Wednesday, July 2, 2008

All in the name of progress..

It's been almost one year since Mark and I came to China and we have noticed many changes to the skyline in the span of a very short time. One area is close to the university, affectionately called Xia Da.

When I first started at Xia Da, the main street going to the university, was lined with all sorts of stores. There were restaurants, markets, clothing shops, and a few bars. The area was full of life, students stopping for coffee at Mc Donald's, people haggling at the market, beggars looking for money, tourists going to Nanputo Temple, and a street with various vendors looking for people to buy their wares. At times it could be difficult navigating your way through the streets due to the number of students and tourists, especially during lunch time. KFC was a big hit.

A much needed break!

So, it was a surprise, when I found out that the shops near the university were closing. Yes, I heard this awhile back about the changes taking place, but to see the shops empty and partially torn down, is rather sad. I took my very first guest, Emily, here to Cafe Relax. From the top floor, we could sit out on the balcony and watch the vendors on the street trying to sell their goods, while others were sleeping, waiting for someone to buy something. We also saw many rats, but I digress. The once filled streets and shops are now empty. Only a few stores are open trying to sell the last of their merchandise.

At one time, this street was lined with vendors!

Even KFC is now gone!

I'm not sure what will take the place of these shops, though rumours are spreading that it's going to be a park or more shops but whatever it will be, I will miss the little restaurant where my new classmates, and I had our first lunch together after enrolling into Xia Da.

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