Another Series of Unrelated Photos (Part Trois)

Remember how cold and sick and coughy I was at this time last week? How dim and grey and grim the city was?  How my toes would not warm and my bark continued to bite? Yeah, well, this weekend is much better, thank you.

Look! Sunshine! Blue skies! Invisible pollutants!

From the pedestrian overpass on the Yan'an ring road

I’m not working this weekend, nor will I work any other weekend until at least late February.  My current motto: Sanity comes first!  No more bone chillingly wet weekends spent out at echoey university campuses (campi?) in the middle of nowhere, using up the last of my vocal chords. No, no, I intend to use my weekends wisely- eating, drinking, sleeping, taking invasive photos, entertaining parents (and after that, Doug’s parents), and perhaps a little light reading. I still have a dozen or so bootlegged books in a towering stack by the side of the bed, still wrapped in plastic.

So what does one do when not working oneself to death? Good question! Let me show you what we did yesterday!

First of all, just around the corner from our flat there was a sudden street market on Saturday morning (and again today), which had vaguely festive ornamentation (bows, boughs, bells, etc) with Chinese characteristics. We strolled down there en route to our morning coffee and pide at Wagas.

Just up the street from us, and around a corner

Some traditional Festive flayed pig, anyone?

Perhaps you prefer your flayed pig inside out?

Also, Festivus sea food tidbits in buckets

All the pomegranate you could ever need

My free sample of...um...smelled smokey?

Or maybe some traditional salted, dried fish for Festivus?

And the traditional pickled lotus root

And we mustn’t forget the fellows up on the scaffolding, trying not to be pushed over by the crowds.

Training for Cirque du Soleil

Because it was a beautiful day (sunshine, lollipops, the whole shebang), we decided to walk to the Nanjing Rd fakes market, where we had planned to replenish our tattered, seasonally inappropriate wardrobes. It’s a bit of a walk (about an hour) but an hour is nothing compared with, say, ten hours of interviews and four hours in taxis over the course of two days. It’s all relative.

Nanjing Rd West was all geared up for Festivus.

Festivus tree!

Even the toys were getting into a festive spirit of sorts.

I don't know what the horse is doing to the gorilla but they seem happy

At the Fakes Market, we did well, which is not an easy feat. It’s one of the only places in town that sells jeans fit for anyone with hips wider than your average ten year old. I have female students who are bigger than me (shock! horror!) and have no idea where they buy their clothes. No department store seems to have anything bigger than a 26/28 in jeans. That’s small. I found two pairs of jeans that fit (a miracle).

Let me show you my changing room. It was about one meter wide and filled solid with jeans. There was an entry hole right behind where I was standing to take the photo that opened directly onto the shop, and by extension, everyone who walked past the shop. There was no door. Just so you know.

My changing room in the jeans shop

We went to Taikang Lu’s Tian Zi Fang warren of gentrified alleyways for lunch, thinking that calzones and beer from New York Pizza would be a fine reward for having battled the seven circles of grabby hell at the fakes market.

Festive calzone in Tian Zi Fang

There was also a remarkable amount of moppery abounding for me and my mop fetish.

Outside sink with mop

Plants on various ledges with mop

Windows and sinks and mop

Drainpipe mop

No mop, but birds!

It was in this warren that I found my delicious little shoes, as mentioned in yesterday’s post. I’m so proud of them I’ll post their photo again. Aren’t they lovely?

Pretty shoes! And more where they came from!

And finally, in case you were wondering, we didn’t trample.

I was tempted

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About MaryAnne

I live in Hanoi. I used to live in Shanghai (hence this blog’s title) but I left in 2013. I tend to travel. I cook stuff. I read a lot. I try to scare myself silly with regularity. I write about it all. A lot.