Day 231: Downpour

A sudden summer downpour

A sudden summer downpour

Shanghai’s wet summer continues. The long walk through the French Concession after brunch was abandoned and good fortune arrived in the form of an empty taxi willing to take us home to Pudong. Two blocks after we got into the taxi the street corners were virtually impassable as the storm drains were overwhelmed by the thunderstorm. By the time we got home the rain had ended, but the heat and humidity remained.

Day 212: Mellow Yellow

Scooter drives by a flowering construction wall; on the sidewalk, of course.

Scooter drives by a flowering construction wall; on the sidewalk, of course.

One of the things I enjoy most about Shanghai is the way they enclose many of the myriad construction sites with living walls of vegetation; these enclosures are planted with thousands of individual plants and kept alive for the duration of the project, helping to soften the impact of yet another steel and cement tower rising in this city of 24 million people. And, yes, the scooter rider is driving his vehicle on the sidewalk, a common practice in Shanghai. Pedestrians beware.

Day 206: Shanghai Aglow!

Day 206 A long gray winter and a spring spent in the USA meant that I have witnessed very few Shanghai sunsets. From November on the sky resembled the fifty shades of gray that is my wardrobe, light, dark and medium. After the Plum Rains finally came to an end the sky finally developed some color and texture. This particular night has been the best, so far.

Day 203: Beating the Heat

Playing cards to pass the time

Playing cards to pass the time

A group of men play cards while others stop to watch. Card playing (and gambling) is hugely popular here in China and a card game, on the street, or in the park, can quickly generate a crowd of observers. This group, on Jingyin Road, were coping with today’s heat index of 108 F (42 C) by playing a few hands in the shade. Jingyin Road is a Cricket Market with shops lining the street offering caged crickets, song birds, turtles (by the tub full!), tropical fish–mostly Koi and goldfish– and even the odd caged brown squirrel, or two.