(3) Slow City, Flying Life
Time doesn’t fly, life does.
When we arrived at Adelaide city, it’s almost dark. We lived in a hotel opposite to the University of Adelaide. It’s not far from CBD, on the back there’s a street full of retailers.
I went out to the street with X-Pro2 and 35mm f2 lens, I’ve read people saying 50mm equivalent focal length is too narrow for today’s street, I think the key is to keep in mind what your lens could see, and look for things that can be framed, regardless of whether the street is narrow or wide.
On the brick wall there’s the shadow of the iron fence door.
Walking for less than 30 minutes, I’ve arrived Chinatown. It was built up by early Chinese immigrants, at that time, walking through Chinatown and seeing Chinese characters written on shop’s signboards could get a feel of “home”, today it’s been changed a lot, apart from Chinese restaurants, there are different types of gift shops and milk tea shops, one of the milk tea shops even had a TV showing some Korean pop star program.
I noticed on the lantern the three characters, they stand for “happiness”, “fortune” and “long life”. Back in ancient China, these characters were usually seen on the lever scale used by sellers of small businesses to weigh the stuff they sell, and it’s designed in such a way that if the seller cheats the weight, the scale would move beyond the three characters, the more they cheat, the farther the scale moves, which implies that the seller would lose one or more of “happiness”, “fortune” and “long life”. Today I don’t think many Chinese here could know this, they now believe in science.
Dessert shop down the corner, many restaurants here add extra sugar to the dishes that originally don’t need any sugar in the recipe, in order to coordinate with western people’s appetite.
It was dark when I left Chinatown, only the Christmas tree was shining bright.
A wide angle lens could easily capture the whole tree, however my 50mm equivalent lens couldn’t, it forced me to think what I could take, after some thinking, I took the star on top of the tree with the moon.
Walking lovers waiting for green light.
Clock tower and pedestrians.
It’s obvious from what they wore that the temperature wasn’t too bad.
Figure of someone happy, behind it there’s a homeless man.
Next morning I brought X-Pro2 and 23mm f2 to the street. It was cloudy and not suitable for “I’ve been here” kind of selfie, however it doesn’t matter for street photography.
Adelaide to me feels more relax than Melbourne, there were not many people on the street, people I met was friendly enough, that they wouldn’t feel offended when photo being taken.
I found a lot of old buildings and memorial figures, Melbourne also has lots of these, but due to over-crowded people, they are not as attractive.
I guess one must be famous enough in order to have a statue, which preserves immortality of his fame, however, the cost of being famous is that, once built, you can never turn your head back.
As for old buildings, I guess not many countries in the world could be compared with China, who has a long history of different types of cultures, however, not many ancient buildings were preserved, people nowadays focus on the so-called “development”. There used to be horses on the streets, now there were only machine arms.
Old tree roots, I’ve seen very old trees in temples, they are enormous, however, not many people would think about their roots shall be even deeper and wider than their branches. A tree without root could only collapse, then how about a person without culture tradition?
Empty chair, full of dust.
When we arrived at the walking street, we saw more and more people.
Although there was a large number of people here, most of them are still relaxed, even the dog got bored.
I was not brave enough to take a clear photo of her face.
A man was feeding his son, with happiness written on his face.
A good guide dog would never be distracted.
Kids playing with the pigs.
Smoker was blowing a cloud.
Next to Chinatown there’s the Central Market.
I had a bowl of onion & oil noodles, I think I could make it at home.
Fruit shop in Central Market, not sure if I could try some samples; To me the problem of sample tasting is that, once you ate something, it might be difficult to not buy it, although the shop owner would still smile to you, who knows what they really think?
Old books shop, when I was young, I’ve seen old books sold by weight, something like a dollar per kilogram, and you could actually find some really good books for collection purpose. This shop has all English books, which I don’t know much about, I like reading and collecting books but at that time I didn’t have enough time to go through each of them. This is a pity of life: the books are always there, but time is also ticking.
I couldn’t spend much time looking for a good book, so I tried to find a good composition instead.
Huge Santa outside Central Market, will there be a beam of light from ground shooting at Santa’s face in the evening? That would add a bit horror to him and help people chilling down in the hot season with some cold sweat.
I went through the walking street when I walked back to the hotel, I bought a bottle of Chinese vinegar, the vinegar company was first established in 1840, I don’t know how does it compare with the history of Adelaide, which is longer? Never mind, since both have long history, let the vinegar echo with Adelaide as an evidence of “I’ve been here”.
Part 2: If life is always like first seeing - Adelaide (2) Street on Island
Part 4: If life is always like first seeing - Adelaide (4) The Wine Is Strong