Garbage Street – the land of cockaigne

Garbage Street – the land of cockaigne

Off the main road , we are in the midst of University campuses, looking for a dance class we are about to sign up for in a Chinese university. We meet two students who we ask how to find a registration office. “Yes, there actually is something here . I’ll give you the phone number of the coach .” We get into conversation and decide to have dinner together , or lets say, we eat and our companions sit at a different table. ” Watching you while eating would be rude”.

“Lets walk around for a while.” Alright. So we go to Laji Jie, what can be translated as the garbage road. However, they lead us to a place where milk and honey flows . A kind of permanent food fair . Food stalls and shops all over the place. It is a colorful hustle bustle of strolling students. Despite of all the waste on the ground this place is a gold mine for fans of Chinese markets. We fall into an excessive euphoria that even lets us think of renting an apartment near the garbage street. Or better start running a business in the middle of the hurry scurry.

Many visits later, the Laji Jie has lost none of its magic . But slowly the trash thrown to the ground gets more attention than in the beginning.  Also the piles of neon yellow garments can no longer gloss over the filthy food leftovers at the pavement. Nevertheless , the garbage street is one of the typical Chinese strongholds of student life , with its many variations from flea market -like shops, small boutiques, bubble tea stalls and busy cook-shops. Did I already mention karaoke bars and shoe shops?

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