Jon's morning walk starts with a cheery "nihao" to the security guard on the back-gate of our compound, and then onto Zhaohua Lu.
During the day it's a very quiet street; there are usually a couple of vendors selling hats/shoelaces/whatever and a street-side cobbler plying their trade.
During rush hour, Zhaohua Lu becomes a 2-wheeled-vehicle speedway. Just because the pedestrian crossing light is green doesn't mean pedestrians have any right of way. Its you versus them.
Once across, a couple of minutes walk to the pedestrian walkway over/under the Yan'an Elevated Roadway (sort of the Gardiner Expressway on steroids).
Jon passes a "recycler". Every day you see many people collecting, scavenging or breaking down items for recycling. The government is trying to introduce the idea of garbage separation but are getting nowhere. Meanwhile thousands of people scrape a meager existence doing the separation and diversion for them.
Some mornings Jon joins the line for a jian bing - a sort of crepe containing a couple of eggs, green onion, something he hasn't identified yet, a barbecue sauce made of fermented beans, chilies and a cuibing (a sort of crispy wafer). The whole thing is made in under a minute and handed over too hot to hold. All for 3RMB (about 40 cents).
Past another group of stalls selling dumplings and things. We've never bought from here in the morning, so we don't know if they are the same as the ones he sells in the evening, when they are delicious and greasy as anything.
As you get closer to the subway, the number of people on the sidewalks increases, but the sidewalks are full of obstructions, repairs, planters or they just narrow sometimes to just a few inches. It's every man and woman for themselves navigating through the crowds. There's no "convention" of walking on the left or right. No-one ever gives way or pauses to let someone else through.
Finally into the station. Jon couldn't take any pictures showing the daily fight to get through the too narrow doorway, and decided it was not prudent to photograph the security checkpoint that everyone ignores. Finally down at platform level - the trains stop (sort-of) exactly aligned with these markers on the platform. Everyone queues neatly on the markets, oh except for the people who ignore the lines and just go right down the middle. But it's kind of pointless because when the doors opens no-one waits for anyone to get off before they shove their way on.
...continuing with my humorous mangling of the Chinese language: "ba" means to walk. The word ba with different tones can also mean eight, the noise of gunfire, to wish for, tree, scar, a fence made of bamboo, banana, corned beef, a drought demon, a plough, the part of a bow one holds to shoot, a tyrant, a mackerel, or a dog with short shinbones.
Jon thought that he would show you his walk to the subway station every morning. We live about about halfway between two subway stations. Jon usually walks to Jiangsu Road which is slightly shorter distance, but a much busier and more interesting walk: