Blog News

1. Comments are still disabled though I am thinking of enabling them again.

2. There are now several extra pages - Poetry Index, Travel, Education, Childish Things - accessible at the top of the page. They index entires before October 2013.

3. I will, in the next few weeks, be adding new pages with other indexes.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

A little bafflement

I've been watching with a kind of fascinated bafflement the redevelopment of one of Baiyin's parks. It's an impressive undertaking. Paths are being rerouted. Covered walkways and viewpoints are being constructed. Water features and elaborate fountains are being constructed. Stone steps are...hang on! Water features? Fountains? We are in a city in the middle of the desert. We don't have enough water to keep the little grass that we have green.
It's not unusual though. The nearest- and largest - park is Goldfish Park. There are several fountains there including, at the main entrance, two beautiful six foot tall goldfish which should, in an ideal world, spout streams that cross and then fall into the waiting pond. But it isn't an ideal world. We are, as I said, in the middle of a desert. I have been here for three years and I have never once seen ANY of the many fountains in Baiyin working.

But they keep on building them. The ones at the entrance to the newly redeveloped park are, if the publicised plans are to be believed, supposed to be very impressive. There are two stone bridges which arc over a flowing channel. Jets are to spray up and over in splendid powerful arches. Multi-coloured lights will illuminate them. Marvelous stuff.

And that's the source of my bafflement. Why, in a city that has so little water, do they go on building these expensive and extravagant water features everywhere? What's the point of fountains that never get turned on?