Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sunshine in Chengdu! The dogs are howling!

Polka dot visor and the Chengdu speciality - the bicycle umbrella clamp!
A big envelope will do when leaving the office.
Monks throw their robes over their heads.
Even boys are vain and don't want their forearms to get burnt.
Shades the size of deep sea turtles. Watch those arms though!
Solar topi hat and white gloves. A little Japanese me thinks.
Darth Vader style face guard. 
All photos ©Ingrid Booz Morejohn

"Shu dogs bark when the sun comes out", 蜀犬吠日 (shǔquǎnfèirì) is a very old local Sichuanese saying that implies that it is so unusual to see the sun that even a dog considers it a stranger. Well, I didn't actually hear any dogs barking today (other than the pesky little mutt that barks everyday in our garden at the Wuhou Mingyuan) but the sun has really been shining! Winter ended with two weeks of spring then rapidly segued into full blast summer. It's wonderful but getting hotter by the minute. The Chinese are scared of the sun (dark skin is considered lower class and infoerior) and want as little of it as possible to touch their precious whitey-white skin so all kinds of preventive measures are taken as you can see above. Here in Chengdu we also have a very practical bicycle invention whereby you can attach your umbrella to the handlebar, rain or shine. I remember with fondness the beautiful ladies of Vietnam buzzing by on their motorcycles wearing long white opera gloves! I think it's time for me to go out onto the balcony and give a shout at the sun.