Spring Cleaning

13 Apr

As I’ve mentioned before, I live in the Middle-A, Nowhere of campus. It’s kind of a weird area. Mostly run down buildings, a lot of random apartments with broken windows and bricked up walls. My daily walk out of little east gate takes me past a huge field, bigger than a basketball court, full of rocks, dirt, and garbage piled nearly six to ten feet high. This wrecked field is farmed by the oldsters who live in the old danwei apartments. They’ve planted lettuce, cabbage, anything that will grow really. It’s both heartbreaking and heartwarming.

Part of the field.  I like how the really expensive apartments get to overlook what is basically a low-income housing co-op.

A neat little garden, carefully fenced in with rocks.

A granny hard at work, weeding her garden.

This neighborhood is also one of the main reasons why I laugh anytime someone says SCU is a top university for China. I mean, could you imagine an Ivy campus with portions that looked like this?

I came back from Hong Kong on Wednesday. And sometime in the week I was gone, they managed to bulldoze all of it.

I kind of miss the old field. I mean yeah, it was kind of an eyesore, but at least it had flowers and green plants. This bare field, razed and salted, is even worse. Plus, you know all those old people are suddenly short on fresh greens they could eat. Kind of a lose-lose.

Such is progress in China, though. One day you have a field, the next a flat piece of land ready for development, often without any warning.


2 Responses to “Spring Cleaning”

  1. Karen April 16, 2012 at 11:07 pm #

    It is truly sad that they destroyed the gardens of the elderly in the area. I understand cleaning up an eyesore but they could have allocated an area for the locals to continue to grow veggies to supplement their diet. Don’t they have community gardens for city dwellers?

    • Jane April 17, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

      Um, no. This was the community garden. It’s more along the lines of, “this lot used to have a building, but they tore it down and now there’s just rubble, so we’ll just plant our veggies here.” Frankly, the empty dirt is much more of an eyesore than all the greenery.

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