Anshan, The Place Where I Live

    Anshan is the place where live.  It's not the China you'd expect to see, which in some ways is why I came here.  There's not a lot of peasents toiling in the fields like you see in the news and its not a big international city (though they desperatly want it to be) like Shanghai or Beijing.  What it is is a try on your patience somedays, and a year-long vacation on others.  I like it anyway, it's home for now.  I hope these pictures will help you understand it better.

The Center Square (actually a circle) of Anshan.  Flanked by giant office buildings on one end and socialist-style buildings on another, this is the main road crossing in Anshan.  It's a popular place to go for walkers, young lovers, Tai Chi praticioners, Mah Jong players, and people with nothing else to do.  It's always crouded despite the fact that you have to run across 3 lanes of downtown traffic to get there.  I usually go around.

A donkey cart parked infront of peddlers selling goods on a carpet with a man on a moped driving by.  A typical street sceen in Anshan.  People often will buy a few cheap goods, hair brushes, batteries, cigarretts, clothes, ect.  Sometimes I see the police trying to run them off.  Donkey carts are seldom used any more, the cheapest way to haul things is by a sort of bicycle cart.  I think the donkey carts are only used to deliver food from the countryside and sometimes to carry garbage and a few other things.  Mopeds are the cheapest form of non-manual transportation.  I was going to buy one but I never got around to it.

Race Day.  This was taken during a special event where the City grabbed all the foreigners they could and made them run 5 kilometers (miles???) up Qianshan Mountain.  They put us in the front of the line but we didn't stay there long.  As soon as the anouncer got out of the way people started surging forward.  Trying to be in front is common in China.  By the time the starting gun sounded I was near the back, which is where I stayed most of the race.  There were prized for 1-6 place.  I came in 7.  That was out of 8.  In this pic there are about 5 Koreans, 2 Americans, and 1 Irish, 1 Spaniard, and 1 Japanese.  This was when I still had my beard.
Some people don't even bother with carts, they just take off on their bicycles.  I've found that Chinese can ballance most anything on bicycles.  From wood beams like this fellow, to groceries, to babies to your spouse.  Its actually illegal to have more than one person on a bike, though I've seen as many as three.
An ancient temple at Qianshan Mountain.  We visit here about a week before the race.  Reputed to be over a thousand years old (though with obvious renovations) it is in my opinion, the best temple at Qianshan.  In most the monks look like tour guides.  These looked like real monks.  They were doing real work inside, they barely even noticed us.  The shadowy figure disapearing inside is one of the monks.  One of the few pictues I've taken of them.  From what I gather, being photographed would give them a sense of pride and they try to avoid all ill emotions.  So I just take them when they're not looking.

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