Sunday, September 05, 2010
This is old Kunming and I hope they are restoring the old places and not razing them. Outside this old part, the frenetic pace of new building takes on new proportions. I'm glad they are saving every piece of the old brick and tiles. I read somewhere that the USA does not need any more new houses or new malls for a long time. We've overbuilt during the boom years and now there is a glut. I live in an old neighborhood and the size of houses are small, around 1100 square feet and that was the size of a standard home for a family. These days the size of a standard home has more than doubled, to 2400 square feet. Where do you find the space to build such houses? In the 'burbs and then you need a few cars to drive to work, or to shop at those boxy malls. Maybe that's why when I travel to unwind, I long for the good old days, I long for old world charm, anywhere in the world, in Europe, China or wherever else I find myself.
You might have noticed, the wide boulevards with the plane trees lining them, here in old Kunming. How French! You are right, the French were here, back in the days when they still rule over Indochina which is just at the border with Kunming. They built a railway between Kunming and the Indochinese border which is non existent now. They use Kunming to access the outer reaches of the Indochinese area.