Tuesday, July 22, 2008

China Trip Tuesdays

Today we're going to talk about something that is not a mainstream American habit but is quite common in China: CARRYING UMBRELLAS to protect yourself from the sun. Unless you are a modern-day Scarlett O'Hara and don't want your fair skin tanned by the sun, most of us here the in States walk out in the mid-day sun with little more than sunglasses or a ball cap to protect (mainly our eyes) from the blaring sun. We drive cars with A/C... we take buses with A/C... we don't walk anywhere very far... we wear shorts, tank tops or sundresses to stay cool... we have good accessibility to swimming pools, sprinklers and clean lakes... we're addicted to sunscreen and icy drinks... we have battery operated fans that spray mist... our buildings have central air... and most adults and lots of children wear sunglasses. In China, the preceeding statements, are not true for most citizens. And thus, they use umbrellas to shade themselves from the hot summer sun. In Guangdong Province in Southern China where the climate is sub-tropical, the summertime heat brings afternoon thundershowers. Our guide Connie said the ladies of Guangzhou always carry an umbrella in their purse for both the sun and the rain.

Carrying an umbrella isn't just for the ladies. Here a group of men shade themselves while shooting the breeze. Notice how none of them have on shorts.

Here's another group I captured. I love the sweet guy holding the umbrella for his girl. I was lucky Big Daddy T gave me a couple yuan for a bottle of water. (I kid.)