for kids, girls friends or other friends on the backs of bikes. So when we go out, E. often rides on the back of Paul's bike. She does have a bike but on a wet rainy night prefers the back of his bike.
Just one more glamour shot.
When I looked at this picture, the first thing that came to mind was "But I don't know nothing about birthin no babies." Line from GWTW, in case you didn't know. We just look like we are about to give birth to our bicycle baskets. But seriously, our raincapes are awesome! Total coverage, including whatever we have in our baskets. Just one more thing to love about China!