10/4/07

廊坊

So yesterday Ariel, Silvia and I got back from 廊坊 (Lang2 Fang2) a medium sized city about an hour south of Beijing. This is our friend Anna's hometown, so she showed us around this rather friendly, although very chaotic, extremely Chinese city. It was a particularly bright and happy couple of days as we walked around The People's Park, ate great food, got stared at, shopped in small markets and taxied around.

Chinese cities, apart from the giants like Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Beijing or Shanghai, feel like an extention of Communist village life, both in outlook and design. There is a central square, or "People's Park" which is, in turn, surrounded by block housing and various designated shopping streets. There are a lot of government owned restaurants and department stores jumbled together in these areas and something like a "women's street," "worker's hall" or "children's monument" with villagers selling vegetables, old women fan dancing, old men playing Chinese chess and kids running around through water fountains or designated green areas. It's extremely controlled design with key uniformity, but if offers a very well utilized public space for families. There is a lot to say about the overwhelming sense of community you get from smaller, more Chinese cities here.

Oh, and it's OCTOBER HOLIDAY, so I have the whole week off. October 1st is when the People's Republic was founded, so most people get at least a few days off, and white collars get the whole week.

Lots of marriages in Lang Fang. Anna explained that since it's October Holiday, a lot of couples will get married since they have the time available.

Toy Seller.

A topiary of one of the "Friendlies," the Olympic mascot for China.

These bubble things looked both dangerous and fun, as most fun things are.

One of the many couples in 廊坊人民公园 (The People's Park of Lang Fang)


This pained look was actually encouraged by the photographer.

Courtesy of Silvia. Wonderful and fairly common ad for a kind of North Chinese liquor.

Besides the obvious strangeness of the Roman columns, the Chinese above calls this area "Beijing Women's Street," which is an actual place, although it's located in Beijing, naturally. Don't get it.

Anna's home. See lives in a very, very traditional village outside of town.

Ariel and I tired and returning home.

Silvy and I.
A tourist bus. This style of travel is common, especially for lower middle class since costs can be kept very low. Many of this buses come to Beijing and unload dozens of bewildered, mostly village types.

6 comments:

Chad said...

Really great pictures! Bubbles are too good. Send me a email.

And send me an email.

Dadkle said...

Did you see any bright red, gasping, or listless children in those plastic water bubbles?

Have you ever seen the old British series "The Prisoner"? I just don't trust those jumbo bubbles...Happy time off!

Anonymous said...

wow! so amazing! those bubbles are great!

Rossi; what is the name of my noodles at the dumpling place!?
me escribes?
te quuieroi!
-C

Anonymous said...

JUST DON"T FART IN THE BUBBLE!!!!!!!!

Terri said...

Bubbles ???Looks more like a deathtrap or a form of torture! maybe a Hamster wheel??
u rikey small ride in bub-ble of deatf??? seal u up & see u gasp! later eat shiney foo!!!
boy! the Chinese sure know how to have a good time, sweating and smelly, in clear plastic globes of insanity-while others laugh on shore!!! almost a hiaku!
loveyerma
did you ride in one?

Terri said...

This reminds me of your favorite show , I caught a bit today-Rachel Ray!! She had a guy on who wrote a book for kids Called something like "the Boys Book of Dangerous Toys" It was the author's misguided attempt to pry his kid's hands away from video games and go outside and have some REAL fun outside of the virtual realm. How to build simple go-cart, tree fort-cool fun ideas that can almost kill you! I wonder if Giant Chinese Smelly Death Bubbles have a chapter?????