Friday, July 14, 2006 – Nanchang in the in morning

On Anthony’s suggestion, I went running yesterday (Thursday) in the morning. At 5:30am, Nanchang is a completely different city from what I had previously experienced. There is little to no traffic, and the stores are all closed, but streets are far from empty – the Chinese use this time of the day to exercise, transport goods to the local market, sell their goods along the banks of the river and buy their daily ration of "Xing Tzai" (vegetables) and "yui" (fish) and other foods. The majority of the people are out exercising – walking along the canal and greenway which follows the GanJiang River. After yesterday’s jog, I decided to take my camera along with me this morning and capture some of the what I previously saw.

I took the small street directly behind the hotel and head south towards the canal over the GanJiang. The air is still humid, but the temperature is maybe 80 instead of 96 and the sun has just risen from the east. I can actually see the blue sky this morning and there is less haze across the city. As a precaution, I have my asthma inhaler in my pocket, having taken two puffs prior to leaving the hotel.

As I pass the Tengwang Pavillion, there is a light breeze from the river. I cross the main road, YangJan Lu, which is a 6 lane road. During the day it is full of vehicles, scooters, bikes and busses – but right now, only an occasional small truck transports melons along the empty road. A biker rings his bell at me, as I am almost in his direct path, and I maneuver out of the way, up to the canal and greenbelt, where the streets are lined with people walking, stretching and jogging. Note that I am the only one wearing running sneakers / shorts and tee shirt, – others are jogging in what looks like their slippers or sneakers with very thin soles and most are dressed in street clothes. Several people are walking backwards.

Just past the canal, there is access to the GanJiang. The concrete landing at the street level leads to steps down to the water. Several large boats are anchored in the water – we had seen these boats on Sunday while walking around the city. On Sunday afternoon, this entire area was deserted. This morning, the concrete landing is full of people – one woman with a bag of live frogs, another with a large basket of eggs, several more people with bags of greens, tomatoes, eggplant and other vegetables. Down at the bottom of the stairs, I see tubs with live fish, shellfish and snails. A couple of boats are coming into the shore, with what looks like seaweed draped across some string. Several people are washing their clothes in the river.

The buying and selling is at brisk pace. The fish are weighed using portable, crude balances - a stick with marks across it. The fish is placed on the end of the stick with a counter balance at the other end. A string is moved across the stick until it balances, and the mark at that point determines the weight and cost.

I notice several bikes pass by – on the back of these bikes are gutted whole pigs. Another bike passes with about a dozen ducks, feathers and all, tied on to the back. Then another with chickens. I wasn’t fast enough to take their picture, but I will be on the look out in future mornings.

Finally I head back to the hotel and capture this picture of a man transporting various goods to market. This was my first attempt at a panning shot – it is a bit blurry, but I kind of like it. Hopefully I’ll get better at this type of shot.

The sun is still low, but casting a nice glow on the Tengwang Pavillion when I took this picture.

Today is Anthony’s last day in Nanchang – he flies back to Boston tomorrow morning, by way of Beijing and Chicago. He had a very interesting experience here that I would love to blog about, but he would probably wouldn’t appreciate it very much. Our plans tonight include trying to find some Thai food and getting out to that Ferris wheel.

agent713  – (July 15, 2006 at 6:49 PM)  

What an awesome blog entry. Your pictures are beautiful and your journalling makes it all real for me. I'm enjoying being an armchair traveller during this trip!
~Heidi aka agent713 on SS

shirley  – (July 16, 2006 at 2:29 AM)  

Thanks for the comments, Heidi!
I almost look at it like my prep for when I get to scrap this adventure!
I knew that I had to capture some of this - I really think this is a side of this city that people visitng miss out on.

Again, thanks for your comments!

Erica –   – (July 16, 2006 at 12:57 PM)  

Dear mommy,


I really want one,

agent713  – (July 16, 2006 at 4:04 PM)  

That's how I justify blogging. It's instant to get caught up to the point where I'm actually scrapping what I've blogged!!!

Miss Red  – (July 9, 2009 at 11:51 PM)  

you've got some wonderful memories here. also, i LOVE your header photo!! great blog.

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