Pictures are back!!!




The first two pictures are from the moment of silence that was help to the quake victims. It was a small ceremony at Peoples Square, the only media was me and a TV new duo.

The last picture is the view out my apartment window on a clear day. As you can see, I overlook downtown. A little out of frame on the right is Linping Park hill. A 300 meter hill with a nice temple on top. At night it is a beautiful sight.

I have to thank Fred at the Globe for finding me a Leica camera. If there is anyone who is a film genius, Fred is it. From 35mm to large format, the guy knows his stuff. He even went so far to to head to the shop, and check out the functions of the camera to make sure it was a good buy before I have it sent to China. Above and beyond! I think I own him a beer upon my return.

The Quake Aftermath

——————————————————–
I have pictures that go with this post, but blogger will not allow me to upload them for some reason, most likely due to the internet being locked down as per my message below…
———————————————————-

it has been over one week now since the earthquake. I am quite surprised at the whole ordeal. For the most part the government has been very open with access to the media. They have let most major news networks into the country and have given them full access.

In an act of respect, all the fun has been taken out of the country. They turned off the internet and TV. Actually, they just blocked gaming sites like WoW servers as far as the net is concerned. TV, on the other hand… I have roughly 60 stations on my digital cable box. Right now around 50 of those are broadcasting the same CCTV1 feed. The rest are broadcasting various other quake related news. As for my specialty channels, National Geographic and Star Movies, they just turned them off outright. They have a message on the screen that says the channels will be turned off until the 21st.

Yesterday was the seventh day. A moment of silence was held at 2:38 pm. The exact time of the quake. I took this opportunity to shoot some pictures. It was a small affair at People’s Square but I covered it none the less. I also donated some cash that I had on hand, I was given two roses. Not wanting to carry them and deal with my cameras, I found a pretty girl and her, I am assuming, young sister, and gave them the flowers. They said thanks and I was off feeling good.

So I almost dropped a cool $800 on a watch. Almost…Then I came to my senses. I have been thinking for a long time that I would like to own a Leica. This should not be news to anyone. I almost bought my former teachers from him. I have since renewed my interest in one. After a quick scan of ebay I am thinking that now could be the time…

A Visit

Well I just got my first visit from the police. A knock at the door, a quick check to see who lived here and they wrote some notes on their clip board. All in all, they were very friendly. Not nearly as bad as some of the other horror stories that I hear from other expats in the area.

Bombs on Buses!?!?!


According to Shanghaiist, there was a couple buses blown up earlier this month (on the 5th) and one was defused in Hangzhou. Shanghai is 2 hours away and Hangzhou a mere 25 km away and also a place that I go to on a weekly basis. Danielle and Brian, you sure you want to come here :)

Military State

Walking back to my apartment tonight I came across two groups of Military Patrols walking downtown.

Backtrack to yesterday. I was talking to Danielle about Linping and my thoughts on how it didn’t really differ that much from any other big city that I have been to. Seeing the patrol tonight makes me retract that statement.

Seeing them reminded me that I am in a Communist-State run country. Many of the freedoms that I take for granted in Canada just aren’t hear yet. Sure, China is much better than it was even 10 years ago, but it still isn’t open.

It also makes me think that the guys with guns that I saw on Monday weren’t related to the earthquake.

Also, for the second time in two weeks a foreigner was attacked within two hours from me. This time though, it doesn’t appear to me mob violence. The story that the guy is telling just sounds fishy. He is quite vague with what he was doing that night and where he was when it happened. My guess is that he was drunk and started mouthing off to the wrong person. His attack though does have many people talking about contigency plans for leaving the country if this keeps happening.

My contingency plan? Load a fresh battery and memory card and start snapping away.

!!!!!!

I just had a eureka moment. Yesterday I was in Hangzhou, I was walking to the bus station, I walked past a group of a few hundred office workers all outside a tall office building looking up. I assumed a fire alarm hence the evacuation.

NOW I realize that it was the earthquake.

I now know where I was when the ground was shaking. I was walking down Jiefang road with my new National Geographic.

I’m not under rocks

Thanks to everyone for being worried about me. I am not under rocks. The earthquake was no where near me. It is in the far south west of China, I am mid-east. By all the new reports, I should have felt it, but I am fairly certain that I was on a bus from Hangzhou to Linping at the time. I would more than likely have just chalked it up to shitty roads.

On a possibly related note, that could have explained why there were military walking around the banks with assault shotguns yesterday. Disasters cause people to panic. When people panic, they want money.

Once again, I am safe.

My appology


This is a common site these days. People taking pictures. Myself included.
————————————————————————————–

A friend, Liz, poses for a picture as I showed her around the park.
———————————————————————————

For everyone that has contacted me recently and not gotten a reply, I am sorry. I am working on replying to everyone that contacts me, but you see, it is spring. The general attitude in the area has become laissez faire. Not in the governmental sense, it is still as communist Red as ever, but in the sense that everyone seems to be not caring as much. About life in general. More people are getting out and about enjoying the heat.

For instance, I spent three hours at People Square today. I spent some time reading The Fall of Baghdad. I also spent some time sleeping under a tree. I think it is the heat. With the temperature hitting 30 degrees, people are feeling lethargic, myself included.

A short distance away from me sat a couple, lovers I would guess. The girl said something and the boy replied. Not liking what she heard, the girl screamed, threw the boys shirt in a pond and then stormed off. The boys reaction? None. He didn’t move. He just continued to lay on the grass for the next hour.

The whole city seems to be like to boy. It is a laid back feel. I will ride it until the end.

100 Days to the Games in China


Images from a parade in Peoples Square in Linping celebrating the 100 day countdown to the Olympics.

———————————————————-

So I have now eaten turtle AND snake. Yesterday was May Day – a big holiday. I was invited to go rafting (Or drifting as all the signs say) at a famous park near Linping. It was a great day, sunny, hot and no real wind. I started my glorious farmer tan that I pride myself of.

After rafting, lunch was served. There were no snakes on a plane, they were all on my plate. And they tasted damn fine.

On an unrelated topic, I have started to use my 50mm lens as my standard carry around lens. I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner. Makes my camera WAY lighter, gives me extra light when I need it (It’s a 1.8 compared to my 16-35 2.8) and the images look great. Call it a back to basics approach, since back in my film days, my 50 1.7 Minolta was my most used lens…

No deep words of wisdom or advice this post. Just a fun spring ramble. Oh and spring here is 30’C…