I recently had an appointment at a hospital located along Fengyang Lu (风阳路) off the Northsouth Elevated Highway Road (南北高架路). One look at the numerous moaning patients spilling out of the entrance of the emergency ward, I scrambled across the street for refuge in what turned out to be a makeshift parking lot.
I mentioned once that temporary parking lots were an easy and profitable solution to utilize fallowed concrete spaces caught between the stages of demolition and reconstruction. Opposite the hospital once stood a longtang, half of which has been flattened while the remaining shikumen had been bricked up.
And so I walked a big round of what was left of the area. My black shoes felt like it was conducting all of the sun’s fury to scorch my feet. Seeking respite in the shade, I started chatting with the parking attendants at work, one of whom insisted on his photo taken. I could hardly say no.
Until he asked for my number while telling me he hadn’t seen his wife in years. I decided that waiting by the entrance of the hospital wasn’t too bad an idea and made a quick but graceful exit.