Friday, January 19, 2007

The overhead bridges in Haikou

(Hainan, Nov 2006)

I could not help but pay some attention to the overhead bridges in Haikou. I have not seen similar sights at the overhead bridges in Singapore.

In Singapore, it would be almost impossible for me to find people setting up make-shift stalls to put things up on sale along the pathways of the overhead bridges. However, in Haikou (and many other parts of China), folks selling things on the overhead bridges are fairly common sights.

Occasionally, one can see people without limbs lying down on a corner of the pathway of the overhead bridges, begging for money. I observed that some of these beggars would have write out in Chinese characters the reasons why they were appealing for money.

I didn't mind donating money to the beggars, but I was very wary about doing so as I have had heard tales of syndicates that maim its victims limbs so that its victims could beg and generate income for the syndicate, at the victims' plight. It is a strange world, where acts of kindness to donate to people who seem to be in need actually encourage illegal syndicates to continue to do further harm. I wonder if China has any social welfare services to reach out to the deserving people who truly need help?

For your information, most of the beggars and folks selling things on the overhead bridges were very wary of people taking photos of them. As such, please lower your expectations of the photographs on this post.

I was also quite fascinated with the structures of the overhead bridges in Haikou. I rarely see those kind of overhead bridges right here in Singapore. Most of the overhead bridges have narrow but wide-enough ramp-like pathways just next to the stairways to allow bicycles and trolleys to travel up and down the overhead bridges at greater ease. I think this is quite a good design.

The next time when you visit the city of Haikou (or any cities in China), do take a closer look at the overhead bridges.

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