Monday, November 23, 2015

Picture Post

A snowy day out my office window. That building under construction is my air quality measuring stick: when it's just a grey outline of a building, the air is terrible.

My wife and I went in a restaurant. When we were seated, we noticed the menu said, "Cosmic Korean food." So it's not like we went out to a Korean place (which we tried once, but they wouldn't bring us anything we pointed to on the menu, so we left). Anyway, this was our meal. Nothing looks especially "Korean" here to me.

An ad for one of our grocery stores promises you'll be surprised by their fish. (When we were in that grocery store last week, they had these long, skinny whole fish that were frozen solid. I wanted to pick one up and chase my wife around with it, but not as much as I wanted to not touch one of those fish.)

So Singles Day is a thing here. I guess it's supposed to be where you buy something for someone whom you want to be your Valentine. But most of the ads in the subway were of the "buy yourself something nice" variety, so we call it Chinese Single People's Valentine's Day. This subway ad isn't an appeal to self-indulgence so much as it's just weird. This ad (今天换我来爱你让你一次买个够) says, "Jīntiān huàn wǒ lái ài nǐ ràng nǐ yīcì mǎi gè gòu," which I think means something like, "Today we'll exchange 'I love you's once you buy your fill."

Somehow this dude looks even more pathetic than the last one.

The worst air we've had in several months. The visibility is less than a quarter mile.

The picture is from just south of the Yuquan Road subway station, looking south. The next intersection is where visibility ends.

On days like that, you can just stare at the sun all you want.

Why did we even leave the house that day? Why, for churros and ice cream, of course!

Here's a bike parking lot with some of those lifts like they use at Wal-Mart to fit more bikes. There's a bike valet attending the lot. I'm not sure if he rides your bike to its rack spot or not.

So our apartment is full of locking door handles, and when we moved in we were bequeathed a giant pile of keys. What we've come to learn, though, is that most of the keys do nothing, and most of the locks in our apartment have no corresponding key in the pile. Earlier this month I came home to find out that our youngest kid locked the bathroom door and pulled it shut. I got to break the handle off that door. Well, last week I got a WeChat message that said, "[The Screamapilar] is locked in your bedroom and Mom can't get him out." I came home from work to find that my wife had gone to take a shower and our youngest kid had locked himself in our bedroom. It had been over half an hour by this time, so he was freaking out. My wife was wrapped in a towel, forever separated from her clothes. Normally at this point I'd say, "All's well that ends well," but she had to go somewhere. Obviously, the pile of keys was completely worthless, so I got to go all Jason Bourne and kick in the door. This picture is what we sent to our apartment building WeChat group to say, "Seriously, you give us 20 keys and NONE of them work anything?!"

This was the first ad I could read in its entirety. It says, "You love beauty. You want to drink fruit juice."

And a second ad I could read, from the same company. This one says, "Listen to mother's words. You want to drink fruit juice."

Finally, at the grocery store (the one with the ad promising a fishy surprise), there's a old guy next to the registers. His job is to make sure you don't try to take the cart on the escalator. But for some reason, this week he had a table with riot gear waiting for him (and a buddy, I guess), in case an angry mob tries to take all the carts on the escalator.

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