We have been living in Huadong, a suburb of Qingdao on the bay letting out to the sea –officially an “economic development zone.” I’ve been all over China and have never seen this many skyscraper apartments going up. Mile after mile, some super-fancy with the German-esque follies/details (red rooves, cottage brown stripes) that reference Qingdao’s German colonial past. It’s also home (slightly inland) to massive factory after factory campus, including Haier, which I think makes large appliances like air conditioners.
“Development” means factories, in my students’ argot. Development in my lingo means things like health, education, as well as infrastructure. Here it really doesn’t have that overtone of human development.
SO we took an economic development zone bike tour along the coast, where landscaping of flowering trees, promenades(including a “movie star walk of fame) and exercise machines stretch for miles. s the zone hasn’t finished developing — the buildings are mostly empty, my university only opened this campus a couple of years ago — it’s totally empty. On the horizon are ships and factory stacks. And along the coast, clammers and fishermen with nets.
God forbid eating shellfish here; sorry, Qingdao. It goes on and on; we’re not the fastest riders but not slow either and this is two hours’ riding — it just doesn’t stop.
Here’s what it looks like.