Photos of My Weekends
I rarely get time to take out the Canon on the weekdays, so most of the photography I get to do is on the weekends or after work. Here’s a selection from the past few weekends/weeknights.
First, the view from the front porch of my aparthotel–yes, I live next to a smokestack; Welcome to China.
Here’s a weird little self portrait. Don’t read too much into it–I don’t always think I’m trash.
I went back to BNU to see Kyle, the Jewish friend who I went to Chabad with. He and I and a few of our friends went to get some dinner and catch up.
Sichuan Shrimp. At a Beijing Roast Duck joint. Go figure.
On our way back from dinner, I ran into an old friend. This guy, who I first met back in November of 2009, hangs out at the 小卖部 across the street from the south gate of BNU every night, drinking a beer and smoking and just generally doing what 老北京 do best–teaching the Laowai that cross their paths. Here’s an old crappy iphone 2G photo of him and me from last year.
Every time I see him, I buy him a beer and he teaches me weird Beijing slang. I don’t remember most of it, because it’s usually really obscure, and we’re both usually somewhat inebriated by the time I head back home, but I enjoy talking with him nonetheless. This time I ran into him, and he was trying out a new look:
I told him I was going to post it up on the internet, and he jokingly got a little worried, thinking that he would be accused of being a 汉奸 (traitor to China) and that he would be 和谐 (‘harmonized’, or, you know, re-educated by the government). I think it’s really cool how he can rock both a very traditional Chinese look, as well as a (minus the glasses) stereotypical American look. 地道北京人，地道badass.
This past weekend I was woken up to some Chinese 老年人, retired Chinese people, singing along to accordion music. I grabbed the camera, threw on a shirt, and went to check it out. I was greeted by this.
They were actually pretty entertaining, all pitching in and singing the songs. I listened for a while until I was approached by an older Chinese lady, who proceeded to tell me how the ‘musicians’ I was enjoying were, in fact, talentless hacks, and that if I wanted to hear real music I should head to the nearby park. At least she was honest.
Guess how old she is? I couldn’t. Throw a comment in, and I’ll tell you if you’re close.
I chatted with her for the better part of an hour, then got left to get some food, but not before taking this photo, which I really like:
Finally, I got Kaochuanr adopted. That is a big load off of my shoulders and off of my mind–I’ve been stressing about finding a good home for him since before I left China in June. I went to visit him at the kennel and snapped a few shots of him. It’s amazing how much he’s grown from when I first got him as a furry little nothing:
To when I saw him at the kennel:
The kennel was a pretty terrible environment. He was kept in a little cage, surrounded by about 30 dogs, ranging from collies to Huskies, full grown to barely a few weeks old. Dogs of different breeds, genders, ages, and sizes, all with one thing in common: they all wanted a piece of Kaochuanr. I walked in, and they were all staring at him, barking and salivating. But Kaochuanr, always the bum, had realized that he was safe behind bars, and was lounging in his cage like he was at the Bahamas.
I took him home, snuck him in to the apartment (which has a strict no pets rule) gave him a shower to get as much of the ‘dog’ smell off of him as possible, and let him hang out with me for a bit. This is one of the last shots I took of him before I packed him up in his cat carrier for the last time and made him somebody else’s problem. Still lazy and chillaxed as ever.
I’m going to miss that cat–I raised him from two weeks old, and his laidback, high-tolerance-for-crappiness personality, if I don’t say so myself, is a direct product of how I raised him. The lady who adopted him is from San Francisco, and is milk white, excep that she speaks fluent Mandarin and is married to a Chinese guy and has a happa son. She loves Kaochuanr, and I am sure treats him more kindly than I ever did. Too bad she doesn’t know how much he does indeed love being tormented.