Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.
I had always wondered how people in other parts of the world get around, and, I must admit, I had rather chauvinistic attitudes, believing that only in my Western world would automobiles be modern and advanced. I was humbled and surprised to find the same cars on the streets of China that I see here in the United States: Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche, BMW, and Mercedes, as well as Honda, Toyota, Kia, Hyundai, Ford, VW, and Nissan.
So, the cars and vans didn’t interest me enough to photograph them. What caught my attention were the other modes of transportation, especially those vehicles that I do not see at home. While the automobiles dominate the streets, bikes of every shape, size, condition and age share the space. I never got comfortable with the practice of carrying children and babies on the scooters and bikes … and without helmets! However, I did not see a child injured in spite of the frighteningly unsafe drivers.
I am a bit frustrated that I was not able to convey the intensely crowded streets or the aggressiveness displayed by all of the drivers. I was terrified to cross the street and remember the relief and pride I felt when I finally learned how to maneuver amidst the heavy machinery and pedestrians. (Click on any image to see it full size.)
When I saw the topic of this Sunday’s Post, I wondered if I should go out and find someone working; however, I remembered I had shot quite a few images of people at work during my stay in China last summer.
I find it interesting that I still have not gotten comfortable taking similar pictures here in my own city and country. I guess there’s something about being a tourist that gives me (in my mind) license to shoot just about anything.
And now, I’m off to the gym before returning to my work, prepping my lessons for the week. I hope you all have a satisfying and productive work week.
Laoshan Moutain near Qingdau: The aroma of her food was enticing, but I passed on it. Now I wish I’d indulged.
Beijing: I think he has a difficult job.
Beijing: This soldier stands guard at the Forbidden City. He looks so young and alone.
Beijing: He makes beautiful china in the Hutong area; unfortunately, I could not afford any of the beautiful pieces.
Beijing: She cooked my delicious meal when I dined in a private residence in the Hutong area.
Qingdau: She was working so hard to sell her ears of corn.
Beijing: My tour guide through the Forbidden City…I’d been in the country only two days and was still afraid that I’d get lost, but he made sure that I was safe. His English is nearly flawless and his talks were informative and interesting.
Beijing: Olympic village, just outside of the Bird’s Nest, on his way to another job.
Feicheng: Diane, one of the participants in my workshop, teaching her students as they prepare for their English exams.
Feicheng: I understand that this is a nightly event in the city where I worked. I walked around the city only twice in the 4 weeks I worked there; I spent my evenings in the hotel, usually preparing the next day’s lesson. This summer, I vow to experience more of the local life.
Shanghai: I bought some of his bread and was surprised that it tasted salty, and not sweet like the Indian Fry Bread that is sold in Arizona.