Friday, December 24, 2010

This never happened to me in America....

This morning I headed out in 0 F temperatures to finish Christmas Shopping. I took a taxi over to Zhan Lang Guan- a large, reasonably priced shopping area.  When I arrived, I saw these women shopping.

Their outfits were so fantastic that I knew that there had to be a reason .  So I looked around and saw this.

A lot of older people behind the book stand, getting into similar costumes.  Nothing else seemed to be happening so I continued into the main hall to look for fun and cheap Christmas gifts.  I hit a gold mine with this lovely woman, Wu Laoshi, who hand stroked Chinese characters onto pretty book marks for a total cost about 50 cents a book mark.

Across the way, people were trying out the massage chairs.

There was also a man cutting up a pig but I have enough pictures of stuff like that.
Anyway, I shopped, found the things that I wanted and left the market after a few hours.  As I walked out, I saw this.

Fan dancing.  We actually see people fan dancing quite a bit here.

Notice the Chinese people just walking by and ignoring them!  Unlike me!

Higher levels costumes-priests and royalty.

The Monkey King!

The most unhappy monkey.  Actually, none of the people looked very happy to be dancing and it made me wonder what they were doing.  Dancing is hugely popular here.

I found a taxi and the guy immediately told me how hard it would be to get to our apartment from that direction.  I agreed (it's a hard street to turn around in) but there's really no other place to get a taxi.  So I told him two ways to go and he chose a third.  It made no difference to me how we got there as long as we got there.  When we pulled up, I pulled out a 100 kuai note.  Taxi drivers often don't want 100 kuai notes because they don't have the change.  An average taxi ride is about 8 Kuai.  But it was all I had.  He refused to take it.  I told him that no one was at my home and that there was nothing I could do.  He said "I'll take you to the store, you can buy something and get change."  I agreed because I actually did need to go to the store and get stuff for a dinner tonight.  Of course the meter ran while I was there!  I ran in, got salad stuff and ran out.  He took me home, I paid him with small change and wished him a Merry Christmas.  He was actually pretty cheerful and I wasn't really upset. The taxi ride should have cost 8 - 10 kuai (about a dollar).  Instead it was 17 kuai.  Smart taxi driver.


Alida said...

Wow... love all the colors. Merry Christmas!!

prechrswife said...

I love it! Have a Merry Christmas!