Tuesday, September 25, 2012

China - Harbin


Arriving in Harbin was strangely unfamiliar, even though I was there 18 months ago. It's such a contrast to what I am used to. Also, this time the weather was bearable. Rather than having -25'c, it was a sweat inducing +25'c and the airport was actually slow paced and not crowded. Weird.

Looking over the river, while speedo man eyes me up

Getting a ride to my girlfriends dads apartment, the real China came out of hiding. Car horns blasting, running of red lights, cutting off people, people cutting off us, redundant seat belts, and pedestrians not giving a shit that they are cm's away from death. It's wild. I could never drive there.

Card games with a huge rail at every table

Harbin, for a city of ~6 million, there aren't a lot of white people. It's not a city where tourists visit, or a big business hub for the western world, and as a result I could literally count on my fingers how many white people I would see in a day. It is pretty cool. At first I disliked it as any attention makes me feel uncomfortable.  However, they are not being rude, and I get a kick out of how people stop what they are doing to eye ball me as I walk past. It does get a little bizarre when randoms are taking photos of you, but I do the same to them!

Biran's uncles Art & Tea shop where the best calligraphers gathered for a show. I was there to be white and have my photo taken. Some cool, and skillful artwork!

Me at an art expo getting special treatment because they thought I was a loaded, international buyer. Sorry guys, you can't bribe my 'translator' (Biran) to get me into your shop.

Lots of small little shops around. Selling puppies on the street. Pets. They are pets.

Spending time with my Biran's family is always cool. They seem to get a long really well and always put each other first. They're very generous to put up with me for a week, and I appreciate it.
Myself, Biran, and the family, having dinner 

On the way to the Airpot. Typhoon Decides to bid  us farewell. Another sketchy car ride.

Next stop Shanghai.

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