the clouds of his mind~ Yunnan
Men puffing out tobacco smoke has become such a common daily sight for us living in China, people smoke in the rain, on bikes, while working, in classrooms, and sometimes even while eating! Yunnan was no different. The ladies smoked their pipes leisurely while the men smoked cigarettes and water pipes. The tobacco fields can be seen spread out for miles around the valleys and mountainous regions of Yunnan and the smoking traditions thrives.
This man was sitting in a small one room restaurant in a marketplace and he enjoyed his tobacco while I photographed him feeling almost proud and theatrically demonstrating his skill at exhaling the clouds above his head.
the ultimate contradiction ~ Tokyo
We struggle to protect ourselves from what we perceive as threats only to balance those threats with what gives us pleasure. We tend to somehow negotiate a deal with ourselves that makes it all ok.
behind the window screens of Shanghai’s alleys
Shanghainese women, famous for their strong personalities and their control of the household including their men have become a stereotype in China. The wife in Shanghai is known to make her husband hand in his whole salary at the end of the month and to only give him back a small portion as pocket-money as she sees fit. He also has a strict curfew for coming home at night and he is expected to perform certain household duties on top of his daily job. I took a sneak peek at some of these lovely ladies’ mahjong gambling activities in the afternoon behind a dusty window screen in one of the alleys of the old city, and strength is certainly a quality they emanate.
One third of all cigarettes worldwide is being smoked in China. More than 300 million smokers, about 3000 deaths per day due to smoke related illnesses according to the most recent WHO study. And still, an unbelievable 60 % of the smoking population does not know about health risks associated with smoking…
Children as young as 3 years old have been seen smoking and inhaling smoke in China with pride. It certainly hurts to watch this go on, especially in a country where air pollution alone can blacken your unsuspecting lungs…
Photo taken: woman smoking on a cold day on a Shanghai street
film man and his cat
I walked and walked and walked today. I love walking the streets of Shanghai on sunny winter days taking in the alleys, the laundry hanging in the street, the meat drying in the winter sun next to people’s undergarments, the locals sunning on the curb on their lounge chairs, the board games, the millions of bicycles, the street food stalls, the workers… all of it.
Today I took so many shots and saw so many smiling faces and then I saw the odd dramatic face like that of film man and his cat who stared me down but not before the moment was captured.
between the ages of lollypops and cigarettes
Today I was having lunch in a Shanghai neighborhood where many expatriates reside. I was stunned to see at what a young age children are starting to smoke cigarettes these days, or was it always like this? These skaters looked so young, and so “cool” with the whole attitude of “look at me I am totally grown up now”.. and yet I felt that a lollypop would me much more fitting at their tender young age.
The driving force—Chinese worker
Today, another blistering cold day in Shanghai, I walked the streets with my friend Sabrina, who I am pushing to start her “365” project—soon it will work!
I love it when special things happen like meeting a stranger who smiles at you with all their heart, you talk (in this case with my limited mandarin and lots of giggles), and then an hour later you meet them again and they are still in the same bubbly mood and delighted to see you again.
Workers in China are the driving force of this emerging dragon nation. They are often very lively and fun to deal with. This one here made my day!