Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Home Sweet Home and Chinese Treasures

It feels so wonderful to be back home after only three weeks in China. I hate how much of your blogs I've had to miss and I feel like I'll never catch up; those of you following me on twitter (which I'm still getting the hang of using!) know that in China the website Blogger.com and most other blogging websites are blocked! I don't want to bore anyone by making them look at a hundred pictures of China-- forced slideshow viewings are the domain of the ever suffering families and boyfriends in my opinion, but if you're really interested you can check them out on flickr and facebook. For the rest of you, I'll sum up my trip in terms you can truly relate to: an outfit!


Blouse: Chengdu Fashion Market

Satchel: Shanghai Antique Market

Traditional style slippers: Chengdu

Jade bracelet: Beijing Jade Factory

Leggings: long story. Got them for free from Emory University Dorm dump, an adventure you can read about on my fellow dumpster diver's blog Crafty Cortney.

We started out our trip with a few days in Shanghai. We stayed on a busy pedestrian strip full of shops and restaurants and beautiful well-dressed people on their way to fashionable important places. The city lights and the style watching was the best in Shanghai. One day we went to an Antique Market that was mostly full of kitschy Chairman Mao memorabilia and some flat out fakes of older things. This is where I bought my vintage carpet-bag satchel. 

The next place we went was Chengdu, in Sichuan provence where we attended the main attraction (not to mention the original purpose) of our voyage to China: the wedding of our Chinese friends! 

This is "David" and "Spring" throwing the bouquet during the first half of the wedding which was very western. The second half she changed into a red dress which is the traditional chinese wedding color. I'm the fine honey in the background with the sparkly red dress.

Though it's a smaller and lesser-known town (maybe better well known now due to the earthquake) we had the best time here because we had all these lovely sweet Chinese friends to take us to all the best places and make sure we didn't lift a finger! The bride, Spring, took me shopping at her favorite cheapest place where I got my shirt. Read it a little more closely:

That's right, I am a supporter of "OKLAHONA FOOTEALL!" This kind of fractured English was all over the place in China and we enjoyed warning signs in our hotel bathrooms that said things like "Careful, Landslip" and tea shops with signs reading "you can attempt have any tea prior to buy." Young people like to wear shirts with English writing on them, but often, like the shirt I bought, the words are little more than gibberish. Maybe it's the English major in me, but I love it.

I also bought my chinese slippers in Chengdu. One of my favorite fashion statements in China was when girls and women would wear trendy modern clothes with these traditional shoes. 

Our last stop before heading home was in Beijing, because of course we couldn't leave China without seeing the major tourist attractions of the country! The pink umbrella I bought from a street vendor in Tiananmen Square (famous for the 1989 student massacres that you've probably been hearing about in the news lately). It was an emergency buy! The weather was in the 90s (30s for you Celsius lovers) and I couldn't find a drop of sunscreen for what I like to refer to as my porcelain complexion. Pale skin is considered a sign of beauty in China, so lots of women walk around with umbrellas in the middle of a sunny day, so that's what I did. I have to say, it's a clever thing to do. Like carrying your own portable shade with you everywhere you go! 

My umbrella coming in handy on the Great Wall of China.

This last photo represents my three major obsessions while I was in China: delicious tea, fashion magazines that I couldn't read, and pandas!! 

Jasmine tea ball that blooms when you add water.

A picture is worth a thousand words anyway.

Pandas doing what they do best at the Breeding and Research Center in Chengdu.

Can't wait to find out how everyone else has been spending their summers!
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