accessorized Street fashion is alive and well in Chengdu.
motorcycle taxi, near my apartment complex
overpasses, Second Ring Road, Chengdu
Building construction – seen from the elevated bus route, Chengdu
overpasses The reconstruction of the Second Ring Road 二环路 with an elevated expressway / bus lane has caused dust, pollution, and hideous traffic congestion for about a year. The mammoth project is now complete; visually, it’s not a success, since what was once a wide thoroughfare is now jumble of concrete posts beneath a gray concrete canopy. Crossing the road on foot now feels like entering another country. Still, I couldn’t resist the urge to spend a rare free day circling the entire city on the new express bus system, occupying its own dedicated lanes on the upper level of the Ring Road. escalator to the bus stop platform The trip took about an hour and 20 minutes. The experience of the city from the upper level, I must say, was panoramic. The limited-access roadway functions to move traffic quickly around and through the city, and to ride a city bus without having to sit behind traffic, stop for traffic signals, or dodge pedestrians was a change for the better. That’s a little too high. At times the trip is like a roller-coaster ride, especially when the bus lane zooms up to a dizzying height somewhere in the northwest corner of the city. In every direction were high-rise apartments and construction cranes. When passing through my old neighborhood near UESTC, where I taught for three years, the area was unrecognizable. The small shops and neighborhood restaurants that I knew have all disappeared, and my old apartment