China Trip: At Street Level in Shenzhen

Source: Google Maps

I spent two days in the Futian district, Shenzhen prefecture, Guangdong province. According to Wikipedia, Shenzhenis one of the 13 emerging megalopolises and one of the busiest container ports in China. More than 10 million people live in the 10 districts of Shenzhen. Before traveling there for work, I had never heard of it. This trip has made me acutely aware of how little I know about China.

I walked around Futian, keeping within 2 blocks of my hotel so I would not get lost. Construction is everywhere. Massive cranes are putting up high rises in an effort to house the growing urban population and businesses. Big walls topped with broken glass surrounded this construction site. The scaffolding is made of bamboo.

A block further, a different construction site was walled off by a billboard fence. This old man was looking through the gap in the fence.

I also looked through the fence and saw a massive construction site. The building is still in the foundation stage. If you look closely, you can see at least 6 cranes. Metal cranes have replaced origami cranes.

Here is a picture of the same construction site taken from the 5th floor of my hotel. The construction workers are housed onsite in the blue roofed buildings.

The shady, wide sidewalk serves as an outdoor common area. Men squatted to play cards and board games. Two boys played in the roots of a tree. An older woman balanced a stack of cardboard on her left shoulder.

Workers used a hand cart to haul debris.

Other street sightings: a police bike, a city maintenance worker, flowers growing along the sidewalk, fire hydrants.

A little girl in a shop window reminded me of Laura. She also represented much of what I saw in China – the contrast between the traditional (the carved jade) and the modern (the 5 gallon water jug).


About Beth

Wife, mother of 2, worker bee - striving to balance roles and continually learn
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3 Responses to China Trip: At Street Level in Shenzhen

  1. shoes says:

    “Metal cranes have replaced origami cranes.” – your word play made me smile but the idea makes me a little sad. Great pictures!

    • Beth says:

      I feel that sadness as well. When I went to a mall, the t-shirts were in English, not Chinese. In toy stores, Thomas the Train and Barbie were prominent. The culture seems to be aspiring to the West. Guilty confession – word play was more clever than accurate, since origami is Japanese rather than Chinese in origin.

  2. Whoa! I didn’t realize I was so behind! I’m pretty sure I’m almost done catching up on you šŸ˜‰

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