Quilts and Other Stuff from Frances

A “Frances” sort of day

On Wednesday, Michael had meetings to attend so after breakfast I headed out to get lost in Green Lake Park.

Since I mentioned breakfast, I will tell you that we have found the most wonderful pastry to eat.  They are, amazingly enough, called “Breakfast Cookies” and remind me of Arrowroot Biscuits (cookies) from Australia.  They have a very mild flavor and are tasty consumed with coffee or tea.   I even added a juicy orange one morning.

OK….back to the trip to Green Lake…….

When I am sight-seeing by myself I enjoy strolling slowly along the streets and observing everything that I can find, and this morning I was not disappointed.

The first thing that caught my eye was a delivery bicycle moving rapidly UP the hill even though the rider was not pedaling.  As it passed I realized the reason for his velocity……another man riding a motor scooter had his foot propped up on the back of the cycle and was giving him a friendly push up the hill.

So, I crossed the street and this is what I encountered…..


This loader was being moved to another site and it was rolling on tires to protect the pavement.  As the machine would clear the tires, the ones at the back would roll the tires to the front where they would be placed in front of the tracks.  This event seemed to be a highlight for many passers as there was quite a crowd of people watching, laughing and taking photos.

As I successfully found and entered Green Lake Park my first sight was a playground….not filled with kids but with adults…..

IMG_0250 They were doing chins, stretching and using a pedal type thing to do aerobic (sort-of) exercise.

Then, around another corner came…..

_6082827 ……a dance/exercise class.  

There were about 40+ women participating in an outdoor dance class, lead by the gentleman in yellow.   In this photo they were learning a new section of the dance and he had them practice it MANY times.  He appeared to be a fairly good instructor as he repeated the instruction in each little pocket of women until they had all had a chance to learn it.

I did a video of the entire dance and, since I have really good internet at the moment, I decided to go ahead and download it……enjoy…….

Here are some of my favorite images from the “parasol” dance…..


_6082873 _6082876 In between dances, the women would laugh and practice the parts that they had done incorrectly.

Then out came the fans.  Apparently they knew this routine very well since they only did it once…..

_6082911I very reluctantly left this area and proceeded inward, and it was here that I found the “Study in Bike” photo for the day….

_6082916 As I walked around the outside of the park I was interested by the various activities going on. 

The next group of exercisers were doing MY kind of work –out.    First there  was ear lobe pulling followed by moving the tongue around their mouth in a circular motion.  I believe that I will teach a class in this when I get home!!

As I walked down the path I could have learned to knit, gotten a massage, found a marriage partner or gotten my toenails cleaned……all of the morning ablutions in one fresh-air place!!!!


Speaking of marriage partners…..do you remember the photo that I posted of the long lines of printed papers with lots of people crowding to read them….it appears that those pages contain information about potential husbands or wives.  Jialin told a story where one of her friend’s Mothers came to town and posted her information there.  She was bombarded with phone calls for weeks afterwards!!!!

I also discovered that if you have a boom-box then you have a dance floor.  There were many, many groups of dancers….sometimes a large number or sometimes just a lone couple….._6082925

I heard music coming from across the lake so I took a bridge and found a group of women singing (and one lone man playing the accordion).   I could hear them for a long time as I continued to explore the lake area._6082927Just above where they are sitting is a Pagoda that gives some wonderful views….


I continued walking and ran into this….

_6082969 ….an ordinary trash can….right…..except this one talks to you and opens it’s door for you to put the trash in.  AND…..it is REALLY annoying!!!!

I loved the look of these picked vegetables…..


….and especially this gentleman exercising in front of the Lotus Pond….._6082949 The exercising was not limited to older persons.  This young woman was happy with her I-pod and her exercise…..


The lake is covered in Lotus plants which were just beginning to bloom in all sorts of colors.  It was hard to get a good photo, but here is one that was close to the path…..

_6082960I know that I keep talking about being lost in the bowels of Green Lake, but here is why.   This map shows the entire park….. 


All of the green areas are covered with tall trees so it is impossible to see the buildings that are your landmarks….


The ONLY way out is to find the ring road around the park and start walking until you recognize something on the street that tells you exactly where you are!!!!

I ended the trip by purchasing a few “ bits and bobs” and then sitting on the side of a bridge and watching people go by.  It was fun smiling and having them return the smile.  One older lady was knitting as she walked and she came up and grabbed my hand.  I pointed to her knitting and smiled and she pointed to her feet to indicate that she was knitting socks.

It has been interesting to note the different ways that women carry their kids here.   The child is almost always carried on the back, sometimes with a carrier…..

_6082965 (Note here that the child is 0nly held on by the strap running under her bottom and around the woman’s waist.)

…..or simply   with their hands…..

_6082968 This looks highly uncomfortable!!!!

To end this day, here is a fun picture that I took of three girls out for a day in the park.  I was actually trying to offer to use their cameras and take a photo of all three of them, but they thought that I wanted a photo for myself, so here goes…..

_6082979We are not sure what the “V for Victory” sign means, but they do it in all of the photos, and not just the ones taken by crazy American women!!!!

One thought on “A “Frances” sort of day

  1. So interesting! In the last photo, the girl on the left has English writing on her T. I loved the dance video, and I see a quilt in the open parasol photo where the tops face you. It would be beautiful if you cropped it with just the parasols. 🙂

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