Thursday, February 28, 2013

This Morning's Walk

A good friend here in Suzhou talks a lot about how friends and family "back home" in the US want to know what day-to-day life is like for her family in China.  Feeling inspired by that, I took several pictures of my walk from where I put EBean on the bus in the morning to the Xing Hai Subway station a few blocks from our apartment.  

There are so many sights and sounds that could be found in any city in the world...taxis, commuters, Starbucks, construction, and yet it all has a China twist to it.

Here is what I encountered on my way to the subway today...


More construction

Street cleaners, gardeners and maintenance workers are everywhere.  They are easy to spot in their uniforms and the workers are given the same section of town to work - every day.

Lots of e-bikes (electric bikes) and I love to watch friends chatting with each other at the light, like these two, or even better, as they are driving down the e-bike lane.

Morning commuters.

In case I didn't think there was enough, more construction.

Another morning commuter on the free green bicycles that can be found around town.  You pay a deposit for a card and choose a bike at a "pick-up" station and drive to another station to return the bike.

Suzhou was/is known as the Venice of the East because of all the waterways and canals in town.  This one is filling with sludge partly because of the construction.

If you turn 180 degrees from the view of the canal (above), you'll find this...a portable building where the rest of the canal used to be.  These temporary red-roofed buildings are where the construction workers live.  The buildings are pretty common in this part of China.

Construction materials, with our apartment compound off in the distance to the right.

Hungry and need some "fast food"?  This woman can help you.  She has her portable food stand and can cook up something hot and very fast for you to eat on your way to work.

She's pouring out a very thin batter, almost like a crepe or pancake and the customer can choose the fillings.

Some car decorations, perhaps to bring good luck & fortune or to celebrate a wedding?

Thirsty anyone?  Please note that the gentleman is loading his e-bike with the water jugs.

What is that in the distance?  A mirage, nope, just one of the three Starbucks within a 4-block radius of our apartment.  I don't drink coffee and I could have cared less about Starbucks before moving overseas.  But since I arrived, I have been enjoying mochas sand I find it very ironic that when we move return to the US that it will be Starbucks that pleasantly reminds me of China.

Just in case you need more than a coffee, there is a Subway across the street.

This path did not exist when we moved because the city was building its first subway line directly underneath.  The subway is open now and above ground construction is finished...for now.

And, a block away from the first Starbucks is the second store at the central subway station.

The Chinese love KFC here, I do not and I will stop there.  I wouldn't want to be impolite.

I love this Coke ad in the subway.  The little girl in a traditional Chinese dress is handing the man in the dragon dance costume a coke.  So cute!

And finally I reach the subway only to be reminded that the voice on the speaker reminds me of The Count from Sesame Street.  I was heading in the direction of Mudu (pronounced moo-doo) and it really does sound like The Count, "ah, ah, ah"!

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