Paul, Freda and Edie in Kunming
On arriving in China we parted company in Beijing. Ali flew with the girls to Kunming and I went to Xi'an, to join the annual VSO conference. This was a great opportunity to to catch up with friends in placements scattered around Yunnan, Gansu and Shaanxi, as well as in Beijing. I even had a couple of swims in the hotel pool. Xi'an was grey and wet as usual (for me) so I was pleased to hop on a plane to head South. I joined up with EAF in Kunming, where we had some time exploring the old town and eating noodles with Paul.

Old town pharmacy
Top of our agenda was to track down an old pharmacy Ali had spotted years ago. It is one of the few old builings still in use in the old town, which is being demolished and rebuilt. As it happens, many of the new buildings that are being erected are true to traditional architecture and will be a lot safer than the old ones, while maintaining the character of this part of Kunming. This pharmacy, which is over 100 years old, is in unusually good condition so may actually get to remain standing.

This couple are clinging onto their pet shop-cum-corner shop in the old town as the buildings around them crumble and fall. There are still signs of people living in the upstairs room on the right [with bars] but the front door is far from secure. The residents have no choice but to leave, though their prospects for relocation are limited. In Simao many people are forced to buy flats that they could barely afford, even subsidised, when their danwei (work unit) chooses to move.
13/3/2010 04:00:28 pm

I still reckon that if you believe in the power of herbal lozenges then you have to believe in the power of the flattened lizards....

Lovely day out with y'all!


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