Thursday, May 17, 2007

Finding the art shop again

This morning Malinda left at 7:00 to go to her 8:00 class. Later I walked the girls to kindergarten. It was a beautiful morning, not too hot and only slightly humid. On the way to school we stopped to watch quite a few ladies dressed in white slacks and red shirts dance while someone was filming them. [Malinda writes: As I was walking to school, I saw small groups of women wearing identical outfits walking toward me. I wondered what they were up to!] They were probably in their 50’s and 60’s and were not all in synch with each others but they were enjoying themselves. We certainly enjoyed watching them.
[Malinda writes: Notice the coal-black hair. My first couple of times in China I was amazed at how little gray hair I saw on older women. I thought it must have something to do with genetics or superior nutrition. Having been here awhile, I now know it is about hair dye! Almost all Chinese women dye their hair as they start to go gray -- and I've seen tons of gray roots to prove it!]
After I dropped off the girls I decided to try to find the art shop where I bought some supplies earlier this week. I have a fairly good sense of direction so off I started my trek. It took me almost an hour to get there. I did not rush, just walked and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. I loved to hear the birds singing. I stopped several times to take pictures, mostly of flowers. Here are a couple:

I found the shop and by gestures managed to convey to the man that I wanted to buy a portfolio and more art pencils. I am set now. I have enough art supplies to last me a while. I haven’t taken time to draw here, I’m too busy taking pictures.

After I left the art shop I found the main gate to Xiada and passed by a museum showing the history of the school, all in Chinese, of course. I did take a photo of a photo that showed an aerial view of the university. (Even though I turned off my flash there is still a light spot but that’s the best I have.) We pass by this lake everyday. The low building on the right is an old dorm that is still in use today. We walk almost to the ocean to take the girls to school.

On the way back I decided to sit by the lake awhile to rest and take more pictures. And as I sat there classical guitar music came on a loud speaker. I absolutely love classical guitar. Many years ago I took lessons (for 5 years) before I decided that I had ten left thumbs! I had a very difficult job at the time and did not have the energy to devote to practice everyday. A few people have natural musical talent. The rest of us need to practice a lot. Anyway, it was a wonderful end of my two-hour trek.

This afternoon I went to the park to wait for the girls to walk home. Zoe was surprised to see me and ran over to where I was sitting, shouting, “Mimi!” As you can see, Maya is always trailing behind. Mama is bringing up the rear!

The girls wanted to use the umbrella to shield the sun. I think they weren’t all that interested in shade, they just wanted to play with the umbrella. Here they are walking toward home. Notice other umbrellas in use in the background. I certainly like the idea of umbrellas to provide shade – in French there are actually two words for what we call umbrella. “Ombrelle” translates literally to mean “sun shade.” A “parapluie" is for use in the rain (“pluie" means rain).

Today was another great day in Xiamen. I feel lazy just walking around and enjoying the area. But I love it.

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