Tuesday morning two weeks ago I arrived in the southern suburbs of Harbin and Lucas my host picked me up at the railway station. After having a breakfast and settling down for a while, we went to the city. He showed me around at different places and also helped me getting a local SIM card. First we went to a museum is dedicated to the Japanese occupation. Within these grounds medical experiments were conducted at living humans until the end of WWII. Due to shortage of time, we didn’t went into the newly opened museum, but just walked around on the area.
After heading to downtown we strolled around at an old tree covered street, which was actually the first brick paved road in China and very expensive at these days. At the street there are a lot of old stone houses from Russian people, which used to lived here at this period of time. These were mainly merchants or bankers. So the Russian influence at this city is still seen here nowadays.
We went then down to the Songhua river and watched at the other side to the sun island. Luc told me, that the city council was once at this site of the river. But everyday lots of people were complaining about the situation on different things. As the city council is now at the other side of the river, it is much more complicated to reach it, and the number of complaints were successfully reduced. But I’ve no idea, if there is any correlation on that. Furthermore, Luc told me that there is some kind of incentive for the local government to improve the environmental situation. After there were complaints about an illegal dump near his living area, the dump was removed within one week. And Luc itself has an app where he donates to plant new trees used for arid areas in Western China in order to stop the further spread of the desert.
He showed me also his former university. In China it seems to be common that the students and members of the university are living on the campus. But as this is nowadays a good real estate spot, some area was already donated for some new buildings, which are now outside the university, and the profit of it went for sure only the university itself. Afterwards we went to a night market. Here I got lots of new impressions, not to say too much in a very short time. I’ve never seen such a market before. After we went home Luc organised some special Chinese treatment for both of us. This cupping is especially in summer very popular, and it is supposed to be healthy…not sure about this. The 10 minutes or so during the time are manageable, but you still suffer the 2 weeks after.