Sunday, April 13, 2008

China Part 2: The People

This section is dedicated to the people in China, both those that were on the trip with me and those that inhabit the Middle Kingdom.

That's me. Contemplating the deep fried scorpions. They were so delicious that everyone tried them and went back for seconds.

Then comes Drew, another of my best friends and an actor in Chicago.

Here are the other Eisenstein brothers: TJ pictured above and Michael pictured below.

He's exploding out of the building.

And here are the locals. This man was in a park in Beijing. His specialty was to bounce balls and catch them in his funny hat.

A traditional Chinese baby found in the Forbidden Palace.

One of the Hello Women who sell things throughout China. This one was selling scarves on the Great Wall.

One of many guards throughout China who police the area looking for miscreants.

This woman was painting inside of glass bottles with a fine brush on the Great Wall.

"I'm Dancing!" this woman stated as she entered our dining area and began to perform a traditional Chinese dance.

And finally my favorite. This man was riding by when I was waiting outside the Silk factory and was very happy that I was interested enough to take his picture.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Kanamara Matsuri

If I told you the premise of this festival, most of you would scoff and shake your heads in disbelief, but here it is with photographic proof to back it up. I present to you the Kanamara Matsuri, or Festival of the Steel Phallus. That's right, folks, it's the Giant Penis Festival dating back over a thousand years. Here prostitutes and transvestites pray to the gods of the penis for safe sex and fertility. Though the festival was populated more with gaijin, foreigners, than Japanese due to the spectacle of it, it was still a cultural experience in the extreme and one of the many reasons I love Japan so much.

Here, the local cross-dressers parade the giant pink phallus though a teeming crowd of onlookers, all trying to get the best photo possible.

A sexy woman rides one of the the giant wooden cock statues.

She's packing and she's bigger than me!

A baby sucks on a penis pop.

Old men carve penises out of radishes to be sold at auction later.
Flag wavers swing a massive flag, calling the festival to a close.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

China Part One: Quintessential China

With over 20gigs of photos from my recent two week jaunt in China, I have my hands full sorting and editing. Just starting this task seemed unsurmountable, but i decided I would begin with all the famous places I visited and things that would be recognizable as China to anyone who hasn't been there. We begin with the Great Wall and the Marble Boat and move on to the Teracotta Warriors. Next come foggy pagodas, acrobatics shows, and farmers with water buffalo. We then finish with busy cities and to offset that the beautiful Carst Formations of Guilin, my favorite place on the trip. This is only the tip of the iceberg of photos I took on this trip. I had a really amazing time. More to come.