One doesn’t get opportunity to visit heaven. But here was Li Batao making this happen. He continued with the drive energetically irrespective of our fatigue. He took us past the Wanda Mansions, probably the biggest real estate company in China, and presently he turned towards Western Suburbs. For me it didn’t matter Western or Eastern, all were extraordinary places on that side of the globe.
We were soon diverted from looking at the modern buildings around, some of them occupied and others waiting to be. As I mentioned in my last article, there was no chance of being a ghost colony here.
In this part of Dalian, the buildings adopted a Greek architecture, that of arches and horses, appearing like monuments. But glimpses of modern cement towers couldn’t be escaped. As we moved forward a number of skyscrapers interspersed by a second IMAX theatre passed us, indicating that aristocracy was soon expected. After a while, the car took a right turn and we were then out of this concrete jungle.
Very many condominiums presently built in India subscribe only to the area within a condo. But in Dalian, specific efforts were made for delivering development on the outside of the condos, so that nothing subscribed to the condo with a medieval mentality of unkempt surroundings. Perhaps the regulations demanded that.
We were now back in the lap of nature. Through the railing of the road a pleasant looking suburb was visible at a distance beyond some sort of lake or perhaps it was the sea. I very much wanted to visit it, but the mission right now was under the control of Li Batao.
Away from the bustle of the city
Natalia question reappeared, “How long are we gonna drive and where do we land up in?”
“Do you like to see forests and parks?” La Batao answered good-humouredly.
“Certainly yes,” I took over since I didn’t want a negative answer from the old lady.
“Then keep seeing,” he answered. And no doubt the scene was changing from urban to a pleasant rural area.
“There is a toilet here, if you ladies would like to use it.”
I am far from being a lady but I took the initiative, “Yes, why not?”
All of us deplaned the car as he chose a carefully set-up parking space in this rural sort of area. I didn’t care who went to the toilet but I found my own treasure. I realized that we were in a place worthy of a visit by itself. It was a forest park, with lakes, monuments, children and above all good looking people. A signboard stated it was the Tang Li lake.
Of course the usual eating facilities were absent in spite of it being a very large complex probably 20 acres or so. Did the Chinese not care for eating, when on a picnic, ignoring the Chinese food at their disposal, at that?
As the others were busy in the toilet I took a daring diversion, forgetting that I was in fact devoid of communication facilities. I got busy with my camera and ventured unplugged from the crowd.
Here is what I recorded.
One of the glaring things I noted was the attention being paid to youngsters. A lot of girls and children were seen around. The Chinese obviously haven’t forgotten the basics in the light of the corporate world or factories. They find time for the next generation.
I have to repeat what I said earlier. Maintenance of this resort was up to the standard of the city in general. It was clean, uncluttered and well kept. No banana skins or peanut shells were floating around. And the polythenes were nowhere in sight.
More photos, please see them in slides
Having spent all the time in photography I realized that Li Batao must be looking for me. I had no phone but I was sure I knew where he kept the car parked, unless he removed it from there. The resort didn’t have many people just about a hundred. So it was easy to find each other. When I found them, they too were getting themselves photographed.
Li Batao then asked if we would like to continue further to another place. Well, he had the courage to make that suggestion. However, the ladies ruled him out and we took a return. On the way back we followed another route that was so close to this lake yet so far from water. I mean it was completely dry, like a desert. Nature has its ways. But we didn’t miss the street vendors selling these fruits.