About The Chinese Gallery
China was a wondrous country to visit. It’s big, messy, glorious, and a feast for the senses. The photos not only depict famous places like the Temple of Heaven (with a person in the bottom right of the photo for scale), but random scenes such as the bride in the alley. She didn’t look very happy, slumped in her chair, but she is wearing a white wedding dress. The traditional color of wedding dress for China is red, a very auspicious color; white is the color of death, yet many brides are adopting this Western fashion. Some wear white for the wedding and red for the reception.
Everything in China seems to be governed by lucky or unlucky. You can look at the traditional dancers in costume that we saw in a restaurant. Actually, we were lucky at the Good Luck Restaurant! We went in to eat and were seated but turned out to be the only diners aside from a wedding party, which reserved the entire bottom floor! Why were we seated? We didn’t know, but we enjoyed the reception and the entertainment without question. We spotted many other weddings in Guilin that day, which, on the Chinese Lunar calendar, was the 22nd day of the third cycle of the year. Being 2008 was auspicious - eight is a very lucky number, and doubles are lucky so the 22 was very auspicious, and three is extremely lucky also. It had been marked as a good day for weddings. I don’t think anyone would get married if there were a four in the date. Very bad number. Look at the photo with the belly dancer: the three boys in the foreground were intent on the cell phone on which they were perhaps playing a game. They never knew there was a beautiful belly dancer behind them.
A true visual and auditory feast for the senses was the city of Chongqing. One of the largest in the world – with 33 million people, there is something happening wherever you look. The traffic was especially amazing – there are lanes marked on the road, but they are a wishful gesture. I love the photo of the bus and the little red vehicle. The latter looks like a goner for sure, but somehow vehicles of all sorts and sizes share the roads in a jumbled maze without colliding. The roads may be flat, but any drive in China is a white-knuckle adventure. I loved the chaos.
For more about China, go to my blog and read my China journal. We went on a National Geographic expedition, and from the cosmopolitan city of Shanghai to the rice patties in Yangshou, from the Three Gorges on the Yangtze River to the ghostly mountains on the Li River, we marveled at whatever we saw.