Yesterday afternoon, I went for a first unaccompanied walk around my neighbourhood. It felt great to mooch around in the late afternoon sunlight and take in all the new sights and sounds. I’ve not seen a single westerner since I arrived in Guiyang- not even on the plane from Beijing- so I think I’ve been a fairly unfamiliar sight for many I’ve passed along the street too!
My host, Kerun, had already told me that my part of town, the Jinyang District, was very new. My apartment and the multi-storey block it’s in were not even here two years ago. Hi-rises are springing up everywhere, as are new roads and businesses. I can see 13 cranes from my apartment window alone. The massive rise in construction and urban development is obvious- and my walk showed up nothing different.
I’d heard that Guiyang had historically been a less developed part of China, a little forgotten by the government and the rest of the country. Seeing all this investment made me feel excited at what the future might hold for the people living here.
I liked the collision of the shiny new skyscrapers on the skyline and the building sites all around me, the outward face that’s put on for show and the rough road it can take to get there. For me, the roughness in the road has its own kind of beauty: Guiyang’s own ‘making-of’!
Here’s a little film I made using images and sounds from my walk, along with the song of the wonderful Miao Ji Dao villagers I shared all that rice wine with on Monday.