I went back to the Shanghai Museum this past weekend with my friend Juliana, who is visiting from the US. This is such a great museum & it's all free!
The first time I was there, I spent four hours studying all of the exhibits on the four floors of this amazing museum. This time however, we made a shorter visit to the musuem, spending a couple of hours looking at the highlights.
We saw beautiful batiks from Guizhou, golden Buddhist statuettes from Western China, flowing calligraphy from the masters, & huge ornate Tibetan ceremonial masks.
One of my favorite exhibits at the museum is the room that displays native costumes from the several minority tribes in China. There were dozens of mannequins dressed in colorful designs from centuries ago to modern times.
While we were taking photos of the displays, I was approached by a Chinese couple who wanted to take a photo of me. For them, my light hair & eyes were just as interesting as the museum exhibit itself.
This happens quite frequently here in Shanghai. Many people stop me on the street & ask if they can take a photo with me. They wrap their arms around my shoulder & we both smile broadly for the camera, making it look like we are old friends.
I've gotten so accustomed to people asking me for my photo that I've started turning the tables. I often take photos of Chinese daily life covertly & unabashedly. For the most part, people don't seem to mind - they just think I'm a crazy foreigner.
Sometimes I catch people off guard. A couple of months ago I confused a fellow subway rider when I asked him for his photo. He took it in stride though, & the rest of the commuters on the subway car got a kick out of it. When in Rome...