• 老贵阳

Remembering Remnants, part III

Dear Readers, I'm back with the new portion of the Remnants. When I say I'll swing by "tomorrow" it seems to be a week or two later, but could this be because time seems to run very different here? In part II I wrote a bit about the New Town Village, and today I've decided to go back to the City's heart and re-visit a place called the Witch Hill. I like to see it as the area between the Rising Sun Rd, where the entrance is located opposite to the Coal Mine Village, sprawling all the way at the backyards of the university, towards the Elephant and then either back down to Treasure Mt. Rd. through the Lion Rd., or even further up winding above the tunnels that lead to the Empire of Evil. It's quite a vast and vibrant area, and I feel choosing only two pictures to represent it doesn't do it justice, but I've tried to do my best. To be fair, it should probably be presented together with the Coal Mine Village, about which I've written a fair share already. Let's see if time allows to cover it all. 1. The Lion Maw (2021)

First photo shows the initial part of the area, perhaps few hundred metres up from the Treasure Mt Rd. and just past the Elephant. As the street continues, it becomes narrower and more winding, side alleys splintering off on several occasions. It almost feels like a labyrinth. It's so close to my house I really need to go and record a video there sometime soon. 2. A Strange Manor (2019)


Well, if you look at the sign (and can read it) it clearly says it's no strange manor but a house for the old, somewhat a rare find in the City, as I've only seen one more during all my years here, in quite a remote location. Yet when I first found that house, standing on top of the Witch Hill Rd., on a hot summer day, its pink walls hiding behind the tall walls covered in thick vines, I found it so strange and mysterious that I started imagining it to be something quite different than it was. Just take a look at that huge rusted gate - it looks more like an abandoned prison gate than a peacuful house for an elderly. The area surrounding the building was beautiful and desolate at the same time - lush with vegetation and flowers, and yet there were at least a couple of abandoned and broken cars sitting on bricks on the very same road. Together with the name of the road - Witch Hill - it did add to the sense of mystery. As the Strange Manor is only a couple hundred metres away from the entrance to the Coal Mine Village, I'll continue with two more pictures that I chose to represent the Remnants of the City's largest remaining slum. 3. Direction: Out (2021)

Looking at this photo always makes me sad. Not only because it shows the unfathomable depths of destitution, but also because of the poor kitten I encountered on my way. I feel like I should have taken him or her in and get them treated, but at that time I was only just starting the cat charity movement, and I didn't really have much faith in my abilities to truly help animals in need. And judging by the state the cat was in (most likely severe calcivirus, which slowly gnaws on 90% of stray cats here) it is definitely in a better place by now. Another reason why i couldn't bear to look at the kitty was that it looked so much like my beloved Little Ear, my first Guiyang cat which unfortunately I adopted too late to be able to help her. She passed away almost two years after I had moved into the City. I was getting sad writing this but then I got distracted by the fact that the coffee shop I'm in has EXACTLY the same playlist as every coffee shop in the City. This place does so many things right, but trying to imitate the "western" vibe isn't one of them. I really need to push myself hard to stay awake listening to some sickly moaning that I think is supposed to pass for jazz or something. Rant over. Onto the next photo! 4. After Class (2020)

Just the main road in Coal Mine Village, a bit on top of the hill and above the worst part of the maze. There's finally sunlight and life is back into the picture. I don't even know where to start talking about this photograph, as I feel it simply represents EVERYTHING about the City in a way a true Remnant should. Many people actually asked me what's the year the photo was taken in abnd then I realised if I said 1995 or 2000 nobody would bat an eye. This is the City frozen in time. Typical red Honda (I'm not sure if it's really hondas hahaha) 150 bike taxi, with a red helmet, and a tube for the "bike umbrella" that can be set up in case of rain? Check. A grandma with a baby in a traditional baby carrier? Check. Kids chirping and haggling for sweet at the local shop just as they got off class? Check. A weird looking clinic that kinda looks like they're going to strip you off your organs instead of giving you a band aid? Check. That silver car in the back that looks a bit like something people drove when I was a kid in the 90s? Big check! All the beautiful colours of the City, and all the colours of nostalgia in one place, in just one picture. I truly love it, and it makes me happy just looking at it and knowing it exists. Even after all of the old City will have been torn down, and given place to atrocious fields of concrete, this memory will remain. I think it's a nice note to end my today's ramblings on! As always, thank you for following me, Dear Readers, and see you later! Lao Guiyang

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