| d. 28-07-2012 03:53:21
Kunming 28 juli 2012
After four weeks travelling in china, from Beijing to Xiaogan, Wuhan, Xian and now in Kunming in the south western province of Yunnan, I do have to change some of my impressions from earlier visits to China.
First thing is about dirt and rubbish. Travelling the big cities of the coastal provinces and mainly staying in the city centres , the modern cities, the new subways and airports etc, I always found these areas to be so clean and very weel maintained. This is certainly not the case, as soon as one leaves the main roads and goes down the old not fashionable Hutongs in Beijing or where ever you go in the other cities we visited this year.
We went from Beijing to Xiaogan with fast train, an 8 hour trip and not so fast, 150 km / h . But the train was only tree years old, and although this was confirmed by several people on train, I still couldn't believe it. To me it looked like being at least 10 if not 15 or more years old. Well the ride itself was very comfortable and service fine, but the train look old , and it comes down to lack of maintenance.
The same thing goes for the "old" house in the cities. I often look at these dirty and miserable looking buildings and asked Chinese friends how old these might be? The answer is very old , and then when you dig into this, you find that houses build more then 10-15 years ago is regarded as old to the chinese!and they certainly looks old , very old. I see some few building dating back from the 1950's they will properly all be demolished, as they dont look suitable for humans to live in. Then I and visited apartments build within the last 10 to 15 years and even these , from a danish point of view , new buildings looks very messy and lack any kind of maintenance on the outside walls or in the stairways areas. Yes people pay money for maintenance but these money is only spent on repairments inside the apartments.
In these 10-15 years Old apartments I seen a few kitchens by now, and I have been very much surprised to find these kitchens to be so unbelievable dirty. Dirts that comes from oil cooking yes, but still is possible to get rid of if you want to. The chinese dont seem to bother about it , and have no shame about it. The same goes for the 1000 's of outdoor street kitchens / restaurant that you find on most street and small alleys in the chinese cities. If danish standards for kitchen hygienic / cleanness was to be imposed in China, there would be no cooking anywhere! On the other hand it is also in these very simple street kitchens that you can find the most delicious food , and for only a few yuan.
Back on the streets one finds broken pavement, old time dirty and filth never to be removed from the pavement stonesand bricks. Just as dirty as the streets of copenhagen has become over the last teen years. And as nowadays in Copenhagen we also find begars on the street. Many of these are handicapped in one or the other way. Right outside the Bell Towers Hotel in the center of Xian small half naked boys lay on the street begging. After staying one week in Xian I soon recognized them all , or there was not more then you could cont on a hand or two.
On our first night in Kunming we had some noodle in an street cafe / restaurant. As soon as we left our table a 8-10 years old boy sneaked onto the table, hidding himself from the waitress, and quickly eat what we had left over in our plates. After him , another one followed to take a look at what might be left.
From these experience it seems clear to me taht China still have a lot to do , when it comes to provide new housing, repairment and maintenance of what is already done, and to provide social security for millions of chinese. All though being now the second largest economy in the world , China is surely also a developing country, for many years to come.
But still it stands that the achievement's so far is most impressive, and is seen everywhere. New roads, airports, subways and giant housing areas has been build everywhere. One can only hope that the chinese will find time and money also to maintain these giants investments , otherwise money may be lost in the years to come.