A Slice of China: Signage

Hair salon

Dry clean. Massage


You have undoubtably heard of the frantic pace of the progress in China in the past two decades. This is especially apparent when you visit some of the major coastal cities where the modernization began. These Chinese cities have all the classic neon glamour, glitz and modern convenience like any other major cities in the world.

However, China is still very much a land of contrasts. It is almost a treat now to see some of the ‘old’ local customs and flavours while wandering this vast country. So, it was dynamite when I came across these old fashion signage in Dunhuang in the western province of Gansu. The local businesses from restaurants to doctors use these cloth signage for branding. In my opinion, these huge red characters on plain white are way more effective in catching my attention than the dizzying blinking electronic neon signs.



Foot massage

Noodle and dumpling house

Candy. Cigarette. Liquor


Noodle shop


Vaccinium erythrocarpum

Cranberries in a pot

Vaccinium erythrocarpum or Cranberry

In North America, Native Americans were the first to use cranberries as food. Native Americans used cranberries in a variety of foods, especially for pemmican, wound medicine and dye. Calling the red berries Sassamanash, natives may have introduced cranberries to starving English settlers in Massachusetts who incorporated the berries into traditional Thanksgiving feasts. American Revolutionary War veteran Henry Hall is credited as first to farm cranberries in the Cape Cod town of Dennis around 1816. In the 1820s cranberries were shipped to Europe. Cranberries became popular for wild harvesting in the Nordic countries and Russia. In Scotland, the berries were originally wild-harvested but with the loss of suitable habitat, the plants have become so scarce that this is no longer done.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo taken at Wong’s private kitchen.