On National Day

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Entrance to Zoo, Doesn’t Look Too Bad

Though I knew it would be crowded anywhere I’d go, I agreed to visit the zoo, which was free today. We started off at about 9, but the buses were so crammed, we thought walking would be better. We walked up Di Kou Street to a main street where we’d get a less crowded bus to the zoo. The wait was long and the bus was rather crowded, but what can you do?  After we alighted from the bus we had to use a pedestrian bridge to cross the street. The bridge was packed with people and along the sides vendors added to the congestion. On a normal day they wouldn’t be a problem, but on a major holiday they just made things worse. Some were selling toys or water, but others were celling wigs, condos or rabbits. Who has time to stop and consider an important purchase while crossing a bridge?

We the walked past a group of food vendors before approaching the entrance. At the entrance it didn’t look to bad, but beyond the gate it was packed. People were standing shoulder to shoulder and the loudspeakers were blaring messages saying the zoo was over-capacity and it was dangerous to go inside. We talked it over and it seemed we wouldn’t get to see the animals anyway. After awhile we decided to go to a park further east and a little bit north. I’d been there with Eva and our pathfinder, Ed.

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No one else around

After a long wait for a bus, we finally got to the river park. We had the park and paths almost to ourselves!

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Each bridge had a different design

After walking awhile we happened upon a group of amateur musicians who sang patriotic songs. Afterwards the urged us to sing with them and we sang “Jingle Bells” and one other corny song together.

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The Band

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Around 1 we were getting hungry and knew that finding luck would be tricky. There was nothing near the park and by the time we’d get home all the restaurants would be closed. We decided to go to Wanda Plaza for Indian food. Again the wait for the bus was long and then the traffic just inched along. We were hungry and jammed inside the bus like sardines.

The trip and the effort were worth it though as we had a great lunch. I’m not one for spicy food, but there were enough options in this cute curry restaurant. My two favorites were the Indian “quesadillas” made with an approximation of naan bread, a curry sauce and sliced vegetables and bean curry. The only disappointing item anyone got was a tepid chai tea, which the waitress got heated up.

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Indian Restaurant

Travel Theme: Meeting Places

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Ailsa of Where’s My Backpack invites bloggers to post travel photos each week. This time she’s given us “Meeting Places” for a theme. One of the conspicuous sites to meet in Jinan is the sculpture that symbolizes the city.

To see more meeting places, click here.

At the Park, Harbin

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The Zhaolin Park in Harbin is small, but packed with greenery with lots to do and see: groups singing or doing tai chi, children on the merry-go-round or watching the peacocks or rabbits in their cages.

I love how popular and well-used Chinese parks are. Early or late, you’re sure to see people dancing, walking or exercising.

Dancers

I got to go to Beijing with two friends and since then I’ve been playing catch up with my classes. I did want to share some photos of some spirited dances we happened on in Beihai Park. They’re dressed in Uighyr traditional attire. The Uyghurs live in Xinjiang, western China. They’ve been in the news quite a bit lately.

Their dancing was joyful. Such a pleasant surprise. China offers great serendipity.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Curves

At Xiaoqinghe River

At Xiaoqinghe River

Here’s how it works:

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

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