Strange Things

I’m at a loss for real content , but I took so many strange pictures this week I had to share them.  It’s almost as if Harbin felt the pictures I’ve been sharing with you for the past year weren’t odd enough and needed to make up the difference.  Also, happy mid-Autumn Festival again!  I was still keeping this blog when it happened last year, so feel free to reread last year’s post if you need a refresher as to the holiday’s particulars.

Me?  I celebrated with a delicious mooncake and went out to Central Street for one of my final visits of this year (very sad, also where some of the odd photos happened incidentally.)  I ended up walking along the river back westward until I got to the “music park” which is this odd double hallway with no apparent purpose.

Exploring south from there, I found that Harbin still has ways to surprise me.  I ended up in a new neighborhood apparently called Wangfujing after the area in Beijing.  The money there couldn’t be more apparent if you painted dollar signs on all the buildings (or yuan signs 元 as it were, but you get my meaning). Porsches, Jaguars and BMW’s abounded, parked in front of super high end stores, all topped off with some super modern parks and plazas.  I left relatively quickly.

There’s something odd about these big spaces clearly designed for some purpose when left empty.  Firstly, sometimes it makes the purpose a bit mysterious, secondly it leaves a weird feeling of disuse with you that doesn’t quite sit right.  There’s a word in either Japanese or German I believe, that refers to the feeling up unease you get when in an empty place that is normally highly populated.  What I felt there was a bit of that, but also the mystery of the site’s nebulous purpose.  Somewhat similar to ancient ruins. Scary, isn’t it? That a modern place can evoke those same emotions.

Other weird photos: a cute kangaroo, a surprisingly good western breakfast served at *Pizza Hut* of all places (my first time going to one, and it comes with two lattes, super super good deal), and an alpaca and a pony, just chilling in front of a mall.  Go figure.

In somewhat more infuriating news, I’m still unable to access the Harbin history section of the city library.  I went a few times back in June and got a huge amount of info in a short amount of time.  Then I left for about two months (it was closed for the brief period I was here in August) and returned to find that the Library was undergoing renovations until early September.  I could have gone then, but I was distracted by such things as article drafting, grad school apps, and other various essays.  Last week I intended to go, only to find that it was closed until the 5th for more renovations, apparently the first round didn’t take.  Went again today (the 5th) only to find that the room I needed was closed until Monday.  Arg, /rant over.  The amount of times that I’ve been intending to go and arrive to find it shut are staggering and irritating to the utmost.

I’m coping by actually starting to write part of the novel and playing excessive amounts of videogames.  Gotta get em all in before I go back to a real life after all.  On that note, I’d like to introduce you to the game I’ve just picked up, Cuphead. It’s a beautiful game done in the style of 1930’s cartoons, some of my favorite things, and was actually all hand-drawn, a process that took over three years it seems.  It’s fiendishly difficult, but wonderful to look at, here’s a short review of it.

Also coping by taking cat pictures, and you thought I’d forgotten.


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