Archive - 2006

Two scenes from Suzhou

This is the scene on one of Suzhou's main drags at eight o'clock on a Sunday morning. Meanwhile, in the quieter back alleys, one can find older people sitting outside their homes with a cup of tea.


Suzhou is a city of canals. The oldest surviving city map in the world is a paper map of Suzhou from over 900 years ago. The downtown of Suzhou is still on the same plan.

However, Suzhou has developed on either side of the old town to the point that one-quarter of the world's laptops are built in the city. The picture of the beggar boy below was taken on a street lined with luxury cars and restaurants.

Tai chi

As day breaks on a cloudy morning in Suzhou, retirees gather in the park for their early morning exercise session. The picture was taken through the hotel window.

Proud Chinese grandma

New camera

My mother, a veteran of two trips to China, warned me that my big SLR camera would be unwieldy in China. Cousin Roy and his Chinese friend Michael were of the opinion that one should probably not be taking pictures directly of the faces of Chinese people, which is only common courtesy.

So, I went out and bought a point-and-shoot camera from the girl below.

Jinmao Tower

Atop the world's fourth tallest building, we looked out over the construction of what will soon be the world's tallest. Notice the size of the cars far below.

The Jinmao Tower is glitzy and glamorous. The escalators in the lobby sparkle.


You always wonder at what age Chinese children learn to eat with chopsticks. About the same time we learn to eat with forks, it seems.

This little kid was an expert. He also spoke both English and Chinese to his mother.

Shovel it in. That's the only rule of etiquette for eating in China that I can discern.

Suzhou boy

This little boy was begging on the street using a plastic yogurt cup. It was sobering to see.

Internet returns

This morning, internet service was non-existent between Asia and America. Tonight, it seems perfectly fine. So, I will be able to post again.

It is difficult to know where to start. We just returned on the train from Suzhou back to Shanghai. We spent last night in Suzhou after touring the old city. Today, we went to a 1,000-year-old garden and then a recently built art museum.

But the real thing we do all the time is eat. We eat three times per day, and we always, always, always, eat very, very, well. The food is spectacular.

December 29th

Catch up