Saturday, January 30, 2010

Working for a Living

Whenever I travel overseas, I like to see how other people live. During my recent trip to China, I spotted some of these workers.
Souvenir vendors are everywhere. They are quite persistent and are not shy about bargaining with you.

An idle pedicab driver waiting for his next fare. I wonder how many people need a ride in a land surrounded by bicyclists and motorists.

When she was zooming about me, I wondered what she was doing. After quickly realizing how efficient this vehicle is to help her pick up garbage in the world's largest public square visited by tens of thousands of people on a daily basis.

He made me nervous by the way he was standing on that boat cleaning leaves from the pond.

Street vendor selling cooked chestnuts. The vendor further up was selling cooked yams.

- Karen

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sky in the Water

Is there sky in the water, water in the sky, or neither?
What do you see?

- Karen

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Lady & the Gambler

There could be a story in there somewhere.
Spotted these colorful characters on the otherwise dull control boxes.

- Karen

Friday, January 22, 2010

Water Village

A few readers were curious where I took the photo of my last post.
Just outside of Shanghai is Zhouzhuang, the town is known as the "Venice of the East". I have never been to Venice, but from what most people have said, the canals in Zhouzhuang are narrower and obviously the residences are of a different style.

The gondoliers are both men and women steering up to 8 people in each boat. If you pay them extra, they will belt out a song.
I imagine the passengers are mostly made up of tourists. The locals probably have their own boats to get around.

Here is the same bridge as my previous post. People live along this tourist spot. Being this town is over 900 years-old, the houses are run down, but they have not lost their charm.

- Karen

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

See more Wordless Wednesday posts

- Karen

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Drive-In Service

As a kid, I remember my parents driving to a fast food restaurant, park, and a waiter would come out to take our order without us ever having to leave our car. When the order came, it would hang over the side of the window just like in the picture.

I miss the uniqueness of the drive-ins and unfortunately, times have changed and most of these are in our memories as opposed to reality.

Does one still exist in your town? Or, do you know of an restaurant that has a unique way of serving its customers?

- Karen

Friday, January 15, 2010

Group Exercise

Early Saturday morning, people in Beijing gather at this huge public park to join in on group exercises.
With so many active people, it makes one motivated to get in shape.

Another group here is performing Tai Chi, a type of martial arts usually practiced as a form of meditation and exercise.

See the concentration in this group practicing Tai Chi with a ball and racket. I think the goal is to use flowing motions without dropping the ball.

Have a nice weekend!

- Karen

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

My first post for Wordless Wednesday.

- Karen

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Elephant Seals

Every winter, male & female elephant seals arrive in droves to the Ano Nuevo State Reserve about 55 miles (88 km) south of San Francisco to mate and give birth. If you enlarge the photo, you can see a few pups.
Males can get as large as 5,000 lbs. (2267 kg) and females as large as 1,400 lbs. (640 kg) so they mainly lie around all day.
You can click here for more details about the elephant seals.

An adult male can be identified based on its size, large snout, and colors around its neck. This one just enjoyed a dip in the water.

A baby seal camouflaged in the bushes. We were told to stay at least 25 feet away from the wildlife, but we came across this one without any warning. It started to hiss at us and its parents nearby started to slither towards us.
We got out of there as quickly as possible!

Wooden platforms are built alongside the beach for humans to watch the seals from a safe distance. From the platform, I caught this one looking up at me. It seems to have a sinus problem?
You can see them live on the seal cam here assuming it is daytime here.

Male elephants seals sizing each other up ready to fight to determine dominance.

- Karen

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Protect the Relics

Thousands of visitors stream into the Forbidden City regularly so barriers had to be posted around the relics.
You may notice some major cracks in this relief art.

Over 300 bronze water barrels are situated throughout the Forbidden City. Other than for decoration, back in ancient times, they would be filled with water in case of fire.
As you can see, barricades are there to deter further damages, but this visitor just had to touch it.

Signs and barricades like these beside each art piece was not unusual.

- Karen

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Sunrise at Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Sometimes getting up early does pay off.
The lighthouse you see in the background is the 138 year-old Pigeon Point Lighthouse on California's central coast. The lighthouse keeper's residence is now a hostel. I would love to stay there one of these days.

- Karen

Sunday, January 03, 2010


Lone tomato, needs companionship.

- Karen

Friday, January 01, 2010

The Road Ahead

A new decade begins!
The unknown like this road is ahead of us, so whevever it leads, I hope it brings good tidings to every one of you!

- Karen