Tag Archive | Ring Ding Dong

Feng Jing Zhen 楓涇鎮 – On the Streets

Friday, April 22, 2011:  Family Day

Feng Jing Zhen 楓涇鎮 – Walking the Streets

Mom, Lin-Ai, Qing Qing, Xiao Chen, Auntie, Kelly and I (whoa, what a jumble of people!) embarked on a promenade down the back streets of Feng Jing Zhen for a simple, small-town shopping experience. The ground was composed of rough, gray stones. The streets were narrow with occasional indentations housing little shops. Elderly people sat on wooden stools, just being simple people in a simple village. There was a painting above one of the stores, one of those Chinese landscape sketches of rivers, lakes, bridges, mountains, and Mother Nature. Xiao Chen told me a well-known phrase the villagers live by: 小橋流水人家 - Xiao Qiao, Liu Shui, Ren Jia (Small Bridge, Flowing Water, Family & Home). The painting exhibited a placid village amidst crossing bridges, towering mountains, and intersecting blue rivers. Feelings of familial love and sense of harmony exuded from the simple, but deep picture. The phrase Xiao Chen was elaborating on made the painting all the more special. Basically, everyone in the community is connected; no matter how small the bridge is, there is always that physical link between neighbors. Water symbolizes purity and continuous flow of fortune, always present in Chinese shops, restaurants, offices, and homes. Water will hopefully bring in the money, happiness, and luck. It will also wash and clear out any negative energy. Lastly, the essence of family is embedded in the Chinese character for home, or ‘jia.’  Embedded in the character is a sense of unity and togetherness. I thought that was a particularly powerful portrait of the village.

I like this sequence of pictures we took on our saunter. Mom and her sister Lin-Ai were arm-in-arm, heads together, gossiping and bonding over lost time. Kelly and I, representing the next generation, walked a distance behind, in perfect line with our corresponding roles. That is, big sisters were on the right side (Mom and Connie) and little sisters linked and off to the left (Lin-Ai and Kelly). It was an amusing Kodak moment. Qing Qing took the shots and here they are:

Why... Hello!

What did we spend on that afternoon? Mom stopped at a tiny shop and embarked on a spree for sandals, hand-woven baskets, and fire rocks.  The straw baskets were ideal for fruits and vegetables, or whatever else Mom wanted to toss in there. She ended up buying maybe 3 decent-sized baskets. There were also these fancy black lava rocks for rubbing the undersides of the foot to rid of dead skin and maintain overall foot health. Mom bought two-handfuls. I also saw a large wooden bucket. Xiao Chen explained to me the importance of foot health in Asia. Every night, before going to bed, it is of natural importance to clean and bathe the feet in warm water. It is tonic for the whole body, allowing for circulation and overall relaxation. I guess that’s why Mom always made me wash my feet before getting home, mainly for cleanliness reasons. And maybe it’s in my genes to absolutely hate walking barefoot anywhere, except where I know I’m in a clean area, like my home. I hate walking sans footwear on the sandy beach, in the shower, at people’s homes, etc… I’m used to following the Chinese way of living, where you wear sandals in the house. Or socks. But I do like my feet free, so I prefer flip-flops or flats. I’ll be sure to play around with those handy lava rocks! And try this evening feet-warming-and-bathing session.

We circled around the streets, over a bridge, and onto a bigger street. More shopping was pursued, obviously. Kelly bought sneakers. Lin-Ai bought a pink tennis shirt. I resisted the urge. Instead, I conversed with Qing Qing and Xiao Chen, while listening to the songs playing in the store. Again, my Asian side prevailed, since I started singing and dancing to Top Combine’s “Cotton Candy” and SHINee’s “Ring Ding Dong.” The latter song is absolutely contagious! I heard it, pointed to Kelly, who was trying on colorful sneakers, and said, “Hey Kelly, it’s Ring Ding Dong.” In her seat, right next to Shen Shen, she put down her shoes and started dancing to ~Ring Ding Dong~ My, my, it was hilarious!

We circled back to base. We met up with Ah-Gu, who looked a tad too red and tired ((O.O)). I bet he has the Asian gene… Anyway, we said our good-byes to Ah-Gu and Shen Shen, wishing them the best of luck and hoping to visit again in the near future. Then, we were on our merry way back to Shanghai city.


~Dream Concert 2010~

Dream Concert 2010

The extravaganza Dream Concert 2010 took place at the World Cup Stadium in Seoul on May 22, 2010.  The special concert featuring the biggest names in K-pop aired recently on May 30, 2010.  Now, I don’t have a plane ticket to Seoul or the language skills just yet, so the best way to experience a live performance is on my butt, in front of my Macbook, on Youtube.

Despite light rain, over 40,000 loyal fans came out to support their favorite artists.  I wish I had the luxury to wave my glow-stick amidst the sea of screaming and singing fans.  Now, going to a K-pop concert beats another Jay Chou concert any day (no worries, I’m still a loyal fan of Jay Chou).

The MCs for the concert were Hee Chul (Super Junior), Shin Se Kyung, and Tae Yeon (SNSD 少女時代).  Here’s a taste of the spectacular performances (as experienced on Youtube HD):  2PM, SS501, Wonder Girls, Super Junior 슈퍼주니어, KARA, SNSD 少女時代, CNBlue, MBLAQ, BEAST, ZE:A, f(x), SHINee, T-ara, Rain, Lee Hyori, After School, F.cuz, Rainbow, Davichi, U-Kiss and 4minute.

미인아 Bonamana Dance

I loved Super Junior’s solid performance.  They looked absolutely amazing in their clean white, yet rebellious look.  For their Comeback to Korea as Super Junior again, they’ve had a complete makeover since last year’s “Sorry Sorry” promotion.  I also think they’ve been working out and baring more skin and muscles (o.O candy).

They performed their hot, new single “미인아 Bonamana” off their new album Bonamana, which includes a nice mix of hip-hop, dance-pop, love ballads, and R&B.  As you listen and watch the performance, you cannot help but dance to the electropop beats of Bonamana.  The song, and the album, remains true to the “mature” and “sophisticated” style established by “Sorry Sorry.”  Classified as part of the music genre “Super Junior Funky” (how cool is it to establish a whole genre and call it ‘funky’?), Bonamana is a clever experimentation with African rhythms, club-dance mixes, Olympic gold moves, and auto-tuned vocals.  Try watching Suju’s live performances and learning the dance moves, it’s a powerful workout.  

SNSD Dream Concert

Next, SNSD 少女時代 Girl’s Generation.  SNSD is like the female counterpart to Super Junior.  They are banging dancers and singers, more on the cute side.  Here, they performed their hit singles “Run Devil Run” and “Oh!” 

SHINee is also a good Korean band to listen to.  I heard a few songs by SHINee from the Korean drama Boys Over Flowers 꽃보다 남자 (2009).  Here’s their hit “Ring Ding Dong,” it’s an upbeat, sassy song. 

Other recent Comebacks include the Wonder Girls, SS501, 4Minute, and MBLAQ.  I’m not very familiar with 4Minute or MBLAQ-Y, but I do enjoy music by the Wonder Girls and SS501.  The Wonder Girls have been promoting in America and elsewhere since their “Nobody” release.  They are planning an English album featuring English versions of hit Korean singles and an international tour for 2010. As announced in April, the Wonder Girls plan to partner with fellow Korean band 2PM on a US-Canada tour this year.  Their upcoming single and album is “2 Different Tears,” as performed here at the Dream Concert.

And the last of my favorites, SS501.  Since last August 2009, SS501 has been on their first Asia tour, visiting Taiwan, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Thailand, and Seoul, finishing only recently in February 2010.  On May 17th, 2010, it was revealed that Kim Hyun Joong got involved in a car accident, suffering rib injuries and bruises.  Because it would take 2 weeks for him to fully recover, Hyun Joong (along with his band members) could only sing ballad songs during the Dream Concert, instead of performing their usual dance sequences.  Unfortunately, their performance was untelevised, as requested by their entertainment company DSP Media.  Well, that does not stop fans from videorecording and uploading the performance (I did the same thing at last year’s Jay Chou concert).  I found a clear version of “Let Me Be the One,” but with the main focus on Kim Hyung Jun, my favorite member.

Soon after the concert, SS501’s single “Love Ya” and new mini-album Destination were leaked.  Even if their contract with DSP Media expires this June, I’m hoping SS501 will continue to stay together and make music for fans everywhere.  Here’s their new MV, “Love Ya,” since they did not perform it at the Dream Concert OR get televised.

Here’s a link to performances by other famous, just-as-amazing Korean popstars. Rain fans:  his performance was also untelevised unfortunately due to J Tune Entertainment.