Growing Infrastructure

Nicholas Quirke was continually amazed during his travels by the massive development and investment in infrastructure everywhere he went in China and this was highlighted on 19 May 2021 when he cycled to a newly opened mall in the south west of the city. It was clear from the rise in temperatures that the air con now needed to be on and the day began with cleaning the units throughout the apartment. It was a relatively easy process and as his job was to wash and clean the filters a very simple and swift one. Peng had to go his office but they arranged to meet for lunch at the new Paradise Walk development. The cycle ride was a new route and though he did make one mistake, it was a relatively easy route. The area where the mall was located was under development with roads closed and cranes lurking in the fairly unbuilt up area. The south west of the city was emerging from the wasteland and the signs that this was going to serve the growing number of office blocks and the hitherto deprived residents were manifold. From the windows of the latest addition to Beijing’s malls a neighbouring block was under construction and it was fascinating to see the deep foundations that were being prepared and watch a colourful collection of cranes perform their rigid dance. The restaurants in the canteen area sold a vast array of pick and mix foods but he played safe with a dry noodle dish that came with a delicious slab of grilled tofu. It was very crowded and it was apparent that the mall was already a very popular addition to the local life. As he had no teaching that day the afternoon was spent in very comfortable surroundings of the Sisyphe bookstore and its cafe. It really was a pleasant relaxing environment. They didn’t explore much of the mall though some of the displays attracted his attention, particularly one dedicated to Spongebob Squarepants which, made him feel momentarily homesick for the company of his sons. Having found his way to the mall he intended to lead the way home following the same odd route he had taken but it wasn’t long before Peng took over and led them through a less picturesque though quicker route. The evening was spent watching the rest of ‘Beanpole’ He decreed that the film looks like a painting. From the the costumes and sets to the hair the greens and reds of its palette shimmer with the same luminescence that its stars, Viktoriya Miroshnicchenko and Vasillia Perelygina emit in their performances. But ‘my God’ he expostulated, ‘it is the epitome of Russian gloom’. Distressingly beautiful to watch. With the air-con whirring, images of the elegant cranes and the visuals of Gorky’s ‘lower depths’ dominating his mind he found a trail to a satisfying sleep.

Leave a Reply