When we first arrived in Weinan City, I rushed out of the hotel immediately — not to suit my itchy feet — but to find some place where I can get a pair of decent footwear. The city officials have prepared a welcome banquet for us and as it is, I don’t intend to be there with all the people staring at my pair of good ol’ Columbia sneakers which does not go near the appropriate decorum (by social standards of course). The first nice pair on a shoestring budget I can find will do.
So I look around Weinan city which boasts of a typical neo-China hub. High-rise structures, big parks and wide, wide avenues. But Weinan, compared to Beijing in terms of street population, seemed like a one big empty metropolis. If China is an overpopulated country, I don’t see it here. It seems like there are only two periods in a day when people show up on the streets here: in the early morning when everybody’s on their daily workout, and in the evening when they’re calming down in the central plaza. Anyway, after spending a great deal of time searching around, block after block, I finally came across this old timer who informed me where the shoe store is –and he says we’re standing right on top of it.
At the banquet, I sat with Mr. Liu Xiaoping, Deputy Secretary General of Weinan’s Municipal People’s Government, who kept staring at my brand new pair of Kung Fu shoes as I tried very hard getting my feet under the table.( this will give you an idea what my loafers look like) The gentleman expressed his appreciation for me exhibiting their classic footwear and asked if I brought it in from Beijing. I replied “No, I just got it here, from a store underneath your park.”
The next day, we found ourselves huddled together in these silly foot-wraps like newly recruited Shaolin monks..
We are actually inside Weinan city’s Financial Bureau data processing center. Think of this as a roomful of wires, tall CPUs, LCD screens and tech gurus giving the rundown on everything about the local government’s budgetary system and mainframes. But not a word as to why we are clad in these footwraps. Perhaps the housekeeper’s just got the floor made.
Speaking of floors, here’s a spotless one..
This is our third day-out and we are enjoying the typographical depiction of the whole prefecture from under our feet here in this Tourist Center located near the foot of Huaxian Mountain, outside Weinan. This base has become our jump-off point to three knockout destinations here in Shaanxi Province which I shall be spotlighting on as soon as I can get my best foot forward.