Sunday, August 10, 2008

Followup On China And Other Things!

Well, I finally made it back from my trip to China. Our last leg of the trip took us to a city call Wuxi (Woo-She), which is about 2 hours west of Shanghai. I thought I would post a number of interesting pictures and explain a little bit about them. As a fisherman, the first thing you notice about the area is that it is flat and has significant numbers of canals criss crossing the area. The top picture is the Grand Canal. This was built over 1500 years ago to serve as a main transportation route from the Shuzhou and Wuxi area to Beijing. Although it is no longer used the full length, it is still an important waterway for barges delivering building materials such as sand, rock, and bricks to the coastal areas which are basically void of good base materials. Attached to the Grand Canal are hundreds of little canals that are use for everything from irrigation to side transportation to raising fish. The next picture on the left are 2 Chinese boys enjoying a little fishing in the canal that borders there house. This canal was along a major 4 lane road and I had my driver Sam pull off to let me take a picture of them fishing. Like fisherman everywhere they waved back at me and allowed this picture. They were using homemade cane poles and reminded me of my grandpa Howard, who use to come up to Eleva every summer with his cane poles and we would head to Alma for some fishing. I could not help but take a picture of the preferred toilets in China. Basically it's a squat toilet identical to our methods of relieving ourselves during deer hunting. The difference is that these toilets flush! The next picture at the bottom and on the left is of Antique Road in Shanghai. It is a 4 block market in the heart of Shanghai and has many old antiques (or replica's) and other tourist type goods. In China everything is negotiable. What may start out at 2000 RMB (6.75 RMB to 1 UD Dollar)may eventually get down to 150 RMB, but it's not for the faint hearted. We bought a silk scarf that started at 200RMB and we offered 50. She was extremely angry with us but upon returning we bought 3 for 210. Not bad. We ran into a young man that owned a tea shop on Antique Road. All attempts to get him to move on the price was in vain. His line, I have good tea and good prices, no need to negotiate! This was our second trip to his shop and indeed, his tea is 30% of the price at the Shanghai airport. The last picture is taken from the Bund in Shanghai looking across the river to Pudong (poo-dung). Shanghai is divided into 2 main sections, Pudong (dong means east) and Puxie (poo-shay, xie means west). Pudong represents the modern Shanghai and is home to the large telecommunication tower you see on the left with the big ball near the top while Puxie is still the old Shanghai with the definite European influence. The word Bund means embankment and is at the end of Nanjing Road. (You can learn more about the bund here: Standing on the Bund, looking to Pudong is one of the most beautiful city views in the world.
I did have a guide trip on Sunday but it started to lightning out. Me and that kind of electricity do not get along very well so we did a raincheck. I am really looking forward to fishing with these guys again. Today I went to South Center Lake and got a few crappies and sunnies, nothing special just nice to get out. Thursday I head to Alaska's Kenai Peninsula to attempt to catch some halibut and to take advantage of the Kenai Rivers Pink and Silver salmon run which should be in full swing next week. Stay tuned!

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