Monday, December 5, 2011

Movie Monday: Tianjin Opera

My dear friend Marilyn filmed this short video on a street corner in Tianjin, China, the city in which we lived for eight years.

This is an aspect of life in China that I loved the most--
that at any moment I could run into something unexpected and wonderful. In a city like Tianjin there's never a "typical" day. Never really a quiet day, either!

One of my Works-in-Progress (WiP) is set in Tianjin. Watching this video helps me remember the sights, the sounds, the flavors of the city so I can bring them into the details of my novel.

  • The shops and the shop keepers busily working
  • Car horns
  • Brakes squealing
  • Bikes
  • Clothing
  • Street signs
  • Even the sidewalk tile!
It's all so unique to China and makes me acutely homesick. 

What does this video do to you? Do you find it weird, surprising, interesting? If you've been to China, was this video similar to your China experience? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


  1. That was surprising! But really neat. I'd love to visit China someday, to destroy my preconceived notions for one thing. I've read so much about difficulties in China that it's the joy in this little video that is so marvelous and stunning.

  2. I've never been to China, but I buy their stuff.

    It's nice to know some things are universal like a crowd staring at a street performing and thinking "How can I slip away without donating and not look cheap?"


  3. I've never been to China but I love unexpected events in the streets. Anything to brighten the day up, I don't care what language it is :-)

  4. I've never been to China - thanks for the glimpse! So cool!

  5. My husband has a heart for China.

    I'd be fascinated and certainly would stop to watch.
    ~ Wendy

  6. Except for the music that has very Chinese tones, this could be a scene from the streets of India. I could practically smell the place. Amazing what a little video can do to help with remembering details.

  7. That's so awesome.

    I've never been in China, but watching this reminds me so much of Vietnam. :)

  8. Now this would make shopping more interesting.

    The most unique shopping experience I've ever had was in Estonia, right after it separated from the USSR. A completely opposite experience to shopping in the US.

  9. I feel the same way when I see anything set in England. All the sights and sounds make me so homesick.

    What a lovely place you lived in. I can imagine how hard it must've been to leave. I've never been to different from anything I've experienced, but I've felt that way before and then come to love it more than anything (like in England). I hope to go someday.

  10. Such a great video. It makes me want to travel there and see for myself all the sights, sounds, smells,and tastes. Thanks for sharing this video with us.

  11. That's a neat video- do they have the performers that stand on a box pretend to be statues and buzz at people over there? For a while they were everywhere- we saw them in St. Augustine and in Barcelona.

  12. Wow, that's something! Is that done for tourists, or would that happen anytime anywhere?

  13. This is so precious! It totally reminds me of China! I used to go to local operas with my former in-laws in rural Hubei province. They were at night and farmers drove in on their make-shift tractors. I also went to Cantonese operas at night in Hong Kong, right near the Temple Street night market. My ex-husband worked in a traveling opera during the Cultural Revolution and was of course an expert in this. As you can imagine, whenever I tried to sing a line, he told me to zip it!