Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Changsha Ferris Wheel and Street Dancing

I have been wanting to go to the Changsha ferris wheel since I first arrived here.  Unfortunately, it has been raining about 80% of the time.  So once the rain finally cleared up, I told Chance and Brenna they had to come with me to check out the 5th tallest ferris wheel in the world.  The four that are taller are in Singapore, London (the London Eye), Nanchung China, and Beijing.  When we arrived at the Changsha ferris wheel, we were a bit concerned at how run down it looked.  You can see from the first photo that it's on top of a building and that building is in pretty bad shape.  Also, when you take the elevator to the top you exit to see a large amount of trash scattered around the rooftop.  We paid our 50 yuan ($7.50) to the ticket attendant, who let out an evil cackle.  Ok, I made that part up.  The attendant was very unenthused as it seemed that not that many people ride this thing.  There are probably 60 or 70 cars to ride in and we were the only people wanting to go on it besides one other group.  This normally wouldn't concern me much anywhere else in the world, but everything is usually so crowded in China.  Why was nobody wanting to ride this ferris wheel?  Did they know something I didn't know? It has only been around since 2004, so I don't understand why it looks so beat up. Anyway, life is too short to be worried about petty things like death (I would only leave five children fatherless), so I hopped on and we started our slow 20 minute rotation.  As we got higher and higher, the view was spectacular.  I did not realize just how big this city was until I saw it from the ferris wheel.  There are quite a few skyscrapers in Changsha, but the wheel was definitely the tallest landmark as we could see the tops of the buildings.  I admit I was a little afraid, but it was certainly worth the money and the courage expended.

Once we got off the ferris wheel, we made our way to a fairly large plaza area next to the ferris wheel.  There were many fun things going on in this place.  I saw little kids (about 3 or 4 years old) rollerskating on a course made up of small cones and there were vendors selling toys and other products.  My favorite thing, though, was a large gathering of Chinese people doing a kind of dance for exercise.  I asked Chance and Brenna if this was common and they said that at 7 p.m. every night all across China, people just gather in the streets and some dance instructor will play music and they'll all do Tai Chi stretches and other kinds of physical movements.  However, even Chance and Brenna hadn't seen a gathering this big.  We estimated there were probably about 2,000 people dancing together in the plaza.  What a crazy sight!  As they say, when in Rome do as the Romans.  So you can see from the pictures below that I decided to get involved and was dancing with these Chinese ladies.  They got a big kick out of it and one of them struck up a conversation with us afterwards.  I've really come to like the people here.

I'm not sure what the 1573 means.  My brother Eric and I saw the London Eye, but didn't go on it, so I felt I had to go on this one.

Too bad we are in an enclosed car or the pictures would be better.

The city seems to go on forever.

Decent shot of an adjacent car and the way they are connected.

Some interesting buildings.

Brenna said she wishes she could lean all the way out.  She's out of her mind I guess.

Soccer stadium.  I'm assuming that's the Xiangjiang River in the background.  Hunan Normal University would be on the other side.

Covering up my fear with a smile.

Standing in the plaza area just outside the ferris wheel.

Calling out around the world.  Are you ready for a brand new beat? ♫ Summer's here and the time is right for dancing in the street!  
These toys were junk, but sometimes you can get some good stuff on the street.

Too bad it's so dark, but you can see many of the people dancing.

This one is just for fun.  Those green looking things are the 100 year old eggs.  I didn't know Dr. Seuss was Chinese!

Not a fan of the stinky tofu.  Everyone here loves it, though!  They keep telling me "It only smells bad, but it tastes delicious."  I tell them to save that line for someone who hasn't tasted it yet.  I HAVE!

I got a little carried away.  I bought all 16 of these DVDs for 130 yuan (about $20). My kids are gonna freak!  Hmm...now I just have to think about how to get through customs.

1 comment:

  1. You should remove the DVD from the cases. Throw away the cases and keep the discs. Easier to get through customs.

    Bring me Prometheus and Dark Knight Rises, which are probably already out in pirated form, right?