Archives For Interesting Sights

The Community Cup

July 15, 2019 — Leave a comment

If you ever think you have traveled enough in your life so that nothing in a new culture will surprise you, don’t be shocked when it does happen. At least that was the case for me! 

During my first trip to India, I was very surprised to learn of something they do in their culture that was unexpected, and caught me by surprise. Would you like to know what it was?

In the photo above, you can see a normal looking street-side restaurant in eastern India. The people would place their orders and wait for their food to be prepared in an outdoor kitchen. Once the patron had been served their order, they would eat their food standing around the restaurant amid the hustle and bustle of a busy street — but did you notice something in the foreground of the photograph?

In India, it is common for a restaurant to have a cooler setup with water in it and one glass for everyone to use! Now that alone may shock you, but there is a little more to it, and it isn’t as bad as germaphobic people may think. There are cultural norms for using the community cup, and the rules are very simple. Would you like to know about them?

The community cup is there for everyone to use; but when using the cup, it can never touch your lips! It is very interesting to watch people holding the community cup well above their mouths as they have their heads tilted and never spilling a drop. Honestly, I am relatively sure I would pour water all over my face and probably my shirt as well until I had some practice, but I never saw anyone using the cup ending up looking like they had a quick shower with their clothes on!

I found this little nugget of culture both interesting and entertaining. So, are you ready to drink from the community cup? 

On my last trip to Asia, the best airfare I could find had me going through Doha, Qatar, on Qatar Air. I thought it would be interesting to see a new country, so I was pleased to find an inexpensive flight, and it was booked. Would you like to see Doha?

New Sights to See | BeauSides.com

My apologies for the quality of this photo, but since it is so hot in Qatar, all of the windows to the exterior of the airport were treated to block some of the sun. I can’t imagine how hot it gets there during their summer months! Hopefully you can make out some of the tall buildings in the background. This photo doesn’t display how large an area Doha’s skyscrapers occupied, but trust me, it was expansive.

During my flight to Qatar, I found it interesting that one of the options on your personal entertainment screen was the Quran. Also, when I arrived in the Doha airport, I learned that women had a separate prayer room from men, as you can see from the sign suspended from the ceiling. Obviously I don’t know much at all about the culture in Qatar!

New Sights to See | BeauSides.com

Doha’s airport was modern and clean, and it had several play areas for children. One of the interesting observances I had while there were all of the upscale shopping options. Also, within the airport, very tall palm trees were growing. One person told me that most of the hourly workers at the Doha airport were people from Syria. I don’t know if that was true or not, but the person that told me this has traveled extensively, so I believed him.


So far my trip was going well. But you will need to read my blog scheduled for the 15th of June to see if my good fortune continued!

As Global Partners in Life looks for new opportunities to have a greater impact around the world, this fall I went to India. With some research I had done earlier in the year, I learned the worst conditions for orphans were in India. That piqued my interest — and luckily I had a contact that was in India — so when I left China, I went to India.

Upon arriving in India, it was as though my senses were being overloaded! There were so many new sights, sounds, colors, and smells, so I was thankful I had a little traveling to other countries to prepare me for India. All that I was absorbing was fascinating! Oh, and did I mention the heat and humidity? I was there during the monsoon season, so it literally rained every day I was there and it felt like about 96 degrees Fahrenheit!  So the combination of heat and humidity was impressive daily!

New Territories to Explore | BeauSides.com

One of the first things that caught my eye was how animals of all shapes and sizes roam freely through the streets and shopping areas. This really was a funny story in the photo above. The man seated by the tree was selling corn, and the cow wanted some of his corn. To accommodate the cow, but not give away his best merchandise, the man put some of the corn husks and trimmings on the ground. He had a large bag of good corn on the other side of the tree. The cow took what he could easily get on the ground, and when the man became engaged with a customer, the cow went around to the other side of the tree and ate some of the man’s good corn!

New Territories to Explore | BeauSides.com

Another thing that caught my eye was how elaborately the long distance hauling trucks were decorated. These trucks would be taller that the ones we see in the States, and sometimes their cargo was stacked on top of the trailers, with large nets trying to hold everything on the trailer. On the back of almost all of these large trucks would be the request to please blow your horn. The drivers of the trucks would have a very difficult time seeing you, so they politely ask for you to blow your horn when you approach them.

New Territories to Explore | BeauSides.com

New Territories to Explore | BeauSides.com

I am sure we will have many more stories about my trip to India! Hopefully you will enjoy the culture as much as I did!

Always Read the Signs

November 15, 2018 — Leave a comment

For those of you that have read many of my blogs, you know that sometimes I like to share with you some of the interesting signs I see while traveling. Well, this blog will be dedicated to some of the more eye-catching signs I encountered during my last visit to China. Would you like to see them?

Always Read the Signs - BeauSides.com

If I were going to title this sign, I would call it where Montezuma’s Revenge meets Mao’s Revenge! If you have a weak stomach, I would not recommend eating at this restaurant!

Always Read the Signs - BeauSides.com

The photograph above was taken in a restroom! Many would think that this potentially awkward and embarrassing situation could be removed with some scheduling considerations, but that isn’t always how it works out. Oh well, at least people receive a fair warning!

Always Read the Signs - BeauSides.com

This sign was taken as I waited in line for a taxi at a train station. Yes, we should always try to avoid the irregular taxis!

Always Read the Signs - BeauSides.com

We have fake news and fake money in so many places!  Actually, taxi drivers and store clerks are skilled at recognizing “fake money.” I have actually given a bill to a store clerk and they told me the money was a counterfeit. The amazing thing is that the bill was one I had just received from a bank, and I am reasonably certain the banks are not passing out counterfeit money!

Hopefully you enjoyed this edition of interesting signs I spotted while traveling. As usual, I want to encourage you to travel when you can, and read the signs!

If you have read many of my posts, you have noticed I often will say something like “you never know what you will see when traveling” or “always have your camera ready.” Well, with this post, I am going to give a couple of examples of what you can learn from traveling in China. Believe me, this list could be massive — but for today, we will only examine a couple things. Are you ready for our journey together?

Look and Learn As You're Traveling - More Interesting Sights in China from BeauSides.com

From this picture you will learn that you want your career path to lead you in a direction other than pulling a rickshaw up a hill in the summer at the Great Wall of China! This photo was taken on a very hot day, so I have no earthly idea as to why the lady is wearing a wrap, other than it was something bright and colorful she was given to wear for a photo with the rickshaw. I feel sorry for the gentleman in the photo doing the work! I am sure he must get exhausted during the day, and I would also imagine most of the people to whom he gives rides weigh more than he does! Did I mention how hot it is during tourist season?

For those of you that like tea, you will find this next photo very educational. Tea is huge part of the culture in China, and they have formal ceremonies where tea is served. Friends have taught me that there are several types of tea (to me it should be black, iced, and sweet) which can be beneficial to your health. From the next photo, you can even learn that the different teas have different temperatures for enhancing their enjoyment.  If you are a tea lover, you will find this interesting!

Look and Learn As You're Traveling - More Interesting Sights in China from BeauSides.com

 

Honestly, I have never heard of some of those different types of tea, and that is by no means the entire list. Also, please note that the temperatures are given in Celsius.

So remember: when traveling, keep your eyes open and have your camera ready, because you never know what you might see or learn!

With Global Partners in Life returning from another trip to China, I wanted to share with you some of the sights enjoyed on the trip. Are you ready to see them?

New Sights in China - BeauSides.com

Since the World Cup is being hosted by Russia this year, I had to share this with you. Did you know that soccer is the most popular sport in the world? It is equally popular in China, and they take it very seriously. As you can see, this soccer field is equipped to be utilized at night. Seeing a soccer field is very common at schools in China when the schools have some land to use. Many private schools will incorporate a soccer field into their playground, and some of them are made of a soft surface like the new running tracks.

New Sights in China - BeauSides.com

This photo was taken at a coffee shop in China. Do you know what this device is for? This piece of technology allows you to have 3 options to pay for your purchase. It will read a QR code from your phone, it will read your fingerprint, and it can even do facial recognition. All of those options are linked to a financial account! Wow, I am not sure about all of that! I still prefer to use cash when I am in China!

New Sights in China - BeauSides.com

Speaking of coffee, I wanted to show you this photo of a sign. I am not a coffee drinker, but I did think coffee was consumed by drinking it . . . not eating it!

Hopefully you enjoyed the sights today! If you have a chance to travel, I encourage you to take advantage of it!

Have you ever looked at something and wondered what happened — and how often it had to happen before someone took steps to correct the situation? Well, that is what struck me when I saw this sign during my last trip. I must caution you, we may have different senses of humor, so what I find funny may be repulsive to you. Are you ready to see what I am talking about?

What Happened - and How Often? |

Sometimes words are not needed to express your thoughts; just the look on your face says it all. Hopefully it was the Information Booth that suggested this sign and not the janitorial staff.

Since we have drifted into a bathroom theme with this blog, I have yet another photo for you. Again, this was from my last trip, and I had never seen this before. The door was left open for the family bathroom, so I couldn’t resist taking this picture. I actually thought it was cute and didn’t involve an immature sense of humor. Do you agree this is a good idea and adorable?

What Happened - and How Often? |

This was without a doubt the smallest toilet I had ever seen! It looked even smaller beside a traditional sized toilet, so again, I had to take a photo of it.

I frequently say you never know what you might see when traveling, and I think this blog has proven me to be correct. Enjoy your next trip!

It was about this time of year when some students and I took a road trip. Actually, it would be more accurate to say a bus trip. The students were from the university where I was teaching, and we decided to go to a smaller town a little north of our city to have a look one weekend. Would you like to know what we saw?

A Peaceful Environment

There was a small river going through the town, and it had this interesting looking bridge. There was a large park along this area of the river, and we enjoyed some street food while sitting in the park. We consumed our glass noodles while eating them out of a clear plastic bag; my first time for doing that. Glass noodles are slippery, and you don’t want to poke a hole in the plastic bag with your chopsticks!

As we walked around town, I saw something that surprised me. They had an old stone wheel for grinding wheat, which is grown locally. I have seen one that used a donkey walking around in a circle to move the stone, but this one used man power. You can see it in the photograph below.

A Peaceful Environment

Some things I also enjoyed seeing in China were the many pools of water with beautiful water lilies in them. I was impressed with the different colors of the lilies, and many times there would be koi swimming around the lilies!

a-peaceful-environment-3

This was an enjoyable trip for many reasons! This particular area of China enjoyed a much slower pace of life compared to when I was teaching in Beijing!

Maybe this blog will help you remember a calm and peaceful place you have enjoyed. I know it certainly has done that for me!

For this blog post, I thought I would like to share with you some of the unusual sights I saw during my last trip to China. Some of them I can explain, and some of them you will have to decide for yourself what the reason or intent of the object photographed was. Are you ready for a quick trip to China?

A Photographic Journey of Interesting Sights in China

In the photograph above, you will find one of the pictures where I will let you decide about the intent and reason for the construction of this chair. It certainly appears to be durable and suitable for the outdoors!

A Photographic Journey of Interesting Sights in China

Being an old bald guy from Georgia, I had to show this photograph. This is actually a common sight in China, but can you figure out why? I am not sure about all of the details or origin, but the peach is a sign of longevity and the baldness is a sign of wisdom, so this statue in this restaurant was placed there to wish their customers a long life full of wisdom and prosperity.

A Photographic Journey of Interesting Sights in China

One of the ways you can tell when you are in an older district of a city in China is by the wiring and cables you can see. I feel sorry for any technician that is sent out to diagnose an electrical problem in the area!

A Photographic Journey of Interesting Sights in China

Since we serve children in China, I thought I would end with a photograph of a new friend I made at an airport in China. She was all decked out with her summer hat and getting hydrated for her trip!

 

What’s the most unique sight you’ve ever seen in your travels?

During my most recent trip to China, I had a friend with me. We had taken a night train into Beijing, and we went directly from the train station to the hotel where we had our reservations. When we arrived at the hotel, it was approximately 8 AM, so no rooms were available for us — but we were assured that some would be ready by 10:30.

There was a good area nearby for us to walk to where we could grab a bite and sit outside to enjoy the beautiful day. While we were sitting outside, there were others that joined us in the shaded area, and then one tough guy did something that surprised me. Would you like to see what he did?

This Should be a Scene in a Tough Guy Movie

This tough guy was sitting there having a conversation with his friends, and he pulls out a razor and starts to give himself a shave! He didn’t have any water or anything else to moisten his face; he just did a dry shave with a razor!

This Should be a Scene in a Tough Guy Movie

His friends continued their conversation like this was their normal routine. I wonder if he has ever cut his hand by reaching into his pocket, forgetting he had his razor there.

This Should be a Scene in a Tough Guy Movie

This would have been a little more understandable if the man had been using an electric razor, but he wasn’t. To make this a little humorous, we were about 25 yards from a store where he could have purchased shaving cream! Oh well, I guess I can add this tough guy to the list of interesting things I have seen while traveling in China.

For those of you with a thick beard, I wouldn’t suggest trying this!