This morning seemed like an ideal time to go for a stroll round West Lake - it's still very clear at the moment after the recent rain.
I actually started off in a recently opened camera shop trying to get a UV filter for my 70-300mm Image Stabilising lens. I started off asking for a '紫外的' filter which was getting me nowhere, then tried asking for 'UV' which worked at once. I'm told (and am open to correction) that China used to diligently avoid even abbreviations using letters, preferring a transliteration into Chinese characters up until the time China joined the WTO, which it did in 2001. Now the use of English acronyms is fairly common.
The walk was more eventful than I was expecting.
erhu (on the street it typically sounds a bit like someone playing a saw, but I've heard professionals play it beautifully). These things are not that unexpected.
The rest of the walk was very pleasant. I passed a large group of parents and their small children - some of whom were engaged in a three-legged race while a larger group seemed to be standing in a large circle (children in an inner circle, parents outer) with the parents taking photographs of the children on the other side of the circle. I also managed to add to my (very short) China Bird List as I spotted several Little Heron.
Back to the camera shop I dropped off the films that I'd shot - it's been so long that I'd forgotten the anticipation of how they're going to come out, and the fact you take much longer composing the shots because you can't just keep taking and retaking if it doesn't come out right. The people in the shop managed to irritate briefly by not listening to me speaking Chinese so I had to repeat myself, then they had a brief conversation in Hangzhou dialect so I couldn't follow it, only to give me a long, drawn-out 'Tom. Tomorrow....... after...the...noon' when '明天下午' would have been fine. Sinosplice has a very good entry describing this phenomenon in detail. Fortunately another assistant wandered over and we quickly concluded things.