Thursday, May 28, 2009

How I spent the Dragon Boat Festival Holiday

For me, DBF meant Walkies with Tony.  This morning we went to the Hui Shan City IT park that is under construction near the White House and Olympic Village apartments.  There were workers hard at it even on what is supposed to be a National Holiday.  In the afternoon, the K Boys (A and T) went for another walk.  Along the way, A had an idea to take one of the local buses as far as it would go and walk back home.  We would take the bus in the opposite direction from downtown Wuxi.  The first bus to come to the stop was the #610.  We took that and it took us further than I had expected.  We went to the next town called Qianzhou.  The place must be happening, it has a KFC.  We went to the KFC where Tony had fun at the playground.  Earlier, he forced me into paying coin so he could ride a hobby horse.  Then, we went back to home.  Not familiar with the area, I had no idea where to go other than the KFC.
In China, things are definitely planned top down.  Projects are impressive in scale but when you look close up, everything is shoddy.  A park we went to this morning was full of paths and playground equipment.  But it seemed like little maintenance had been done since the park had been built.  Tile was missing.  Some of the playground equipment had been busted and so fallen into disrepair.  An artificial pond had a promenade deck built beside it which had many planks already pulled out leaping gaps and nails sticking out.  The park was also strewn with garbage and the pond was filled with weed.  Surprisingly, some young boys were swimming in the scum-filled pond.
On the bus to Qianzhou, three girls were taking photos of Tony were their mobile phone cameras.  Tony can wow them, for whatever reason, but he dislikes the attention.  To get to Qianzhou from Yangqiao, the bus crosses a canal, a large rice paddy, and a freeway, and also passes a large plant with a tall smokestack. 
In Qianzhou, a girl with very good English came to talk to me.  She of course asked me about Tony.  I learned that she was Rita, a tutor from Web English downtown.  She has a longer commute to work than I do. 

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