Welcome to Changsha, the Newark of China

8 Mar

Welcome to my daily commute. In Changsha, this was my walk to the bus. Yes, those are four blind corners, and yes, there was moderate traffic at all times of the night and day. Once I saw a teenage band perform in there. I assume they survived, but I have my doubts about their equipment.

This is Hou Jie, or “Back Street.” It’s the street behind the university where I taught, Hunan Normal. Actually, it’s between Hunan Normal and Central South–I lived on the West Bank of the river, where a ton of universities clustered. It was one of the few good things about Changsha, that college town vibe. Hunan Normal was pretty far from the downtown, so the shops on streets like this were incredibly cheap.

They burned garbage in the middle of the street sometimes, but I mean you could get dumplings for like 30 cents. Oh, and the best part–one of the tea shops was actually called “Demon Box.” Chinglish is a beautiful language.

Hunan Normal and the other college on the West Bank are actually at the foot of a hill–often translated as Yuelu Mountain (actually a hill, guys, come on now). This shot is of the small Taoist temple at the top, when Faye (my sitemate) and I climbed it early fall semester. The view from the top was only 30% obscured by foul smog. But hey, we could see this nifty temple.

That’s me, Se7en, and Faye at the Orange Island Music Festival in fall semester.

This concludes your tour of The Good Things About Changsha. šŸ˜‰


One Response to “Welcome to Changsha, the Newark of China”

  1. buildingmybento April 21, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    Have you checked out the Ironbound section of Newark lately? Their Penn. Station seems to serve as the tangible schism of the city’s personalities. Completely unrelated- in Changsha, did you enjoy the Hunan food at all? Stinky tofu is a horse of a different color, but … I lived in Shenzhen (not too proud of this one) for a while and always thought about taking a hop up to Guangdong’s northern neighbor for some aubergines and peppers.

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