China is full with unexpected, all one needs is to turn the corner.
After two weeks in Qingdao I became very confidence of using the public transit although the taxis is faster and cheap but I prefer the buses. My ability to read Chinese is a great advantage. All the public buses had stops posted on the side of the bus and each stops are announce in both Chinese and English which make taking the buses a lot easier.
One day, I got off the bus at the old town district. I was just walking around and taking photos and came upon the Lao She Park. Mr. She is celebrated writer in China and (he also taught at QingdaoUniversity), his most famous book was “the Rickshaw boy” which was translated into English and became a best seller about 70 years ago. I even own a copy of the translation copy by book.
The Lao She Park is a long square which starts with statue of the writer and it also has a fountain but looks like it has no water for a long time. It was mid morning and the park only had few senior resting or playing cards. An outdoor restaurant had set up table and little stools for the lunch time customers on one side of the square.
I walk from the start to the end of this park than I spot a blue and white sign “Emergency shelter”. And near by a same size sign “Longshan underground shopping”
I had heard about the bomb shelter shopping mall from my friend Michael, perhaps this is where it located? (During the 1970s Chinaconstructed many bomb shelters at major cities in anticipation of a nuclear war with the Soviet Union).
As I step on the escalator the smell of mildew hits me right away. After three long flight of escalator I was inside this underground shopping mall. It has store after store which stretches from corridor to corridor. The stores are behind glass which makes it easy to see what the offering were: it sells everything from clothing, bags, leather goods even crafts but their main targets were women. It was a work day and mid morning the mall has few customers and the mall was almost deserted. After a tour of the underground mall I was relief to back outside with some cleaner air and some sun.