Travel Photos – Day 1 & 2

Amanda has challenged me to a Travel Photo Challenge where I post one photo a day, without description for ten days. Due to the holiday crush I am already five days behind. But Amanda says I can be flexible with the rules, so I’ll fast track and rush forward with a two a day post.

Travel Photo – Day 1

Starting with one of my favorite cities to visit. Can you guess which? I wrote about these iconic taxis in one of my earliest blog posts. You can read about it here.

To put my experience in context, I visited this city after living in Beijing for four months. Hailing a taxi in Beijing was a cultural experience. Success depended on which side of street you were standing, whether the taxi driver wanted to go to place you wanted to go and whether you were fast enough to block the person trying to ambush your cab. Suffice to say, when I visited this city and saw an orderly queue of taxis, I felt like I’d discovered an oasis of peace, order and civility.

Travel Photo – Day 2

To understand how I felt about this city one needs to know my family’s history. My great-great grandparents left China in the early 20th century to live in Jamaica. They originally came from a part of southern China that shared common traditions and cuisines to those found here. When I visited this city for the very first time, I felt a connection. It was instant dΓ©jΓ  vu. I write about it in my blog post here.

Have you figured out where this city is? Yes, it is the same for Day 1 and Day 2. And I know that I’ve posted more than one photo per day. But I also haven’t kept it description-free either. I don’t follow rules very well.

The other rule of the challenge is to nominate someone else to post 10 photos for 10 days. But why would I start following rules now? If you’d like to challenge yourself, go ahead. You can pingback to me. Or not. Afterall, rules are really only guidelines.

Toronto, Canada. December 2020


  1. So many comments/thoughts running thru my mind right now, which to me is a sign of a successful post! πŸ‘ So well done, Sandy! First of all: I’ve heard you mention Jamaica before but it sounds so exotic for your Chinese parents and so I have to ask, was it a normal thing back then to migrate to – of all places – Jamaica? (I’ve always dreamed of visiting Jamaica.) Second: I love that you said that rules are only guidelines, I agree 100 %! Third: What a fun challenge! Fourth: I guessed Hong Kong, too πŸ™‚ Fifth: I was reminded of hailing a taxi in Shanghai and people seemed so angry that day. Maybe it was a cultural misconception or maybe I accidentally tooke the taxi they wanted, I’m now thinking! I was only there for the weekend and communicated with business cards, since the taxis didn’t speak English and this was back in 2005. My aviation colleagues had given me business cards with addresses to places of interest to show the drivers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Snow! It means a lot to me hear that you appreciated the post.

      re: Chinese in Jamaica
      The short answer is Yes, back in the early 1900’s it was pretty common for Chinese people to immigrate to places like Jamaica. They didn’t have proportionately huge populations. At its height they, along with Indian & Europeans ethnic groups, were less than 2% of the total island people.
      My family is Hakka Chinese which is sub-group of the Han Chinese people. The have a long history of migrations in China & later throughout the world. There are Hakka communities in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Calcutta, Mauritius, Suriname, Trinidad, Cuba and Jamaica.

      re: Taxis in China
      My guess is that you did nothing wrong in Shanghai. It was (maybe still is) a free for all in claiming a taxi and people would have no qualms in stealing your taxi by slipping in, as you politely waited on previous occupants to leave.

      A experienced friend told me the way to claim a taxi was
      1) block the passenger door so that the passenger can get out and no one else can get in before you
      2) sit down in the cab, THEN tell the driver where to go and refuse to leave until he goes πŸ™‚

      Taxi drivers never/rarely spoke English and those business cards or ‘Take me home’ cards were essential to getting around. I kept a stack for myself and a bunch of places I would typically go.

      I think some of the rudeness from taxi drivers was them not knowing how to read the cards. Others may not have known the city well enough to know how to get there. As someone explained to me, exact addresses were a relatively new concept (in Beijing) and with the 2008 Olympics, many workers were new-comers to the city.

      Now this was nearly 10 years ago. Things change quickly in China and maybe now the situation is different. For all I know, there are orderly taxi queues in Beijing now. I wouldn’t be surprised.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, fun to hear using business cards was a normal thing! And yes, the world has changed a lot in only 10-15 years. As for your family’s migration story, it’s fascinating. My family moved to Australia (and others to Sweden) in the 70’s and it was common for Finns to flock to Canada and Minnesota πŸ˜„


  2. You’ve left enough clues for me to be sure this is Hong Kong πŸ™‚

    I love the banner you’ve made for this challenge. It’s a great idea and one I might have pinched had I not finished the challenge today πŸ˜†


  3. It looks like Hong Kong to me? But I am not sure at all.
    Wow catching a taxi in Beijing must be very tricky. What stress!
    I love how you introduced the topic. I feel worded out at the moment.
    I am glad you joined in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hong Kong it is!
      Beijing taxis were something else. I could tell stories. I haven’t before because I didn’t have any photos to go with them. Beijing was BC (Before Camera) or at least, before I had time to take pictures with my camera. Now though that I’ve ‘discovered’ free photos and graphics, I might dust off some of my Beijing stories.


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