Big Z enjoyed his first hands on experience with snow in a lovely park earlier this winter.
We especially like this park because we go in the side entrance, which has no tourist trappings and leads directly to unpopulated trails and there is no sound of cars.
random broom and dustpan made from tree branches
not a spectator in sight
hey! this stuff is cold!
We were outside near less-populated areas last weekend and I took a hike in the woods with the kids.
We stumbled upon what was clearly a gravesite.
This is not so common in China, since due to space reasons and probably cultural reasons most bodies are cremated and the ashes placed in a mausoleum.
But I hear that in the countryside some places still have graves.
The yellow papers are burned, and the food and drink are offerings, I think.
Some of the practices in this area seem to be a mix of Buddhism, animism and superstition/rote tradition, and it’s not clear to me what it all means.
Different people have different explanations for why things are done the way they’re done.
I can’t wait to ask someone about the can of Red Bull.
Only six subway stops from our new ultra-urban apartment we can go directly into the lesser-used side entrance of a large city park.
It is so big that we only remotely heard the sounds of passing cars, nobody else was within earshot except for the top-spinner we stumbled upon, and our kids could climb trees and dig in the dirt without endless commentary from the well-intentioned self-appointed public child guardians found everywhere in China (aka pre-grandmothers).
As I read this sign I was struck by the intrinsic cultural differences in childrearing, again, between East and West.
“Allow your child to get absolutely wet and dirty. file://localhost/Users/Eva/Pictures/iPhoto%20Library/Previews/2013/06/13/20130613-224129/GLjeMCpsSzacE0VdFqL2RA/DSCN0284.JPG
“Allow your child to get absolutely wet and dirty.
Sit back, relax and watch your children play.”
From an American perspective, it sounds pretty straightforward.
Not so in our city in China.
Those would be considered very poor parents indeed, who let their child get dirty, who sit back while their child climbs on dangerous equipment they could fall down from, plus the mere assumption that there is more than one child at all.
So we enjoyed the unpopulated playground, muddy creek, trails and grass immensely without any well-meaning comments about our parenting skills from the grandmotherly peanut gallery babysitting youngsters in split pants.
In between dusty alleys, mounds of old furniture and decrepit bikes, glimpses of color vividly contrast with the somewhat dreary winter-colored surroundings.
This taken on my morning run, around 6 am.
It’s broad daylight at least by 5 am (maybe earlier, but I haven’t been awake to verify).