Another crazy, cocky American. He came. He saw. He conquered.
If China has a national hero it’s Yao Ming, the freakishly tall China boy who found stardom in the States with the Houston Rockets. His likeness is found on murals and billboards all over China where he promotes everything from insurance to sneakers. The Chinese love him for making it big in America’s NBA, but also because he’s done so much good in China with his wealth. Along with movie star Jackie Chan, Yao has been generous in giving back to China and pouring money in for disaster relief for floods and earthquakes such. And good for him, and for Jackie Chan too.
Turn me loose with a camera and I’ll take shots of tots and old folks all day. They’re always good for good pictures.
One way to cool down on a hot day in Central China. Just take your shirt off in front of God and everybody why don’t you!
Chinese will squat anywhere, any place, any time, like this cop in Kaifeng who stopped and squatted to text somebody. If I squatted like this it would take a fork lift to get up upright again.
The one vestige of the Chairman is this mighty large photo on the front wall of The Forbidden City. Yao Ming and Jackie Chan pictures–they’re everywhere. Mao, not so much. (I couldn’t get John Lennon’s line out of my head the rest of the day: “But if you go carryin’ pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain’t gonna make it with anyone any how.”)
Once in a while in Beijing you happen upon a message like this one strung across the roadway.
How many people in this country do you see using umbrellas to shade themselves from the sun. Women with umbrellas on a sunny day is like women with purses–after a while you don’t even notice them.
This young one spoke pretty good English. She’s lived in Beijing all her life and had never made the steep and forbidding climb up to see the famous and beautiful Summer Palace in Beijing till this particular Sunday afternoon. A friend I had dinner with in Beijing at his home is 40. He told me he’d been to the Great Wall once, when he was 15, and said he probably ought to go see it again some day and take his 16 year old daughter, who has yet to see it. Maybe it’s just me, but if I lived in close proximity to the Grand Canyon, I think I’d want to go marvel at it once in a while.
At the foot hills beneath the Summer Palace.