I was standing in this doorway letting Xiulan take my photo when these women walked by. They had never met an American and wanted to have their pictures taken with me. They rushed up to get in the picture and then gave their camera to Xiulan and asked her to take pictures of us for them. The youngest woman hugged me and laid her
head on my shoulder. The older woman in the black coat told me that she understood whatever I said in Chinese.
It surprised me that these women were so friendly. This was not what I expected. I found that many Chinese people, especially the younger ones, are honest about their feelings. Young couples now can be seen on buses, subway trains and on the street hugging and kissing. I don't remember ever seeing this behavior in Taiwan.
The lives of Chinese women seem greatly improved in many ways. Women have many more career and educational opportunities and marriage is delayed. Couples seem to date out of genuine affection. Children are treated as treasures, and many are dressed in really cute clothes, perhaps because the family has more resources to spend on each child. One thing that struck me is that most people seem conscious of the importance of relationships
in their lives and patiently invest in and nurture them.
For people who live nearby and have a lot of
free time, the Summer Palace offers an annual pass at a moderate price.
This is a favorite spot for retirees to gather and socialize. As the sunlight changes during the day, they move from one favorite spot to another.
This couple shared tea from a thermos and peeled a big jiucy orange and shared that.
Chinese people know how to take pleasure in simple things, so they often bring some
simple and inexpensive snacks to nibble on as they while away time in conversation.
Some bring cards to play poker. Others bring musical instruments and strike up some music. Others sing Chinese Opera.
And a few bring birds in cages to the park.
Created digitally, using PSP 9, Photoshop Elements 2.0, and digital scrapbooking files (like Ekits) from Cottage Arts.