A few days ago we walked through the bookstore section of Shanghai and found we were in the art supplies section as well: stores carrying slim and fat brushes, most with tapered points for calligraphy or watercolour, ink pots, and stone tablets for pouring and mixing the inks or other materials, many of them beautifully carved to look like mountains or countryside scenes around the edges. The stores were busy helping weekend artists select their tools.

In the parks you’ll see such artists working with their brushes. Nearby, others in our group heard tinny music coming from a cassette player and came upon elderly couples practising ballroom dancing. Another group practised spinning giant tops about the size of woks that worked on a principle similar to that of yo-yos, except harder.

Those who spend their weekends this way seem to be better at work-life balance than westerners. No renovating the deck even if you work hard all week. Maybe a little gambling instead. It makes for a great tourist tableau.IMG_4252 Check this out: IMG_4251