Sunday, July 13, 2008
Last Minute Touch-ups
Yesterday as I was on my way to dinner north of Dongzhimen, I saw a bunch of men on an expansive patch of dirt ground. They had towels around their necks and shovels in hand, digging up big rocks and putting them in a pile near them. They had obviously been toiling all day in the hot sun and heat.
I wondered what would be the end result of their labour. But my query was answered today.
As my bus drove by the same area, the same men were out there laying out rolls of grass, creating an instant green carpet on what was previously nothing but dirt.
It was amazing how quickly they worked.
But then again in China, anything is possible.
I've heard some of the grass comes from Inner Mongolia. They just cut up patches of grass, roll them out and send them down to Beijing, leaving behind bare patches of brown, which may cause erosion, in small quantities.
The Chinese are going to great lengths to create a "Green Olympics".
On the other hand though, near the newly transplanted grassy area, diggers were knocking down dilapilated buildings.
They had already neatly sorted out materials like metal frames that could be used again from the brick.
Probably in the next few days scavengers will descend on the area, taking whatever materials they can use, from bricks to glass.
Wasn't the government going to stop construction and the destruction of buildings to help clear the air?
Perhaps the buildings in this neighbourhood were too much of an eyesore for government officials who probably demanded the area cleaned up pronto.