They arrived yesterday and they are jetlagged. However, I was a cruel daughter and we went on a veritable Long March around Shanghai until they screamed for mercy. Here are a few covert phone photos.
First of all, at the corner of Fuxing Lu and Xiangyang Lu, en route to coffee, there was a masterful display of kebab skewers from the Xinjiang street grill folks.
And then, somewhere over near the newly gentrified Sinan mansions, they were trimming the branches from the plane trees that line the roads. They have been doing this for the past few days all over the city.
If you look up, the chances are good that you will see two or three men up a tree in municipal day-glo vests, tied to a now-disused power line that runs through the branches, wielding small scythes, balanced precariously on outer branches, sawing off lengths of tree.
The falling branches land where they may, mostly on the road and many on the sidewalk as people continue to walk by and cars attempt to dodge them. There are many fallen bicycles below them, weighed down by layers of intricate branches.
After a few meters’ worth of branches have fallen, another worker comes along with a chainsaw and neatly turns them into firewood and deftly ties them into cute little bundles of neat twigs that line the sidewalks. The chainsaw roars remind me of my childhood.
And a random door sign.
And finally, heading back to the flat for a cup of tea, I came across this. The dude in the little key-cutting shop who hung this duck thought it quite amusing that I stopped to take a photo of it. As did a dude I passed just after taking the photo. Lots of chortling. I swear, this city is making me want to go back to being a vegetarian– no, not just vegetarian- vegan! No, wait, raw! I’ll go raw! Except maybe I’d end up with typhoid or diphtheria. No, hell, why not go fruitarian? Wait, no, the pesticides would kill me. Maybe breatharian? No, the pollution would kill me.
Sigh. Poor duck. Sometimes China just makes me feel sad about things I can normally just ignore.