I don’t know if it’s because the Chinese tend to be so openly curious about foreigners, but I find myself engaged in at least one unusual conversation per day here. Today, while buying mini-chopsticks for the kids, the store owner decided to examine my notes and then declared to the cashier, “That’s not English. Probably Russian.” And it’s true, my handwriting doesn’t really resemble English. It doesn’t resemble any language in fact. So I could see how she had come to the conclusion.Of course, I had to correct her, though. After ascertaining I was an English speaker, she then logically asked for my Chinese name.
The Potala Palace as a house of cards, by Xu Zhen. On display at the James Cohan Gallery, Bldg 1, Lane 170, Yueyang Rd.
Not even the staunchest supporter of Freedom Fries can resist the sensory delight of an outdoor food market in France. This recording is from the Sunday market in Fontainebleau.[audio:Fontainebleau Market.mp3]
March comes in like a lion and goes out like a clam, or so my son says. Yesterday, which marked the halfway point between the big cat and the shellfish, was positively springlike (clamlike?) and we celebrated by escaping the city for the trees and giant boulders of Fontainebleau.
This audio clip is from Jiuhua Shan, one of China’s four sacred Buddhist mountains, where pilgrims come to bless the souls of the departed. It was recorded one drizzly morning in April 2008.[audio:Morning Ceremony.mp3]
About a year ago I bought a digital audio recorder for interviews and podcasts. It’s really a great little gadget, but as I generally reach for the camera first when I’m out and about, the audio recorder only gets occasional use. So, in an attempt to get it out of my bag more often, I’ve begun recording soundscapes from different places around the world to post here. The first is the sound of the jungle awakening at dawn, Railei Beach, Thailand.[audio:Thailand Beach.mp3]