My apologies for the lack of posting over the past month. I was in China where non-mainland blogs are none too welcome. Speaking of which, this time I chose to visit Hunan province, source of arguably (with myself?) my favorite regional Chinese food.
Though I can’t help but notice that, no matter where I choose to walk for hours and hours, whether by the pedestrian plazas, “gourmet streets” or in the hinterlands, I always end up in the Jerome Ave. part of town. For those of you that aren’t familiar with that street in the Bronx (a borough of New York City), it’s heavy on the auto repair stores and not much else.
Enter Zhuzhou (株洲), China. It’s relatively close to Hunan’s provincial capital, Changsha, and might be best known within China for the development of military technology. In any event, it’s another city of a few million people that most of the world hasn’t heard of- that was all the invitation I needed.
I’ll probably reference it again soon, since it was quite relaxing for a Chinese metropolis, but there was one neighborhood that really stood out. It’s by the Zhuzhou Bridge over the Xiang River that you can find…
An auto repair shop adjacent to a karaoke parlor. Not unusual for China, bizarre pairings. Budget hotels are regularly located in between saunas and fried chicken restaurants, or karaoke parlors and bowling alleys. You know, because sleep actually isn’t the point.
But this particular area had a few karaoke places and car workshops. That’s it. However, it’s not uncommon to sing in the car. Maybe that’s the new trend in mainland vehicles, having a microphone installed next to the cigarette lighter. Anything to make driving in the mainland less safe, right? Well, taxi drivers in Kaohsiung (err, Gaoxiong), Taiwan have tvs installed on the driver’s side, so…I hope you enjoyed today’s lesson in futility.