Monday, November 5, 2007

国都公园 GuoDuGongYuan

Last Sunday, Ross, Ariel and I visited an abandoned theme park called 国都公园(National Capital Public Park). The park is right off 北苑 (BeiYuan), a subway stop in Northern Beijing. It seems that whoever built this park thought that the subway line would bring people, which was obviously very wrong. The park seems to have opened on February 25th, 2005 at the same time as an adjacent park, which has a very similar name, 国都宠物公园 (National Capital House Pet Public Park) that was very popular at one point because they had tunnels and tracks for the dogs to play on. Dogs and their owners still go there, but it's just a piece of land now. I'm not sure what happened in the last two years, but it doesn't seem like much. The kiddie park is very small and seems to have been very cute at one point, but at the present is something else entirely. As we were roaming around in awe and taking about a million pictures, a woman saw us and screamed, "买票!" (buy a ticket!) as she smirked and walked away. People are funny here.

We wandered away from that park and headed towards 国都宠物公园. It was full of extremely cute big dogs and their owners, which you don't see in the middle of the city that often. The middle of the city has cute dogs and owners, just not big dogs. As we wandered out of that park we noticed that the entrance had been turned into a bus stop for some unexplainable reason.

We left the park and did some more roaming in a field with beautiful tall trees and weeds which germinated by attaching themselves to our socks and having us pick them off. We reached a long fence that Ross was scared to touch in fear of being electrocuted. Along this fence we found two shepards herding their sheep and goats. Walking along a bit more, we realized we had been cornered by the toxic chemical canal of death. We had no choice but to cross the canal by walking, or crawling rather, on 3 pieces of trees that were lodged between the canal walls.

We finally made it back to civilization and had a victory 小吃 meal.
Sometimes Beijing feels like a strange place where the past and present are having a bloody fight.

Some pictures:

Monkey on a pole

people use this space to husk corn now

Ross and Ariel

park name-stamped tiles with a weed

The canal of toxicity
WHAT is your name WHAT is your favourite colour? WHAT is the average speed velocity of an unladen swallow?? African or European? AHHHHHHHH!!!!

The shepards' sheep and goats who secretly terrified me


Arielísimo said...

that park was something else, and really made beijing feel extra third world. isabel's game for a visit whenever she makes her way over here so imagine even more photographers getting their hands on this little secret :)

Andres said...

it's amazing to be able to read up on what you're doing on the other side of the world. i've been broke and unable to travel, but i miss you and wish i could just get away. i hope you're enjoying yourself and can't wait for the chance to sit down and catch up again.

love ya,

ross said...

Okay, so seriously, WHAT ARE WE DOING THIS SUNDAY for our next report? The clock is ticking! Give us an idea, Silvy.

Kristinaaaaaa said...

aaghh!! you guys almost died! i'm glad you made it across the canal so i can still see that beautiful face of yours a ticket!!! ahaha