Street Karaoke

I took this Pic o’ the Week a couple weeks ago on the campus. It was Friday and … for whatever reason, the school had set up a stage in the middle of one of the streets. I happened upon it just as a group of girls were finishing a choreographed dance a la high school talent shows. Unfortunately, I wasn’t fast enough to snap a picture of them. Instead, I snapped a shot of the next girl, singing karaoke without any sense of shame. Something I can’t manage without a healthy dose of vodka.

No muss, no fuss, just karaoke! And she seemed blissfully unpeturbed by the people walking away.

It’s a strangely common occurrence, street karaoke, usually taking place in a parking lot outside a large supermarket or mall. Something my meiguo brain continues to struggle with….


Gratuitous Grottoes

Here are a few pictures from our trip to Luoyang’s Longman Grottoes. It was nice. The statues part. Unfortunately, several Chinese people confused us with the statues and took our pictures, including four middle-aged fat bastards, one of whose face I had to scream in before he would leave us alone. More on that in my next post.

The above Buddha made out pretty well. Missing a few fingers, it turns out, is what you hope for when you’re a thousand-year-old Buddha. The ones without heads, like the next guy, were victims of European imperialists hoping to impress the folks back home.

There were others that were missing their faces. Those were victims of the Cultural Revolution.

All tolled, it was an impressive display. Too bad we had to deal with some seriously lame Chinese people to see it.

The view from the far bank of the river … I’ll try to get the whole lot up on Snapfish tomorrow. More to come!

Helpful Billboards

I’ve got four pics for this week. They are of some very socially conscious billboards we saw on our way back from the Shaolin Temple. I was in a moving bus whilst taking them; thus, the blurriness.

"To Stabilize low birth-rate and Improve Chinese Population Quality
To Improve Population structure and Conduct Harmonious society"

I like that they’re just two infinitive verb clauses….

"Promote gender equality and eliminate sex discrimination"

Aw, that’s nice.

This one says something like "Follow the basic State policy for family planning"

And I choose to believe the structure behind the street sign is a pirate ship.

"Implement the CPC’s ‘Decision’
To solve the population problem and promote the All-round Development of Human"

Who is this "Human" and why should I help develop it?
And I like that they put "Decision" in quotes … yeah, it’s an order….

Propaganda Babies Will Mess You Up!

Christina reminded me that I can email the pictures to myself, which is how I got the picture of the Great Wall in the sandstorm posted. So here’s the post I wanted to do yesterday (Hope the pictures come out the right size):

To celebrate my return to Pic o’ the Weeking, I thought I’d bring you a cautionary tale of imperialism and babies. Christina and I visited a propaganda museum in Shanghai and got a first class (re)education on the events of the twentieth century. No, but, honestly, it was really, really interesting. And some of the posters were hilarious. I’ll get the rest of them up on Snapfish, so you can have the full experience.

They will throw bombs at you!

Aaaaaand, because propaganda babies put me in such a good mood. Here’s another one, which I feel adequate assesses the state of mass media and its effect on society.

Yuuuuup … that’s about it.

The Wrath of Khan

I’m back from Beijing; I had a really nice visit with my dad. We didn’t get to do everything I had planned for us, but we got to see the big stuff: the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, the traditional hutongs, the Forbidden City.

The air quality was atrocious. A-tro-cious. I say that word, and you think you know what I mean, but really … it was really atrocious. The sky was orange. The sun was about as bright as a full moon. You could taste the Gobi, feel the sand in your teeth. I’m sticking with my theory that it is the vengeful wrath of Genghis Khan’s spirit. Fits with what I experienced.

I’m posting this via my email cuz I’m no longer able to log on to And I’m going to attach a picture from the trip to this email. Hopefully, it’ll post so you can catch a glimpse of the splendor that is a modern trip to the Great Wall.

Too bad the wall can’t keep the Gobi out.