Beneath this bowl of stars...

toddler activites, food, photos, and other orbital occurrences

so i an a terrible tourist, or at least I am with a toddler in the 100F+ weather, with most of the signs in chinese characters. We visited a lovely ancient chinese water town about an hour or more outside shanghai. I cant tell you which one it was, and I dont think dave can either! I tried to look it up, but there are lots of these little towns and all of them close to shanghai and with multiple reviews all across the internet. I even looked at pictures that other people took, but they all look pretty much the same (I guess you really only need to visit one). I read about the main historic places within some of them and thats when i realized that other than a temple, I dont think we paid attention to any of the highlights within out town. I dont want to admit that I was too distracted by all the shops and food, so instead I will blame it on the heat, 41C that day, and the fact that we had to constantly pay attention/ worry about Amber's happiness, that it was enough just to walk through the village pushing a stroller and not pass out from heat exhaustion.

All that being said, here are some of the best pictures:This is a typical street in this town. The people walking around are both tourists and locals.
There were lots of people selling dried shrimp and other fish. Their customers are mostly locals or chinese tourists who come from not too far. They catch and dry the fish themselves, so while a typical resident of shanghai could easily buy some closer to home, these are fresh (if that matters with dried fish?) and cheap. Personally I cant stand the flavor of the dried shrimp in my food, or maybe I just dont like all the tiny little eyes looking at me. I cringe when dave's mom serves something with these shrimp.
The water towns are called water towns b/c they are built around little streams and canals, much like Venice. The people in the town now and all the way back to ancient times use the water to get around and transport goods. We even saw people using the water to do their laundry and cool off their feet... lets just hope they didnt use it to cook our food or wash our dishes. You can go for a boat ride and the woman who drives your boat will sing to you and teach you how to drive it using this jointed rear oar.
This is the first of many buddha's and temples that we saw. This buddha made me want to be a buddha, he looks to comfy and happy.
Amber decided that she had learned enough chinese that she could order lunch.... or at least tofu.
There was this one building called "the strange loft" it was very strange, check out these pics

I thought this was a beautiful old round door.
We found a local artist who paints on silk fans. We bought the one he was just finishing and then he customized it for us. Great piece of art only $7!