Friday, April 30, 2010

World Expo

China's Pavilion
(photo courtesy of the Telegraph U.K.)

Poland's Pavilion 

Macau's Bunny Pavilion

The 2010 World expo opens tomorrow here in Shanghai and runs until October 31, 2010. They are expecting over 70 million visitors and the city has spent the past 10 year sprucing up for their guests. We have noticed people working nonstop planting flowers on the side of the expressways and sweeping the sidewalks. The designs of the pavilions are pretty extraordinary and the activities sound pretty cool. There will be snow in the Austrian Pavilion and you can enjoy a picnic or bike ride on the rooftop garden of the Denmark Pavilion! They have planned over 900 parades and countless firework shows.  We are looking forward to visiting the Expo and I will post our pictures.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Qi Zhilong

I am a huge admirer of Chinese born artist Qi Zhilong. His enormous portraits based on Chinese propaganda posters are truly wonderful. I hope we can see some of his paintings during our time here in China.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What's For Dinner?

I am going to start by showing you some of the pretty things in the grocery store across the street from our house. I love the colors of the Chinese sweets (above) and the cut pineapples (below) are less than $2.00 each!

I have no idea what kind of fruit this is below and how one goes about getting inside of it.

The dried fruits and flowers are for teas and have the most wonderful scent.
 I filled a bowl with dried citrus and it makes the room smell great.

 I tend to walk quickly through the dried & flattened fish area below.

I divert my eyes when I walk past this big basket of unknown food. 
My sympathy to the yaks????

Deke did not believe a word I said when I told him this was a pet shop in the grocery store. They have a variety of live snakes, turtles, and some surprisingly large frogs. I  have successfully avoided the tanks containing three of my phobias.

Grocery shopping has been fun and challenging. Packaging is obviously written in Chinese and sometimes I have no clue what is inside the package.  I was strolling the aisles and spotted a bottle of something called "Swallow" imagine my surprise when I discovered this was dishwashing soap.

Opera Prop Shop

I discovered a Chinese opera prop shop!
The ornate tassel above is part of a costume from a Chinese opera
 and it now serves as a drawer pull in our living room.

I also picked up this cute little hat with a gigantic pompon

There is my drawer pull in the middle of her hat.

Lulu and Deke have the week off from school and we plan on discovering more hidden treasures in Shanghai. Finding the opera prop shop was quite an adventure, it was sandwiched between wig shops on a bustling street. I downloaded some wonderful photos from inside the shop, but I can't figure out how to get them on this computer.
It is loads of fun stumbling upon a street that is dedicated to one type of product, and I was thrilled to discover a road teaming with art supply shops. Deke was not so thrilled with the road we will call "hanging meat" and Lulu's delicate constitution was challenged as we walked down the middle of "still living & freshly dead chicken lane". We have plans on visiting a few foreign language bookstores today and eating at a French bakery.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Just A Drop In The Bucket!

This suitcase is just perfect!
The statue of Chairman Mao riding in a Jeep weighs about 20 pounds.

I love this old green musical instrument
 it reminds me of our toy tin typewriter collection back home.

These old tin tea pots are the prettiest colors.
 I discovered the green one leaks after I filled them both with flowers.
The biscuit tins have such appealing graphics on them, this became an instant collection.

I have found the most wonderful things at the Dong Tai Lu Antique Market, here are just a few of my purchases. The market is open everyday and consists of covered booths and some very small crowded stores. I am not sure any native Shanghainese people have ever shopped here, it seems like it's just us visitors. To my delight the other shoppers seem more interested in finding jade pieces and Ming Dynasty vases...good luck!!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I Miss My Pals!

We are slowly adjusting to our new lives here. All of my appliances are the sizes of toys and the controls are obviously in Chinese. It has been a challenge accessing my blog and I hope to sort this out soon. I have ventured to the flea market twice, once all by myself.  The haggling over prices is a beautiful piece of theater. I discovered I can't take Deke with me to the flea market, he starts negotiating on behalf of the vendors.  I have bought a rickety chair, beautiful blue ceramic bowls and vases, an old suitcase, a Mao statue, an old green musical instrument, and the most beautiful vintage cookie tins. I love junk shopping in China!!!!