A Travellerspoint blog

April 2008

International Workers Day With Happy Luo Wei

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, International Labor Day here in China always falls on May 1st and depending on when May 1st is, we workers will usually get a few extra days off to help make it a real holiday. This year May 1st fell on a Thursday, so we also got Friday off but then had to go back to work on Sunday. This year we only got two days as China has cut the length of the May Day holiday from a week to three days as part of its National Holiday restructuring in hope to avoid insane overcrowding. Prior to this year as I've said above we used to get a full week but also like this year we had to work an entire weekend for that to happen. Travelling was always crazy as everyone in China got the same bloody holiday. That of course meant hundreds of millions of people were all travelling at the same time! Seriously, try and comprehend what it is like to travel at a time like that! This year there was no time to pack the pack and bugger off into the wild blue yonder. Shaowu was the place to be and I was ever so happy to be there as Luo Wei was with me. Yes the Super Northern Train Girl boarded the train a week before and spent another twenty something hours in a hard seat rocketing her way from north to south. I really do wish she would allow me to buy her a plane ticket each time. Most times though I have no idea she is coming to visit until she is here. So now she is called the Sneaky Bugger Super Northern Train Girl! This year we decided to join Yan and Crew at a Fish Farm for a day of picking wild berries and filling our bellies on a huge delicious feast of freshly caught fish and other delicious dishes. Set beside the Ming River the Fish Farm is located about a five minute motor bike ride from the city and is surrounded by hills covered by a tea tree plantation. It really was such an awesome day! And a day spent with a group of such wonderfully happy people! For dinner we all headed to Yans Sister-In-Laws seafood restaurant were we once again happily ate another huge feast after which we made our way to the cities 'Peoples Square' to continue the celebrations amongst the thousands that had gathered there. For hours the skies above us were filled with beautiful slow rising sky lanterns named 'Kong Ming Deng' What is Kong Ming Deng? The Chinese named their invention "Kong Ming Deng" after leader of the three kingdom period of China 184AD - 280AD. Surrounded by enemies he watched the wind direction and used these floating balloons to send out signals for help. It is also said the shape of a sky lantern is like the hat Kong Ming wore. Sky lanterns were then made of oiled rice paper with a bamboo frame at the bottom containing a small candle. [/i] THANK GAWD FOR THE EIGHT HOUR WORKING DAY! HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WORKERS DAY TO YOU ALL! AND OF COURSE TO THOSE IN OUR PAST THAT FOUGHT FOR THEIR BELIEFS AND MADE IT HAPPEN! For those who are interested in the history of May Day (International Workers Day) continue reading below. For those who are not interested but want to check out the photos simply scroll down.[/i] </b> Beers N Noodles toya.....shane ____________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was the mighty Motorhead. The album was 'Welcome To The Beartrap!' _____________________________________________________

<u>From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia</u></b> Labour Day is an annual holiday celebrated all over the world that resulted from efforts of the labour union movement to celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers. The majority of countries celebrate Labour Day on May 1, and it is popularly known as May Day and International Workers' Day. May Day can refer to various labour celebrations conducted on May 1 that commemorate the fight for the eight hour day. May Day in this regard is called International Workers' Day, or Labour Day. The choice of May 1st was a commemoration by the Second International for the people involved in the 1886 Haymarket affair. The Haymarket incident occurred during the course of a three-day general strike in Chicago, Illinois that involved common laborers, artisans, merchants, and immigrants. Following an incident in which police opened fire and killed four strikers at the McCormick Harvesting Machine Co. plant, a rally was called for the following day at Haymarket Square. The event remained peaceful, yet towards the end of the rally, as police moved in to disperse the event, an unknown assailant threw a bomb into the crowd of police. The bomb and resulting police riot left at least a dozen people dead, including seven policemen. A sensational show trial ensued in which eight defendants were openly tried for their political beliefs, and not necessarily for any involvement in the bombing. The trial lead to the eventual public hanging of four anarchists. The Haymarket incident was a source of outrage from people around the globe. In the following years, memory of the "Haymarket martyrs" was remembered with various May Day job actions and demonstrations. As such, May Day has become an international celebration of the social and economic achievements of the labour movement. Although May Day received its inspiration from the United States, the U.S. Congress designated May 1 as Loyalty Day in 1958 due to the day's appropriation by the Soviet Union. Alternatively Labor Day traditionally occurs sometime in September in the United States. Some view this as an effort to isolate American workers from the worldwide community. People often use May Day as a day for political protest, such as the million people who demonstrated against far-right candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen in France, or as a day for protest against government actions, such as pro-immigrant rallies across the United State <u>Traditional May Day Celebrations</u>[/i]</b> May Day also marks the end of the uncomfortable winter half of the year in the Northern hemisphere, and it has traditionally been an occasion for popular and often raucous celebrations, regardless of the locally prevalent political or religious establishment. As Europe became Christianized the pagan holidays lost their religious character, they either morphed into popular secular celebrations, as with May Day, or were replaced by new Christian holidays as with Christmas, Easter, and All Saint's Day. In the start of the twenty-first century, many Neopagans began reconstructing the old traditions and celebrating May Day as a pagan religious festival again. <u>International Workers Day in China</u>[/i]</b> BEIJING, May 3 (Xinhua) - Chinese had their fervor for holiday sightseeing cooled by a shortened vacation as tourist volume slumped nearly a quarter in the past three-day May Day holiday. A total of 8.94 million people visited 119 monitored tourist spots around the country from May 1 to May 3, 24.45 percent down from the same period last year, the national office in charge of holiday affairs said on Saturday. As a result of cutting the May Day holiday from a week to three days, long-distance tours fell sharply despite an increase in short and mid-distance traveling to large cities and neighboring scenic spots, according to the office, which didn't give detailed numbers. It said small tourist groups such as families and friends rose by a big margin while self-driving became a dominant fashion. Hundreds of millions of Chinese used to travel at the same time during the May Day holiday and the other two "golden weeks" for the Spring Festival and the National Day, cramming transport and tourist destinations, and making holiday experiences far from enjoyable. "A shortened May Day holiday has been effective to solve the problem, but the implementation of paid holiday policies should be guaranteed to meet Chinese' growing demand for tourism," said General Manager Chen Xiaobin of the Beijing-based Caissa Travel. The country witnessed a record high of 179 million domestic tourists during last year's week-long May Day holiday, up 22.7 percent year on year, with retail sales rising 15.5 percent to 320billion Yuan (about 45.7 billion U.S. dollars). China began to entitle its employees to paid holidays of five to 15 days off a year in addition to national holidays and weekends in December, when it scraped the May Day "golden week" and added Tomb-Sweeping Day, Dragon-boat Festival and Mid Autumn Festival to the list of public holidays. The "golden week" holidays were launched in 1999 to encourage Chinese to spend more money for the benefit of economic growth.

May Day Celebrations

May Day Celebrations


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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Do You Eat Cats N Dogs N Bats N Frogs Part 8

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya Here is the EIGHTH and for now LAST</b> of the 'Uncle Shane Do You Eat Cats & Dogs & Bats & Frogs' food entries. Besides eating dogs, cats, rats and bats I manage to also sit down to a bowl or two of very normal food once in a while. Over the past week I've chosen my favourite little 'hole in the wall eateries' to sit at and take some happy snaps for my friends and family so they can see what I 'normally' eat during the week. And not a health inspector in sight! Over the past year and a bit that I've been living in Shaowu city I've managed to eat my way around most of the cities pokey little restaurants. These ones are very much at the top of my list for both their delicious food and the happy smiles from the owners and the people that eat there. Most also seem to have less 'Bugs & Crawly Things' racing around the place. <u>TODAY</u></b> For lunch today I headed down near the river to one of my least visited favourite Eateries.

It has some of the most delicious food and always without chili BUT the problem I have going there is that I get uncomfortably stared at by almost everyone in the place for the entire time I'm there. Don't get me wrong, I'm stared at all day every day and living and travelling in most of the places I do someone who has visited Beijing or Shanghai could never comprehend the difference. This Eatery I call 'The Workman's Eatery' and it is always full of workmen from all the building sites around the area. Why they all go to the same place I can't seem to figure out. They cram themselves into the one place when Eateries just up the road a little will only be half full and serve food just as good. Going to this place gives one more then a full understand of how Elle McPherson would feel walking through an Australian building site (probably more so during the 1980's). I don't get whistled at thank gawd but they just don't stop staring. I've tried having dinner there I can never leave the place without stumbling out. A lot of beer is flowing and they won't take no for an answer. For dinner I went to my favourite 'Clay pot Noodles' Eatery. My beautiful friend Paris took me there when she found out I had moved to Fujian from Gansu. In Gansu Province (and most of the north) Clay pot Noodles are huge. When I was living in Baiyin both these noodles and Lanzhou Noodles were very much my staple diet. When ordering them you really must try your hardest to pronounce it right. If you get it wrong you will be telling the Eatery person they are 'foolish'. Clay pot Noodles, in Chinese are called Shaguo (say Shagwar). But if you say Shagwah then you are saying foolish. The photos are from my walk at lunch time.

I know I always put a lot of pictures of things you 'push, peddle or pull' but seriously, each day I walk around I look around me and still look at the world I live bewildered. I honestly don't think it is something any of 'US' could 'REALLY' ever get used to. I've been here over three years now and walking along the main expensive shopping street I am passed by countless people pushing or pulling their carts along. It would be like walking along Swanson Street in Melbourne and instead of trams or cars there would be carts. It really is freaky that in 2008 life is still like this and probably will never change for these people. Check out the huge claw in the photo of things on the red blanket. I have no idea what animal it is from but my guess is a bear. I would also think that almost everything in that photo is totally illegal in Most Western countries. The guy on the bike is Angus and he is a real English Go Getter. His English is fantastic when you can actually understand him. It's not that he can't speak properly but his problem is that he has this strange belief that if he can speak English at one hundred miles an hour then his English will be better than everyone elses. I honestly have no idea what he is saying half the time. When he remembers to slow down I don't have any problem understanding him. So for now that is the end of the 'Uncle Shane Do You Eat Cats & Dogs & Bats & Frogs' food entries. At the moment I'm having a great time searching for all of my favourite snack people. Most of them come from a 'movable' Eatery so like I've said before, they will be somewhere one day and somewhere completely different the next. So sometime in the future you can look forward to the 'Uncle Shane Do You Eat Cats Eyes, Dogs Balls, Bats Wings & Frogs Claws' Snax entries. I'm almost positive that none of the nieces and nephews have read any of the past eight entries or even been told about them but I have had a wonderfully delicious time creating them and I also like the title. It's a wee bit silly and I'm a big bit silly so it makes all of us in here happy! Sorry, I watched the Exorcist not long ago. Where's Uncle Shane? He's in here, with us! Eating bats! Beers N Noodles full of creepy crawlies toya.....shane _________________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this delicious entry was the awesome Probot. What an exceptional list of 80's Metal bands. The album was 'Probot'. __________________________________________________________

On Walkabout

On Walkabout


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On Walkabout 01


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Dinner - Paris Eatery

Dinner - Paris Eatery


Dinner - Paris Eatery 01

Dinner - Paris Eatery 01


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Dinner - Paris Eatery 02


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Dinner - Paris Eatery 03


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Dinner - Paris Eatery 04


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Dinner - Paris Eatery 06


Lunch - Workmans Eatery

Lunch - Workmans Eatery


Lunch - Workmans Eatery 01

Lunch - Workmans Eatery 01


Lunch - Workmans Eatery 02

Lunch - Workmans Eatery 02


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Lunch - Workmans Eatery 03


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Lunch - Workmans Eatery 04


On Walkabout 04

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Do You Eat Cats N Dogs N Bats N Frogs Part 7

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya Here is the SEVENTH of the 'Uncle Shane Do You Eat Cats & Dogs & Bats & Frogs' food entries. Besides eating dogs, cats, rats and bats I manage to also sit down to a bowl or two of very normal food once in a while. Over the past week I've chosen my favourite little 'hole in the wall eateries' to sit at and take some happy snaps for my friends and family so they can see what I 'normally' eat during the week. And not a health inspector in sight! Over the past year and a bit that I've been living in Shaowu city I've managed to eat my way around most of the cities pokey little restaurants. These ones are very much at the top of my list for both their delicious food and the happy smiles from the owners and the people that eat there. Most also seem to have less 'Bugs & Crawly Things' racing around the place. <u>TODAY</u> Another huge day of delicious food here Shaowu City, southeastern China! For lunch I headed across to what I call the 'Miami Eatery'. This can be found down the little laneway across from my school. Across from it is the Miami Bar which sadly is no longer open as everyone continues to go to Ting Tings Bar. The Miami Eatery has some of the most awesome Fast Food in the city. The only problem with it is you never know when they are going to have a 'Chili Day'. Sometimes I get there and everything is Red and Spicy. I don't mind some spices but when everything is red then I know it is a good idea to go find somewhere else to eat. Too much 'red' means a bad time either in class or on my bike! It depends on how long it takes to hit! Dinner tonight was in two parts. As I went for a very long ride after school and didn't get back until after dark I decided to stop for some of the most awesome rice in China. For those who followed my travels last summer you will remember me raving on and on about Yangzhou Chao Fan or Yangzhou Fried Rice. The only reason I went to the city of Yangzhou was so that I could actually sit and eat my favourite rice meal in the city it was born! For those who have no idea what I'm on about then Yangzhou Fried Rice is where we (in the west) get our Fried Rice from. There are so many types of Fried Rice here in China but the best of them all is of course, Yangzhou Fried Rice. My favourite fried rice eatery can be found just up from Mei Mei's Pool Hall. It is this tiny little place that looks like it hasn't been 'degreased' for about a century but after eating at so many 'hole in the walls' this by far serves the most delicious fried rice. There is one that is better, we call it Ching Chings's. When Daniel and Alexa were here we called it Twins as there was a cute pair of twins that worked there. Now I know the owner and her name is Ching Ching so I changed it to her name. The Yangzhou Fried Rice served there is pretty much exactly what I used to get at any local Chinese Restaurant back home. But I can't include Ching Ching's in any of these 'Food Entries' as it is a restaurant not a 'hole in the wall' Anyhow, several hours later I was found once again in the same laneway several eateries up from the Yangzhou Fried Rice Eatery at an awesome little Dumpling & Rice Eatery. The dumplings here are to die for (hopefully not in reality from food poisoning) but the Yangzhou Fried Rice isn't so good. Even Luo Wei didn't finish hers when we ate there last time. Maybe they should just be a Dumpling Eatery as that is what most can be found eating when they visit this tiny little laneway eatery. Beers N Noodles full of creepy crawlies toya.....shane _________________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this delicious entry was crazy 'Primus' The album was palatable 'Frizzle Fry' __________________________________________________________

Huge Afternoon Ride

Huge Afternoon Ride


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Huge Afternoon Ride 01


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Huge Afternoon Ride 09


Dinner - Yangzhou Fried Rice

Dinner - Yangzhou Fried Rice


Dinner - Yangzhou Fried Rice 01

Dinner - Yangzhou Fried Rice 01


Dinner - Yangzhou Fried Rice 02

Dinner - Yangzhou Fried Rice 02


Dinner - Yangzhou Fried Rice 03

Dinner - Yangzhou Fried Rice 03


My Favourite - Tea Eggs

My Favourite - Tea Eggs


Dinner 2 - Laneway Dumpling Eatery

Dinner 2 - Laneway Dumpling Eatery


Dinner 2 - Laneway Dumpling Eatery 01

Dinner 2 - Laneway Dumpling Eatery 01


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Dinner 2 - Laneway Dumpling Eatery 02


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Dinner 2 - Laneway Dumpling Eatery 03


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Dinner 2 - Laneway Dumpling Eatery 04


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Dinner 2 - Laneway Dumpling Eatery05


Lunch - Miami Eatery

Lunch - Miami Eatery


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Lunch - Miami Eatery 02


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Lunch - Miami Eatery 04


Lunch - Miami Eatery 05

Lunch - Miami Eatery 05

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Do You Eat Cats N Dogs N Bats N Frogs Part 6

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya Here is the SIXTH</b> of the 'Uncle Shane Do You Eat Cats & Dogs & Bats & Frogs' food entries. Besides eating dogs, cats, rats and bats I manage to also sit down to a bowl or two of very normal food once in a while. Over the past week I've chosen my favourite little 'hole in the wall eateries' to sit at and take some happy snaps for my friends and family so they can see what I 'normally' eat during the week. And not a health inspector in sight! Over the past year and a bit that I've been living in Shaowu city I've managed to eat my way around most of the cities pokey little restaurants. These ones are very much at the top of my list for both their delicious food and the happy smiles from the owners and the people that eat there. Most also seem to have less 'Bugs & Crawly Things' racing around the place. <u>TODAY</u></b> Today at lunch time I was starving so I wanted a big bowl of healthy spicy noodles that would keep me going for most of the afternoon. Where better to go than the Market Street where I knew exactly what I was after. Along Market Street can be found several small Noodle Carts and the one I was after can create a most delicious and extremely healthy bowl of noodles. Another pick and point set up. The trays are full of wonderfully fresh and colourful vegetables, tofu, beans and nuts etc. You choose, they add some delicious spices & wok it for you. Dinner was spent in another of the small and friendly family eateries across the river. A mouth watering tray of freshly made dumplings along with a small 'Heart and Liver' soup followed by an hour's walk and then a fantastic evening playing pool at Mei Mei's. Mei Mei is the lady in the photo behind the net. She is such a fun person and has been teaching herself English from her daughters school books and if I may say so, is doing a much better job than a lot of students that are at school. Beers N Noodles full of creepy crawlies toya.....shane _________________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this delicious entry was crazy 'Primus' The album was palatable 'Frizzle Fry' __________________________________________________________

Bar &#38;amp; Pool Fun

Bar &#38;amp; Pool Fun


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Bar &#38;amp; Pool Fun 01


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Bar &#38;amp; Pool Fun 02


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Bar &#38;amp; Pool Fun 07


Dinner - Dumplings &#38;amp; Soup

Dinner - Dumplings &#38;amp; Soup


Dinner - Dumplings &#38;amp; Soup 01

Dinner - Dumplings &#38;amp; Soup 01


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Dinner - Dumplings &#38;amp; Soup 02


Dinner - Dumplings &#38;amp; Soup 03

Dinner - Dumplings &#38;amp; Soup 03


Lunch - Market Street Wok Up

Lunch - Market Street Wok Up


Lunch - Market Street Wok Up 01

Lunch - Market Street Wok Up 01


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Lunch - Market Street Wok Up 02


Lunch - Market Street Wok Up 03

Lunch - Market Street Wok Up 03


Bar &#38;amp; Pool Fun 08

Bar &#38;amp; Pool Fun 08


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Bar &#38;amp; Pool Fun 14


Bar &#38;amp; Pool Fun 15

Bar &#38;amp; Pool Fun 15

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Do You Eat Cats N Dogs N Bats N Frogs Part 5

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya Here is the FIFTH </b>of the 'Uncle Shane Do You Eat Cats & Dogs & Bats & Frogs' food entries. Besides eating dogs, cats, rats and bats I manage to also sit down to a bowl or two of very normal food once in a while. Over the past week I've chosen my favourite little 'hole in the wall eateries' to sit at and take some happy snaps for my friends and family so they can see what I 'normally' eat during the week. And not a health inspector in sight! Over the past year and a bit that I've been living in Shaowu city I've managed to eat my way around most of the cities pokey little restaurants. These ones are very much at the top of my list for both their delicious food and the happy smiles from the owners and the people that eat there. Most also seem to have less 'Bugs & Crawly Things' racing around the place. <u>TODAY</u></b> For lunch I couldn't seem to make my mind up on what I wanted to have. All around me were delicious smells so I thought hey, why not have a bit of this and a bit of that and combine a few of my favourite little snacks and make a meal out of them. My mother used to say too many snacks ruin a good meal! Mumma Bear wouldn't be too happy with me today I'm sure! First stop was a little Eatery Yu Wei Jin took Luo Wei and I to the last time she was here. It dishes up the most wonderful 'Green Dumplings'. I have no idea what they are called but if you call them Joutsa/Dumplings around the local Chinese they'll give you a good smack across the wrist. They are a very famous local dish and that is how they are introduced to you. The story is that once upon a time in history beautiful women used to make them using their feet. I think that means they would walk into the forest to gather the herbs and then instead of using their hands to mix the ingredience, I think they used to use their feet. Just like when you make home brew wine and tread on the grapes for a billion hours. Besides these Green Dumplings Things, this eatery also serves a strange dish made from rice. It's a lot like Tofu and it is served in a broth of what is very much like gravy. It really is a tasty snack. I then headed across a few streets to a little lane way that has many snack carts. I spend a lot to time in these little lane ways as they also house many of my favourite 'hole in the wall' eateries. Thankfully the soup man I was after hadn't gone home for lunch. I love this soup. Made by putting a pancake like mixture on a small tray and then scraping small amounts into boiling water. Then add various greens and wallah! Witchity Grub Soup! It is light but very tasty. Dinner was at one of my favourite Noodle Soup places. When Alexa was here this was her most favourite dish. Daniel, Alexa and I would all go out for dinner and just after we ordered she would disappear and five minutes later return with a big bowl of this noodle soup. We gave this dish the name 'Soup on a Stick'. You get to choose what goes into the soup along with the type of noodles. There is a huge selection that ranges from vegetables, salad, tiny eggs to assorted little meats and won tons etc. They all come on a stick which is why we called it Soup on a Stick. Simply grab a plastic container and fill it with what you want in your soup and within five minutes you have an awesome Noodle Soup placed before you.

The non-food photos for this entry were taken on my lunch time walk. Life living here in China is sometimes like being in a documentary about life hundreds of years ago. To many, life just hasn't advanced or moved on. Sadly they are their own beast of burden and for many so will their children after them.

Maybe that's with the Police use many Golf Cart type buggies. Why use cars if most simply push, peddle or pull.

Beers N Noodles full of creepy crawlies toya.....shane _________________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this delicious entry was by Melbourne's greatest band ever. The panoramic sensation of sound 'The Underground Lovers' The albums were the 'Jumbled In A Common Box, Las Vagas, Losin It, Splendid, Star Signs, Takes You Back and Your Eyes' EP's. __________________________________________________________

Push Peddle &#38;amp; Pull

Push Peddle &#38;amp; Pull


Push Peddle &#38;amp; Pull 01

Push Peddle &#38;amp; Pull 01


Push Peddle &#38;amp; Pull 02

Push Peddle &#38;amp; Pull 02


Push Peddle &#38;amp; Pull 03

Push Peddle &#38;amp; Pull 03


Push Peddle &#38;amp; Pull 04

Push Peddle &#38;amp; Pull 04


Push Peddle &#38;amp; Pull 05

Push Peddle &#38;amp; Pull 05


Push Peddle &#38;amp; Pull 06

Push Peddle &#38;amp; Pull 06


Push Peddle &#38;amp; Pull 07

Push Peddle &#38;amp; Pull 07


Push Peddle &#38;amp; Pull 08

Push Peddle &#38;amp; Pull 08


Push Peddle &#38;amp; Pull 09

Push Peddle &#38;amp; Pull 09


Push Peddle &#38;amp; Pull 10

Push Peddle &#38;amp; Pull 10


First Lunch Snack

First Lunch Snack


First Lunch Snack 01

First Lunch Snack 01


First Lunch Snack 02

First Lunch Snack 02


First Lunch Snack 03

First Lunch Snack 03


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First Lunch Snack 04


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First Lunch Snack 05


Second Lunch Snack

Second Lunch Snack


Second Lunch Snack 01

Second Lunch Snack 01


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Second Lunch Snack 02


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Second Lunch Snack 03


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Second Lunch Snack 04


Dinner - Soup On A Stick

Dinner - Soup On A Stick


Dinner - Soup On A Stick 01

Dinner - Soup On A Stick 01


Dinner - Soup On A Stick 02

Dinner - Soup On A Stick 02


Dinner - Soup On A Stick 03

Dinner - Soup On A Stick 03


Dinner - Soup On A Stick 04

Dinner - Soup On A Stick 04

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)