Day 246: Every Day is Laundry Day

A woman uses a pole to hang her clothes on an overhead pole.

A woman uses a pole to hang her clothes on an overhead pole.

Apartments in China can be small and appliances such as clothes dryers rare, so it is quite common to see clothing hanging outside to dry. In fact, I had to argue with our Ayi when we first got here because she wanted to hang our clothes out on the balcony; she refused to use the clothes dryer, saying she trusted God but not the machine. I insisted that the machine had to be used (even though it doesn’t vent to the outside–but, hey, China!) and eventually she acquiesced. But I understand her perspective, As a kid growing up in Queens, NYC every backyard had a clothesline strung across it and laundry day was filled with the sound of clothes flapping in the breeze. Here in Shanghai space is at a premium so by necessity any horizontal pole, bat, or wire can become a suitable “clothesline”.

Day 241: Chengguan

China’s “chengguan,” the para-police agency tasked with enforcing non-criminal urban administrative regulations, remove store fixtures blocking a sidewalk.

Shanghai’sm“chengguan,” the para-police agency tasked with enforcing non-criminal urban administrative regulations, remove store fixtures blocking a sidewalk.

This group of nine officers behaved more like a street gang, roughly pushing and shoving bikes and scooters, and other things out of their way as they swarmed down the street. The people just stepped out of the way, silently watching and not interfering. It was a display of the worst type of “policing” imaginable.

Day 240: Blue

A workman repairs a window on an old building in the Former French Concession.

A workman repairs a window on an old building in the Former French Concession.

times there is no reason for a picture other than I like it; the color, the symmetry, the mood, the moment. This is one of those pictures.

Day 236: Disembarking

Passengers disembark the HuangPu River Ferry on the Puxi side.

Passengers disembark the HuangPu River Ferry on the Puxi side.

Shanghai is a city split by a river, the old city, The Bund and the former French Concession on the west and Lujiazui, the new Shanghai of ultra high-rise skyscrapers on the east. The ferry is my preferred transport across; I’d much rather look at the river as I’m traveling across to the other side of town than be in a tube shooting under the river.

Day 221: Bamboo

Worker delivers bamboo for construction of a scaffold. (Former French Concession, Shanghai, PRC)

Worker delivers bamboo for construction of a scaffold. (Former French Concession, Shanghai, PRC)

On a Sunday walk through the Former French Concession we passed this man maneuvering his load of bamboo through traffic. Although the larger construction projects use steel, many of the smaller scale projects (4-6 story) do use bamboo to construct scaffolding.