It was a beautiful winter day today. A great day to go for a walk and explore some.
This is a picture of one of the many water trucks that go throughout the day cleaning the dirt and grime from the road. When I first arrived in China, I heard a familiar children’s song, like Pop Goes the Weasel. I thought it was an ice cream truck. Like the ones that would cruise my neighborhood in the summer. So, I was expecting to see an ice cream truck. it was one of these watering trucks. Just goes to show you that some things are just not the same here in China. They play the music as a warning to people walking on the streets or riding their bikes.
I was in the new part of the city now. Many would call it a ghost city. It looks like it here. But, there is enough traffic to make it feel a little alive. Most of the apartment and business buildings are still under construction. So, few people live here yet. And, It was a Sunday. But, it still is strange to see sites like this in a city with nearly 400,000 people and a county well over a million.
I then made my way to the “Citizen’s Park”. That is so Chinese. We would call them public parks, city parks, or just the park. Here, it is the citizen’s park. Nearly every large city has a park like this. They are constructed with a dual purpose in mind. Yes. It is designed to give people a green space to relax and enjoy recreational activities. But, they are also emergency shelters in case they are ever attacked again. You can usually find bomb shelters, electric generators, places to set up “tents”, and emergency water supply. I know this because they have signs telling you about them. The park in Ganyu even had an “emergency helicopter pad”. What surprised me is that this park actually had a playground for kids to play one. It is the first one I have seen in a public park. Usually there are amusement rides you have to pay for. Or, exercise equipment that the older people usually use. It was great to see kids playing here. I wish I could see more playgrounds in China.
After my stroll through the park, I walked along the river. Now, I must tell you, I walked over 10 miles today I think. The citizen’s park took me over an hour to walk to. The river from the park is another 30-45 minutes. But, it was a great day. And, I have been hibernating too long at the house with it being cold outside. I hate the cold.
On this leg of the journey, I came across a man in a wheelchair. An elderly man was trying to push himself up a hill. I stopped and asked if he would like for me to give him a push. Well, asked is not quite right. I just motioned and he understood. We get to the top of the hill and he got to show me off to some people he knew. One of my good deeds for the day.
On my final leg of the journey, I found this wonderful flower shop. It is so beautiful in there. It is very unlike many of the shops here in China. It actually had character. And, the staff was so friendly. I bought some Christmas gifts for my teaching assistants there. Just some small plants. Nothing too special. But, I loved the pots.
Speaking of Christmas, more and more decorations are going up in the stores. And, there are quite a few decorations available for home purchases. I do not see many people buying them yet. But, it is a good sign that Christmas might take root here. And, hopefully for the right reasons. I saw several bakeries setting up Christmas trees today. At least three of them did. I guess they can not let their competitors get an edge. I think all bakeries now have a tree in the shops.
Oh, not related to this walk, but last night I saw Mickey Mouse. He was out on the sidewalk hawking wedding blankets and bedding. Way to go Mickey. I am sure Disney is proud to know that. That reminds me, I could make a killing dressed as Santa and charge 10 yuan for a picture with me. Hmmmm. Maybe next year. Merry Christmas everyone.