Sunday, August 16, 2009
The Big Wheel
Aug. 9 – The biggest Ferris wheel in Asia is not in Changsha, as we were told by one local. (Singapore has the biggest in Asia and the world.) Changsha’s Ferris wheel, for a price of 50 RMB or $7, still offers the rider a view of the city completely different from ground-level.
To ride the Ferris Wheel, one must enter through the Sea Holic Hotel. A black stretch Hummer with the hotel’s name on its side was parked in front. Five of my fellow teachers and I got off at the fourth floor of the hotel to use the rest room before riding the Ferris wheel.
We entered a bright, glittering dining area. Chandeliers cast a golden light over the few diners there. A grand piano stood in the common area to the rest rooms. The rest rooms themselves were as luxurious. Western-style toilets, cloth hand towels and liquid soap. (I have gotten in the habit of always carrying around toilet paper, antibacterial gel and wet wipes.)
We were the only ones riding the Ferris wheel that night. The wheel is next to a sports stadium and, at the top of the wheel, we could see people inside the stadium practicing formations. As we rose higher and higher, we passed a crane next to the hotel where a building rose from the sidewalk. Below, the lanes of traffic did not look so perilous; from high above, the lights from cars and busses and scooters arranged into beautiful swirling patterns.
From the top of the Ferris wheel, Changsha looked like any other developed city in China. The darkness of night veiled the stained buildings that looked colorless in daylight and the layers of gray smog that always hung in the air. All we could see were the many city lights sparkle.
Posted by Jolie at 9:58 PM