It’s so easy to laugh, it’s so easy to hate,
It takes strength to be gentle and kind.
It’s one of my favourite lines, and one I like to quote to my daughters. At the same time it’s one I don’t apply to myself exactly all the time in the writing of this blog. This is what I like to call a “double standard”.
Yes it’s easy to poke fun at Beijing. If it were hard, no doubt I wouldn’t do it. For some other lines I quote to my daughters include –
Never do today what you can put off till tomorrow.
If at first you don’t succeed, lie on the couch and watch telly.
China can be a challenging place for a westerner. But thankfully, lots of things happen here to make you smile, or laugh out loud, and I try to document some of them. I don’t think I’m ever guilty of being churlish, petty or nasty in trying to see the funny side, but I do like to call a spade a spade.
And right now, to dish out some credit, the spade is looking quite lovely. For finally it is spring!
Yes, that most wondrous season is here, or in Beijing’s case, those four or five days between freezing cold and boiling hot when the blossoms come out to give Kublai Khan’s old home town a makeover. And then we get a big thunderstorm like we did last night to wash and blow them all away. But nomatter, for a few days there it was a brilliant patchwork of colour. Let’s have a look shall we? Hmmm?
|There - see the blossoms?|
That's enough of that mushy nonsense. Now here's some other signs I saw on my walk.
|Do NOT walk through this park if you're|
acutely paranoid ...
|... or prone to self-loathing.|
|Back to the blossoms. They really are spectacular. So|
hard to imagine during the long, bleak winter.
|Blossoms, willows, bridge,|
reflection, soldiers. The lot!
|Looks like an ad for God's sake!|
|These ones were out too, though to be fair,|
they are plastic.
|Then there were these blossoms by a canal, which|
reminded me - Beijing is also a great place if
you like wire.
|But then I saw this one. Dad says that|
in the trade, the technical name for it
is "a rat's nest".
|Whereas this is what's known as|
"a friggin dog's breakfast".
|Here the workers were getting creative,|
with a production sympathetic to its
Chinesey surrounds. I think they were
attempting one of these ...
|It's a fancy little Chinese knot called a|
Zhongguo Jie, which means, err,
a "Chinese knot".
|I'm thinking I could get rich if I could|
just import the only thing they don't
seem to make in this country -
|This one I call Pig Pen from Peanuts.|
It's not all wire though.
|And at times this merging of with nature can look|
|My study of old Beijing: An alleyway|
and some bikes. A wire runs through it.