It’s true, the outdated but once beloved term “W.C.” is going to be flushed down the crapper of history (at least in Beijing) before the Olympics, to be replaced by the more widely-used “toilet.” But more interesting than that is what they are planning on doing with road signs:
Also on the list are road signs. Use of the romanized form of Chinese, known as “pinyin,” will be replaced by the actual English word, except for proper names, the newspaper added. Out will go Dong Changan Jie and in will come East Changan Avenue.
Although we always liked the ring of “avenue” and are even more partial to “boulevard,” these words would sound strange in the context of China, and even more so in Shanghai. Here we have a plethora of “roads” but no “avenues,” and come to think of it, we don’t even know what lu, if any, would qualify as an avenue. But perhaps that’s just the peculiarities of our city, which for the most part is composed of small winding streets and a handful of major arterials.
On a more serious note, a rights group released a report saying that by the time of the Olympics, about 1.5 million people will have been displaced from their homes. Foreign Ministry spokesrobot Jiang Yu said in reply, that all those who had been moved were offered adequate compensation and that no household had been moved outside of Beijing. Whatever the case with the Olympics-related demolitions and evictions, it remains fairly clear that evictions in Beijing have become a locus of violence, with threats, beatings, and even deaths occurring as a result.
And then yet another news item grabbed our attention: Beijing’s extreme makeover isn’t doesn’t involve just the complexes or venues related to the Olympic Games, but also for a new crop of city parks that they’re building: 30 parks this year alone, with thirty more before the Olympics, and then twenty or so each year after that.
The goal, according to the article, is about a park every 3km, or put another way, no resident would ever be more than 500 meters from a park.
Photo from hrb.focus.cn