Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

2008/03/10 Haidian district, Beijing

The Haidian district is the part of Beijing where the city’s major universities, and many high-tech businesses, are located. I wanted to see the neighbourhood, so Eric took me out for a walk. Near the hotel was a noodle shop, so we first had lunch.

DI_20080310_Haidian_noodle_store.jpg

Beef noodle soup is common fare for Beijing. I was a little unsure about risks of eating uncooked vegetables, but Eric recommended the pickled cucumbers.

DI_20080310_Haidian_noodle_lunch.jpg

Out on the main street, we saw the partitioned streets common in Beijing: outer lanes for bicycles and taxis loading/unloading, and inner lanes for the main flow of traffic.

DI_20080310_Haidian_street.jpg

We passed a vendor selling pineapple on a stick, and Eric decided he wanted one.

DI_20080310_Haidian_pineapple_stick.jpg

We passed by Beijing Haidian Hospital. At that time, we didn’t know that it was the appointed medical facility for Olympics athletes.

DI_20080310_Beijing_Haidian_Hospital.jpg

The Haidian Theater is prominent at a main intersection, and a landmark that we passed on multiple taxi trips.

DI_20080310_Haidian_Theatre_intersection.jpg

Crossing the street on a pedestrian overpass, the air pollution was visible on that Monday.

DI_20080310_Haidian_overpass_plaza.jpg

In the street below, there was a lot of construction. I presume that this might have been for the new subway interchange.

DI_20080310_Haidian_overpass_construction.jpg

Looking the other direction from the pedestrian overpass, we were unsurprised to see yet another Beijing traffic jam.

DI_20080310_Haidian_overpass_traffic.jpg

The plaza was terraced, so we climbed some steps to an upper level. From the there, the modernity of Beijing was illustrated one of many glass buildings.

DI_20080310_Haidian_glass_building.jpg

Looking down from the upper level, the pedestrian overpass was high above the street traffic between the malls.

DI_20080310_Haidian_pedestrian_overpass.jpg

From the overlook, the expansiveness of wide-open spaces left an impression. Beijing is the capital city of China, so architecture is scaled large.

DI_20080310_Haidian_plaza_overlook.jpg

Turning around to return the way we came, I let Eric go ahead so that the scale of distances could be appreciated.

DI_20080310_Haidian_plaza.jpg

Back down on the ground level, we walked around and found this nice-looking building. It’s a restaurant architected in a more traditional Chinese style.

DI_20080310_Haidian_resto_front.jpg

The entry of the Haidian Carrefour springs up from the plaza. The escalators weren’t working when we arrived, so we took the stairs down two levels.

DI_20080310_Haidian_Carrefour_entry.jpg

As we entered the store, it’s clear that the Chinese have learned about the hypermarche from the French.

DI_20080310_Haidian_Carrefour_shelves.jpg

Past the electronics section was a large selection of refrigerators. I shouldn’t have been surprised at the number of Chinese brands.

DI_20080310_Haidian_Carrefour_refrigerators.jpg

The next aisle was a display of washing machines.

DI_20080310_Haidian_Carrefour_washers.jpg

Beijing is on the edge of a desert, so a large selection of humidifiers is appropriate.

DI_20080310_Haidian_Carrefour_humidifiers.jpg

The bicycles were mostly at a functional, rather than prestige level. I saw a variety of styles of folding bicycles.

DI_20080310_Haidian_Carrefour_bicycles.jpg

On the other side of the store was displays of linens and comforters.

DI_20080310_Haidian_Carrefour_comforters.jpg

Eric decided to pick up a buckwheat pillow while he was there. The pillow is twice the size of the one I’ve owned since my days in Vancouver.

DI_20080310_Haidian_Carrefour_buckwheat_pillows.jpg

Shoes on sale are stacked up in a display.

DI_20080310_Haidian_Carrefour_shoes_stack.jpg

Beside the better shoes is a size chart.

DI_20080310_Haidian_Carrefour_shoes_sizechart.jpg

In a less advanced consumer market, the retailer can add value through customer service. The warranty on shoes offered by Carrefour was explicitly posted.

DI_20080310_Haidian_Carrefour_shoe_warranty.jpg

If the store wasn’t already large enough, it’s on two floors. We rode the escalator up, with our shopping cart.

DI_20080310_Haidian_Carrefour_escalator_up.jpg

Northern China eats more wheat than rice. The selection in the bakery department rivals any western supermarket.

DI_20080310_Haidian_Carrefour_bakery.jpg

Watermelons were already in season in March.

DI_20080310_Haidian_Carrefour_melons.jpg

Dragonfruit certainly has a colourful exterior. I’ve never been a big fan of the interior.

DI_20080310_Haidian_Carrefour_dragonfruit.jpg

In ready-made foods was a large display of trotters. They’re not something that I would normally eat.

DI_20080310_Haidian_Carrefour_trotters.jpg

Behind glass was a variety of baked goods and buns unfamiliar to me.

DI_20080310_Haidian_Carrefour_buns.jpg

In North America, we’re not accustomed to having a wide selection of seaweeds.

DI_20080310_Haidian_Carrefour_seaweed.jpg

The seafood department offers live fish in running water.

DI_20080310_Haidian_Carrefour_seafood.jpg

Ground meats are available in self-service quantities.

DI_20080310_Haidian_Carrefour_ground_meat.jpg

There’s lots of choice in the candy displays.

DI_20080310_Haidian_Carrefour_candies.jpg

In the freezer cases, we saw different types of sausages.

DI_20080310_Haidian_Carrefour_frozen_sausage.jpg

Liquor is readily available in the supermarket.

DI_20080310_Haidian_Carrefour_liquor.jpg

The checkout lanes are as we know in developed countries.

DI_20080310_Haidian_Carrefour_checkout.jpg

Since Haidian is known as a high-tech centre, Eric took me by the electronics buildings for a quick look.

DI_20080310_Haidian_high_tech_street.jpg

The Haidian Street sign leaves no question where you are.

DI_20080310_Haidian_Street_sign.jpg

In one of the towers, vendors compete for customers passing by their stalls.

DI_20080310_Haidian_high_tech_tower.jpg

Eric said to keep moving, and we got on the escalator up.

DI_20080310_Haidian_high_tech_mall.jpg

Lenovo is a Chinese company which has taken over the Thinkpad brand.

DI_20080310_Haidian_high_tech_display.jpg

Laptops are wrapped in plastic to keep sticky fingers away.

DI_20080310_Haidian_laptops_in_plastic.jpg

We exited the tower by another door. Eric said that the next tower was similar in layout.

DI_20080310_Haidian_high_tech_tower_rear.jpg

On the way back to the hotel, we saw a lower-tech version of customer service: computer technicians pedaling to their customers, with all of the necessary equipment on the cart behind.

DI_20080310_Haidian_electronics_repair_bike.jpg

This short afternoon walk in the Haidian district reinforced my impressions of Beijing as a big city. The wide sidewalks and streets reflect the order that should be expected in a capital city. For a human being on foot, though, the city has an intimidating size.

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • RSS on Coevolving

    • Socio-Technical Systems, Service Systems Science
      In order to move forward, the Systems Changes Learning Circle has taken a step backwards to appreciate the scholarly work that has come before us.  This has included the Socio-Psychological Systems, Socio-Technical Systems and Socio-Ecological Systems perspective, from the postwar Tavistock Institute for Human Relations.  The deep dive on “Causal texture, contextualism, contextural” takes us […]
    • Causal Texture of the Environment
      For those who haven’t read the 1965 Emery and Trist article, its seems as though my colleague Doug McDavid was foresighted enough to blog a summary in 2016!  His words have always welcomed here, as Doug was a cofounder of this web site.  At the time of writing, the target audience for this piece was […]
    • Causal texture, contextualism, contextural
      In the famous 1965 Emery and Trist article, the terms “causal texture” and “contextual environment” haven’t been entirely clear to me.  With specific meanings in the systems thinking literature, looking up definitions in the dictionary generally isn’t helpful.  Diving into the history of the uses of the words provides some insight. 1. Causal texture 2. […]
    • Trist in Canada, Organizational Change, Action Learning
      Towards appreciating “action learning”, the history of open systems thinking and pioneering work in organization science, the influence of Action Learning Group — in the Faculty of Environment Studies founded in 1968 at York University (Toronto) — deserves to be resurfaced. 1. Trist in Canada 2. Environmental studies, and contextualism in organizational-change 3. Action learning, […]
    • Remembering Doug McDavid
      The news that Doug McDavid — my friend, colleague, and one of the original cofounders of the Coevolving Innovations web site in 2006 — had passed, first came through mutual IBM contacts.  More details subsequently showed up on LinkedIn from Mike McClintock. Doug left us on May 9, while working at his desk, likely in […]
    • Pattern language, form language, general systems theory, R-theory
      One of the challenges with the development of pattern languages is the cross-appropriation of approaches of techniques from one domain (i.e. built physical environments) into others (e.g. software development, social change). The distinction between pattern language and form language is made by Nikos Salingaros. Design in architecture and urbanism is guided by two distinct complementary […]
  • RSS on Media Queue

  • RSS on Ing Brief

    • 1969, 1981 Emery, System Thinking: Selected Readings
      Social Systems Science graduate students in 1970s-1980s with #RussellAckoff, #EricTrist + #HasanOzbehkhan at U. Pennsylvania Wharton School were assigned the Penguin paperback #SystemsThinking reader edited by #FredEEmery, with updated editions evolving contents.
    • 1968 Buckley, “Modern Systems Research for the Behavioral Scientist: A Sourcebook”
      Resurfacing 1968 Buckley, “Modern Systems Research for the Behavioral Scientist: A Sourcebook” for interests in #SystemsThinking #SocioCybernetics #GeneralSystemsTheory #OrganizationScience . Republication in 2017 hardcopy may be more complete.
    • Wholism, reductionism (Francois, 2004)
      Proponents of #SystemsThinking often espouse holism to counter over-emphasis on reductionism. Reading some definitions from an encyclopedia positions one in the context of the other (François 2004).
    • It matters (word use)
      Saying “it doesn’t matter” or “it matters” is a common expression in everyday English. For scholarly work, I want to “keep using that word“, while ensuring it means what I want it to mean. The Oxford English Dictionary (third edition, March 2001) has three entries for “matter”. The first two entries for a noun. The […]
    • Systemic Change, Systematic Change, Systems Change (Reynolds, 2011)
      It's been challenging to find sources that specifically define two-word phrases -- i.e. "systemic change", "systematic change", "systems change" -- as opposed to loosely inferring reductively from one-word definitions in recombination. MartinReynolds @OpenUniversity clarifies uses of the phrases, with a critical eye into motives for choosing a specific label, as well as associated risks and […]
    • Environmental c.f. ecological (Francois, 2004; Allen, Giampietro Little 2003)
      The term "environmental" can be mixed up with "ecological", when the meanings are different. We can look at the encyclopedia definitions (François 2004), and then compare the two in terms of applied science (i.e. engineering with (#TimothyFHAllen @MarioGiampietro and #AmandaMLittle, 2003).
  • Meta

  • Translate

  • 
  • moments. daviding.com

    Random selections from the past year
  • Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
    Theme modified from DevDmBootstrap4 by Danny Machal