Sitting alone on the balcony of a cruise ship, sailing down the Yangtze River. It's 9:00 on a Saturday evening in July.
There is barely a light visible up and down the river. The occasional car headlights, serving only to make the darkness darker. One massive house right by the water with a few lights on. That's all.
We glide almost silently underneath massive power lines; a reminder that the people in these homes were recently relocated from their ancestral homes to higher ground, in order to facilitate the operations of the Three Gorges Dam.
And apparently, they can't afford the power it generates, though cities all over this country are at this moment lit up like Christmas trees.
26 July 2014
(Disclaimer: This was written by me, based on about one hour of one tour on one night, looking in one direction on the Yangtze River. My conclusions may be inaccurate. But one does wonder if access to electrical power is distributed equally to all citizens of China, and particularly if the ones who were uprooted in the process of creating the power have the same access as the people in Beijing, where the decisions were made….)
For more thoughts on the Three Gorges Dam, click here. For an example of a fabulous Chinese city "lit up like a Christmas tree," click here.