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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Yellow Crane Pagoda

The Yellow Crane Pagoda peeking through the leaves. It is considered one of the most important pagodas in China as it overlooks the Yangtze River. It even has an elevator in the middle! But you have to pay 2RMB to get on it so I opted for the staircase.

Inside the YCP -- the Chinese love to pose, yep even men. Also notice how dressed up the woman is? I went hiking once near Tibet and some women wore high heels!

View of the Hanyang District of Wuhan from the YCP...

Bell tower and gazebo on Snake Hill next to the YCP.

The Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai was so inspired at the YCP 1,500 years ago that he wrote this poem:

My old friend said goodbye, here at Yellow Crane Tower,
In the third month, under a cloud of willow blossoms, he's going down to Yangzhou.
The lonely sail is now a distant shadow, on the edge of a blue emptiness,
All I see is the Yangtze River flow to the heaven in the horizon.

If Mr. Li were alive today, this is what he'd see: a very congested bridge (probably takes an hour just to get on the bridge! the worst bottleneck ever!), the Yangtze barely visible, a television tower and blocks and blocks of urban concrete... not too inspiring. But alas, I shall use my imagination: a beautiful misty river, lined with willow blossoms, and a lone sail, sailing slowly but surely to the horizon...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Ce@sorship

Hmmm, youtube is blocked here... now, nytimes and facebook too. Oh, facebook came back up, but hotmail went down... Chinese ce@nsorship is weird...a bureaucrat is probably sitting at his desk somewhere, eating melon seeds, sipping on tea, and randomly turning switches on and off... what a job. But funnily, I went to a local supermarket, and there were porn videos on the lower shelves, lest children can't reach them...tsk tsk tsk.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

More from Wuhan...

Just went out for a walk, had lunch/dinner, and bought some water and cookies from Carrefour (which is a French owned Hypermart here, I call it a Hypermart cuz it has loud music, signs everywhere, it's like Ralph's plus Target plus Bestbuy all rolled into one and throw in some Chinese chaotic-ness and loud-ness)...

Three buck meal at Chinese equivalent of McDonald's -- it's a Taiwanese chain and they are even selling shaved ice!

Lotus flower bulb (?) sellers in the rain... life is pretty hard for some people. I guess this is the season before the Lotus flowers bloom. I saw several vendors selling the flower bulb -- there is some type of seed inside (the size of pistacchio) and they would pry it out and eat it.

Rainy Wuhan

I've arrived in Wuhan. I've been here once before in 2007. Chinese cities change so fast. I notice they are building a new subway and new apartments are springing up everywhere. It feels like dinner time, but it's only 11 in the morning here! Hope y'all are having a good night back in the good 'ol USA.

Friday, June 26, 2009

More from Bella...

More pics from Bella... have a good weekend!

Ewe... slug... but slugs deserve dignity and respect too!

Droplet in Leaf... or is it a 10 carat diamond? Bella, hiding anything from us?

In honor of Independence Day... oh say can you see...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Obey the Kitteh!

Cat sightings have been rampant lately! Remember to obey the kitty, otherwise I will send y'all to kitty gulag for some re-education, muahahaha...

Paartaaay at Cat's

Meow! I will be hosting a dumpling party soon (eh, like in 2 months, after L comes in and rescues my place and cleans my litter box, :-)... if you can't find my pad, follow the sign below:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bella the Explorer

My friend Bella went on a mission to explore a planet far far away called Maine... here is her dispatch via the Hubble Telescope. Unlike LA, they don't have lots of sunshine, the sky is usually covered by grey stuff and occasionally liquidy thingies fall from the sky. Oh yeah, they also have very tall plants called trees.

This is what they eat: giant red bugs and they are only $3.50/lb. Why so cheap?! Me want some!

They also eat crabmelt... wow, Bella you take good food pics!

And lobster BLT... yours truly has just collapsed from food envy... wiping away drool.

House in Maine... cool color contrast... love little red boats (update: canoes)!

The male species of Mainers catching food...

So scenic!

This is what my kind looks like in Maine... I think M is sooo cute! Love the little tongue sticking out. Just want to smother him (update, M is a girl) with hugs and kisses.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Cat's Excellent Vacay

Back from vacay! Really enjoyed it! Huge kudos to P and J for organizing and mucho thanks to E and S for hosting me :-) For a full recap, go to chezpei.com. But anyhoo, here is my version of events:

Day 1: The Long March

After attempting to invade the home of strangers (eeek, thought it was P and J's pad, but when I opened the door, I couldn't recognize any of the people in the family pictures on the wall, doh!), we went to the Mission District and saw lots of pretty murals. This one is my favorite!

And then, we proceeded with our Long March to the Castro District! E drank about 20 cups of poison, eh, coffee, along the way...

We finished the day with some Ceviche near the Ferry Building...oh btw, the weather was beautiful, look at the deep blue night sky!

Day 2: Oysters and Crab Cakes and Yummy Dinner

On Day 2, we hopped on our little car and drove to Sonoma County. Along the way, we stopped at two oyster farms...

And a crab cake place in Bodega Bay, sooo good!

And we had an excellent steak dinner. Good job J manning the grill!

Here is the view from the house... beautiful. We couldn't use the kayaks at the house due to water level restrictions... and were very tempted to kayak-jack these folks, hehe, Pirates of the Russian River Valley!

Day 3 and 4: To be continued...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Vacay!

K, off to vacay in NorCal for a couple of days! Eh, for avoidance of doubt, I do wear more than boots when I go hiking... oh yeah, need to remember to bring my teddy!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The moving blues...

I am moving to a new pad, and I am so overwhelmed! When did I accumulate so much junk! Waaaaaaaahhhhh!

The best and the bravest!

Ever since I was a little tot, my eyes lid up when I saw firefighters... I think they are the bravest, coolest people on the planet. So today, I was all star struck when I went on a tour of a Fire Station! Yay! Go firefighters! You guys are awesome! Btw, Firefighter Herrera was awfully cute too, kekeke...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Never Forget

Candlelight vigil in V Park, Hong Kong last night... I was moved to see that the normally very practical Hong Kongers haven't forgotten... If anything, the event in summer _____taught us there is no unlimited power... be it husband over wife (correction: wife over husband :-), parent over children or government over people...(this part of Confucian culture needs a serious update). Even if there was genuine disagreement between the gvt and the st___ts, you cannot roll out t__ks and indiscriminately kill people and not face consequences. That is like so eighteenth century!
image courtesy of Bobby Yip/Reuters