After valiantly fighting through 12 rounds of food poisoning, I made it a point to go out today with camera in hand to capture something I’ve been meaning to capture for a while.


Our streets here are littered with all kinds of signage.  You have the normal stores, restaurants, and fruit stand signs – but that’s not what I was after.  What most people don’t realize when they first come to China is that when you build a wall, any wall, that wall is now a virtual bulletin board.  Public announcements, signs warning against H1N1, illegal documents – all plastered haphazardly on whatever space they can find.

I noticed this months ago and like I said, I’ve been meaning to capture it.

As I walked out the door I realize that most people, like me, were taking advantage of a sunny 50+ degree day.  Tons of people out.  I realized quickly that there were different kinds of signs I was seeing today as well – Springtime & Modernization were among them.  I did get a lot of what I was after, but I also got a lot more.

Nonetheless, It was a fun day out shooting things I normally wouldn’t shoot.

More after the break…

**see after the pictures for a brief explanation

So here’s what we have:

Images 1 & 2: Let’s call it the local’s version of  “Chinese Chess” – or just “Chess” – What you will usually see as the weather starts to get warmer is old men out playing this game.  It’s not just a game here – it Chinese culture wrapped up into a board and little wooden playing pieces.  You have two players and 30 spectators – every single one of them treating the game as if the wrong move will bring the world to an end.  It’s really fun to watch and one of the ONLY times they don’t care that you are a foreigner – the game is way more important than paying attention to you.

Image 3: One of the more lucky hip shot’s I’ve gotten in my life.  Wasn’t really out for people today, but I saw this girl prancing down the street enjoying herself – Thought I would at least give it a shot from the hip.  Glad I did.

Images 4 & 5: These are signs talking about announcements for certain apartment complexes.  The irony of picture #3 is that the phone number is a number you can call if you need illegal documentation for something.  I was thinking of getting my pilots license.  Literal translation for the Chinese here is (园社区。宣 - “Garden Society Area. Declare.” in English, the closet translation is “Garden Apartment Complex’s Announcements

Image 6: Due to my laziness and being sick for the last 36 hours, I didn’t translate this.  Im 99% sure that its quotes from the Great Leader on how to be a good citizen.  These are up everywhere – literally everywhere.

Image 7: More illegal documents.  The funny thing about this frame is that you can see the wall had been painted over and the other paper-based announcements are flaking off where this phone number is.

Image 8: Look closely.  Kobe Bryant – your fame has spread to Western China.  All the complexes around where I found this image are all former nomads.  This being on a wall here just blows my mind.

Image 9: China Telecom’s facility manholes.  Not interesting at all, but in a land of grey and dark blue – sky blue and orange together constitute “decent design” in my eyes.

Image 10: Honestly, when I first saw this sign I thought it was beautiful.  The vertical alignment plus the font they used and the dark green just stuck out to me.  I bet you first saw it and though it was pretty cool looking – like your best friend’s girlfriend has tattooed on her neck.  The literal meaning here is this : 光缆设施 – “Optical Facilities” – it’s a bunch of phone cord folks.  Good luck with that laser removal.

Image 10: More Illegal Docs:  办证刻章- “Method Approve Engrave Seal” – English Translation “Get yo’ fake ID on!”