Saturday, December 10, 2005

More photos you ask for, more you shall receive.

Last night was another enjoyable get together, this time in Houhai. This is an area surrounding a lake which I presume, ten years ago, was a pleasant idyll of golden leaves and people ice skating in the winter. Today it is a collection of 50 or so bars, all of which offer pretty much the same loud music, overpriced drinks, with a mix of Westerners and Chinese being pushed and pulled to jump from one bar to another. Loud though it was, it was an enjoyable night meeting some new people and winding down after a hard week in the office. The second bar we went to had a live band, and it appears that I've discovered where 80s camp now resides. Though genuinly talented musicians, I'm not convinced the woman had any idea what she was singing and a pitch perfect rendition of "I can't wiv,if wiving is without you" was a version I've not heard before.

There may be some more photos of the evening to come.

So today, I got some photos of things that have intrigued me for a while now.

It's a strange thought: what would be five floors straight underground with double doors each a foot thick and enough food to last 100 people a good while?

Well, in this case there are three answers. The first answer is that you would clearly put a nuclear bunker forty foot underground with two foot of steel between you and the outside world with food to last some considerable time. The second answer is our local campus supermarket where I go everyday to buy tea, water, fruit etc. The third answer is Pan, one of the guys who came along to the bars with us all last night. He's studying law in Beijing, but that's a three hour bus ride from the bars we were at! Anyway, it amuses me that everyday I buy my groceries in a nuclear fall-out shelter. I'm told it's because the members of the Chinese academy of science are a highly valued lot and they want to do their best to keep them alive in case of, well WWIII!

The next set of photos are something that I walk past every day on my way to work. I guess I was just not expecting this sort of thing in a place with the politics of China. In some parts of society democracy is warmly accepted, especially in the scientific community where of course a healthy discourse between all levels of the hierarchy is a progressive force.

Last and possibly least is a picture of me, standing in -10 with another -5 or so of windchill on top of that doing my best to stop my eyes from freezing in the wind. I'm wearing the warmest jacket I've ever owned which does a stirling job of stopping me getting hypothermia.


kayossity said...

Only you would put a bunker 40 food underground. What a thought!

Jonathan Shock said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jonathan Shock said...

Indeed, thank you. I can't believe I'm going to be teaching English to an entire class. I pity my poor students.

Anonymous said...

found your blog at last! The fixation on food is familiar! Some of it looks uneatable...for me anyway.
Trying to find a soft comfy place to read? Buy a cushion or 20.
Anne Thomas

Anonymous said...

hello jon why is the bike behind you abandoned? did you pull them off to take your picture? blimely and i thought i was cold on my boat. keep your head and your feet warm is my tip :) by the way i like your hat

Jonathan Shock said...

Hi Anne, I'm currently finding warmer places to go sit, cafes, restaurants and the like, but I should get more cushions.

R.B.K, it's likely that I'd knocked over another small Chinaman without noticing. I'll write a letter of apology to the Chinese at the end of my stay to sum up my sins before legging it.

Indeed, the hat helps a great deal. I'm having to take two pairs of shoes with me as my walking boots are just right for being outside but not great in a very warm office.