Tag Archives: autumn

There’s always time for sunsets

1 Oct

Autumn is my favorite season in Shanghai.  The winds blow away the pollution, the nights get cool and there can be beautiful, beautiful sunsets.

The first glance out the window

The first glance out the window

We saw this one from our kitchen window on a recent weekend.  Dinner waited as we both stared in awe at the colors that splashed across the sky.  The sunset felt prophetic – the light leading into the heavens.



Ten minutes later – it was gone, only a memory.

Just before it disappeared

Just before it disappeared

I’m glad I took the time for this sunset.

Happy National Chinese holidays to you all.  Today kicks off a week of vacation during the best time of the year.  We’ll be staying in Shanghai – too much travel for me this year – and enjoying the fall.

Hopefully there will be some more sunsets soon!

Mooncakes and Autumn Holidays

2 Oct

Sunday evening was the celebration of Mid-Autumn Festival – 中秋节 which this year backs up against the Chinese National Day holidays.  This means that I have eight days off – Sunday through Sunday to do what I will.

The moon has been visible each night last week as I walked home from work – waxing to its zenith on Sunday.  If I were a professional photographer I would take a photo, but I’m not so I try to mentally remember the full moon rising over the new/old mixture that is Shanghai.  There is one place on my walk home where on a clear evening I can see the lights of the skyscrapers of Pudong along with the moon beams.  What the moon has seen over the last forty years…

The “golden weeks” are a lovely gift – a part of the Chinese culture that I very much appreciate because during those holidays people really stop working.  Offices are closed, out of office responses are common and most of the world goes traveling, enjoying the lovely fall weather that seems to coat the country.

That is, most people except me are going traveling.

With the move a couple of week ago and the apartment search before that I never got around to booking tickets and by the time I started researching everything was very, very expensive.  No matter – a week off is a week off and we’ll see how I spend this luxurious week in such an intriguing city.

Prior to the holidays though there is a wonderful time with lots of gifts and good cheer and mooncakes!  I wrote about mooncakes last year as I was just starting my blog.  This year the vendor community has been even more innovative in their gifts.  In the last two weeks I’ve had gifts of cheese cakes, fruit, ice cream, small tarts and of course the traditional mooncakes.  There were so many sweets in the office that people started turning them down and we shared our bounty with other departments who were not so happily situated.

Chinese/French/Japanese tarts – yum!

I didn’t take a photo of the traditional cakes this year, but this lovely assortment of small tarts brightened my day.  The giver in this case was an insurance company – the bakery was Japanese and the technique appears to me to be French.  Globalization at its best.

My second favorite Mid-Autumn Festival tradition is truly an employee benefit (included in our company policy).  HR provides each employee with a Haagen Daz gift voucher which includes a chocolate ice cream mooncake and several other ice cream goods.  Localization of an international product – and truly a yummy gift!

If you had a week off when work would not call on you – where would you go?  If you had to give a gift to celebrate Moon Festival – what would you give?

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day!

Enjoying now

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