Gifts from China

Last week my husband came home from China, laden with gifts from a reunion with colleagues from his previous expat posting.  One gift was a papercut decoration for the Year of the Horse, now proudly displayed on my front door and as a header for the blog to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Papercut Year of the Horse

The other gifts were so unexpected, and so generous – so I am using the blog to send our friends in Dalian, Shanghai and Guangzhou a big Thank You,  谢 谢, and 恭喜发财。Here are a few of the beautiful gifts, some from our favourite brands – Shanghai Tang and Liu Li Gong Fang.

Gifts from China
We must now plan a sophisticated dinner party to use our new chopstick holders, and resist the temptation to stage mock battles between our horses, tigers, dragons and phoenix

The dragons of China may be timeless, but the skyline of Shanghai keeps changing.  Here is the view from my husband’s office last week. The highest building in the photo is the Shanghai Tower, which was topped out in 2013 at 632 metres, making it the second tallest building in the world.

View from the office in 2014
View from the office in 2014

I remember the “olden days” of 2007 when the Jin Mao Tower seemed enormous, and the Shanghai World Financial Centre (“the bottle opener”) was still under construction. Click here to see a photo on my Flickr account: Progress in 2007

Even better, click here to see a photo of blue, smog-free, sky in Shanghai in 2009: JinMao and SWFC together – and blue sky!

Finally, Happy Chinese New Year to all Distant Drumlin’s readers – I will finish with a photo of the lantern decoration outside the Chinese Embassy here in London.

Chinese Embassy Red Lantern

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20 Comments Add yours

  1. That silver dragon is exquisite! Loved it!

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    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      I’ve kept lots of dragon souvenirs from China, even my baggage tag from Dragon Air.

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  2. Always good to have animals around in whatever form. Very good feng shui.

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    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      But I wasn’t so keen on collecting souvenirs in the year of the rat.

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      1. LOL! Our big dog was rather good at rat catching 😀

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  3. Expat Eye says:

    Happy Chinese New Year to you too! Mock battles sound like great fun – I’d go with that idea 😉

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    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      I think the gold dragon would win. He is on a bottle stopper- you know the thing you use to close a wine bottle once the cork is out. But (1) he’s too beautiful to use like that, and (2) who has unfinished bottles of wine anyway?

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      1. Expat Eye says:

        Exactly 🙂 I had a wine rack once – biggest waste of money ever. I never amassed more than 2 at a time 😉

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  4. Becca says:

    Xin nian kuai le! I love the chopstick holders. And I, too, remember when the World Financial Centre was the tallest building in Shanghai. It’s hard to believe it’s all changed so much since I lived there just a few years ago.

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    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      I still think the Jin Mao Tower is beautiful like a tall thin pagoda. It was a real shock to go up to the SWFC observation deck and look down on Jin Mao far below. So I can’t imagine what the view from the Shanghai Tower is going to be like. Hazy and smoggy, probably. Did you live in Shanghai or Suzhou? I only went to Suzhou twice, to play golf, and both times it was cold, wet and polluted- hardly the ‘garden city’ of old.

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  5. They really are very intricate gifts! I would have been thankful for the paper cut alone! (As I’m sure were you.)

    Shanghai is really coming along.

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    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      Absolutely- I had asked for the papercut, to add to my collection from previous years. But the other gifts were a lovely surprise. Will you be in Singapore for Chinese New Year? Do they have fireworks?

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      1. Fireworks in Singapore? Only the properly organised type. Wouldn’t want everyone setting them off willy nilly!

        If you want to run your eye over the list of festivities around town, try this link:
        http://www.eventfinda.sg/tour/2014/chinese-new-year

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  6. barbedwords says:

    Happy Chinese New Year! I love paper cuts and that one is beautiful.

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    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      You’re great – someone who loves beauty in papercuts and practicality in bobble busters!

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      1. barbedwords says:

        That’s the best compliment I’ve had all year!!

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  7. WhiteTrinity says:

    I really enjoyed this post! Thanks for sharing! I especially liked your photo of the China embassy in London. — Mrs. J

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    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      Thank you for commenting. The Chinese Embassy looks like a serious building. I mean it looks good all year with a large Chinese flag flying, but it looks more welcoming when the New Year lantern appears.

      Like

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