Tag Archives: Mundane Monday

Mundane Monday: Aquatics

It’s hot. Care for a swim?

The National Aquatics Center in Beijing, China. Site of the 2008 Summer Olympics

For the Mundane Monday Challenge #122

Mundane Monday is a Weekly Photography Challenge that focuses on those seemingly mundane subjects that we usually do not consider taking pictures of and make a good photograph out of that subject.

Mundane Monday: Chinese Coke

One of my kids had this drink at an excellent restaurant near the great wall. 

I rarely if ever drink Coke anymore, just as a special treat. But I still like their can designs, especially the ones at Christmas with the polar bears. And in this case, the arrangement of these characters is attractive in itself.

For the Mundane Monday photo challenge #120.

Mundane Monday: Bicycles in Beijing

When I learned about China in school, I developed a mental picture of crowds of mostly identically dressed people riding bicycles in the streets.

China in the 1980s, photo credit: 网易看客:谁动了中国的自行车

Then I got to Beijing, and it didn’t look like that at all.

Traffic outside of Beijing Olympic Park
Traffic outside of Beijing Olympic Park

Our tour guide informed us that in the past 20-30 years, since the 1990s, Beijing has added many cars to its streets, most of them from Western companies. These cars are not the main reason for Beijing’s air quality problem; that comes from the coal-burning factories in the area.

But he also mentioned the song, “Nine Million Bicycles in Beijing” by Katie Melua, as if we’d all know what it was. Well, no, but at least my teenage kids didn’t know it either, until he found it on his phone and played it for us.

Bike lane near Olympic Park
Bike lane near Olympic Park

There are still more bicycles and bike riders in Beijing than in most US cities. Bike shares and bike lanes are very common, and people ride bikes wearing normal street clothing (not spandex) and often no helmets.

Biking along


In spite of intense interest in this question, nobody knows exactly how many bicycles are in Beijing now. (There may be 9 million stolen ones . . .)

They compete with the scooters and rickshaws as the 21.5+ million inhabitants of the city move from place to place.

For the Mundane Monday Challenge #119. Mundane Monday Challenge is a Weekly Photography Challenge that focuses on those seemingly mundane subjects that we usually do not consider taking pictures of.

Mundane Monday: Travel Bag

This textile pattern looks like it could have come from one of the museums I’ve visited on my trip. 

But it’s actually from the side of my travel bag. This bag is smaller than most backpacks, but big enough to hold passports, a water bottle, my journal and pen, various chargers, band-aids, anti-itch cream, a nail clipper, and has pockets so I don’t lose my subway card and hotel key card.

I bought the bag in Turkey about 8 years ago. I don’t know the origin of the pattern or if it’s “authentic.” I just liked the patterns and the colors. Like me, it’s pretty far from home.

For the Mundane Monday Challenge #117.

Mundane Monday: Broken Path

Driving around the North Bay near Suisun City, we came upon a geocache called (ironically, as it turned out) “Beautiful Downtown Denverton.” According to the geocache page description, “in 1878 the town [of Denverton] had a store and a blacksmith shop, a wheelwright, a meat market, a hotel, a school-house, and a Good Templars Hall.”  Continue reading Mundane Monday: Broken Path

Mundane Monday: Orchids

In the fall of 2015, we had a housewarming party in our new home in CA. I invited one of my coworkers with her husband and two small children. She, in turn, brought me an orchid plant. The flowers were very neatly arranged in two rows, haiku-like. They lasted for a couple of weeks and then fell off and I had a nice pot with two green sticks sticking out of it, propped up with a rather elaborate system of clips and supports.  Continue reading Mundane Monday: Orchids

Muddy Mundane Monday: Heartbreak Hill

My husband and I have gone geocaching together often enough that a theme is emerging. Usually the theme has to do with him suggesting something that I consider a little crazy, and after some negotiation, my going along with it in modified form and taking a lot of pictures. It was true for the events described in my published geocaching stories, “Bobbing for Bob,” and “Gentle Icelandic Sheep.” And it was true this past weekend in Yuba City.

Continue reading Muddy Mundane Monday: Heartbreak Hill