Slum Village


I am not sure my parents are ready to endure Long Hua–nine days until they come-.
Time will proclaim itself when they arrive.

Some things about my town.
It is Construction Party Pad.
There is a KTV [karaoke chain that is popular here] that is called Club SEXY. I have yet to check it out with my friends..
The subway is currently being built and should be functional by next I am told.
This would allow me to hop the metro to downtown Shenzhen in just 30 minutes.
Did I mention the stop will be less than a block from me?
It runs through the center of town and we take strolls under the subway overpass through broken glass, dirt, and rubble, and what looks like street vomit.
Street vomit = Streets being so torn up–giant gaping holes, mounds of rocks, rocks jutting out of the ground..the list goes on. In other words walking through my town is like one giant obstacle course.
Overnight they [not sure who they are] decided it would be a good idea to dig up all sidewalks and all roads.
This being right outside my window–causing lots of dust to collect in my palace of a flat.

One thing you have to dodge is getting urinated on!
The other day Christy and I were taking a Sunday stroll when suddenly she pulled me out of the way as a little boy was taking his yellow shower.
His father was a truck driver and was holding him above everything in the giant 18 wheeler in order to let the child relieve himself.
I’m glad I have a friend like Christy.

Trash River:
Trash River is a river that runs through Long hua. There are many bridges that cross it.
From a distance it looks pleasant.
Up close it has a pungent smell of garbage and other waste.
Hence the name.
The other day while walking to school I noticed a roaring fire adjacent to one of the many bridges I cross.
This was no bonfire. This was a giant 50 foot blaze.
No firefighters were in sight. Just workers wearing straw chinese hats working under the fire picking at grass and looking bored.
Just another day in Longhua..

My walk to school involves many of these obstacle courses.
I have to dodge everything from feces, urine, slippery sidewalks, stray dogs/cats/people carrying chickens, dead rats, real vomit, broken glass, rubble…the list goes on…
Everything is sold on the walk up to my school.

You can buy:
Bars for your windows, doors, wardrobes, housewares, animals, food, medicine, “sweet gadgetry,” hardware, lumber, the list goes on.

People work on the sidewalk welding the bars, making the wardrobes etc.
The funny part though is the mask they wear.
For whatever reason they wear a paper magazine that has eye-holes cut out-attached to glasses.
Now really how is paper supposed to protect you from sparks?
Every time a man looks up at me wearing that, he bears a very serious expression and I can’t help my laughter.

I always prided myself that I live in a suburb…an outer district suburb that even though it is considered “remote” meaning no one speaks English it is still very nice.
However one sad thing I encountered was dog meat.
Yes my town too sells dogs to eat.
Hanging in the window.
I never saw it until very recently. Right across from where I live.
At first it is a huge shocker to see this.
After awhile you begin to say,
“ohhhhh China.”

It especially became that way after I saw how they kill frogs for eating..
While walking in a friend’s village we heard flesh being smacked onto wet pavement.
We had no idea what it was. We looked to the left and saw a chef killing frogs that way.
Yes, the frogs were still alive too.
“Ohhhh China…”

Last Thursday was Thanksgiving back home. The actual day of I had myself a feast at McDonald’s–after I had taught four classes all day. As I left McDonald’s I had to walk over one of the many bridges that cross Trash River. Sometimes beggars like to congregate on the bridge. My heart broke when I saw a student who, I’m guessing, went to my school because I was three blocks from it and she was in uniform–she was begging. At first I strode on by. I realized I can’t do that. I tried to talk to her in Chinese. She was unresponsive.
“Ohhh China.”

I’ve been here four months now. It feels like home.
We’ll see how my parents fare.


About heidaway

Living-Breathing-China Dragon
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1 Response to Slum Village

  1. Minna says:

    Wow. Its a whole different world. I guess people don’t see that there is another way to live because they don’t know there is a different way to live. They don’t know what a best friend a dog can be because they are too busy eating them. What a learning experience! I envy you and your travels but what you see also breaks my heart.


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