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Welcome to Ordos, China: Doomed to incompletion however, this futuristic metropolis now rises empty out of the deserts of northern China. Last year I travelled to Inner Mongolia for myself, to get a closer look at the bizarre, ghost metropolis of Ordos… and the experience, as I would discover, was far stranger than anything I could have prepared for.
With a population reckoned at 1,, and rising fast, the resultant boom in property development has led to scores of new-made millionaires and a rapidly growing elite class; at the same time however, analysts fear that this property bubble is set to burst.
The country itself owes coming on for a trillion dollars in debt. Meanwhile, a billion people are waking up to the possibilities of fast cars, smartphones, broadband Internet and credit cards. This area is famed for its rapidly expanding population and developing urban areas — the region of Inner Mongolia boasting a higher GDP than even Beijing itself.
Inner Mongolia is an interesting place. It was once a part of Greater Mongolia, though consecutive Chinese empires and the latter-day rise of the Communist Party saw Inner Mongolia moulded and cast, time and time again, as a subservient province of China.
Interestingly however, Inner Mongolia is one of the only places in the world that still uses traditional Mongolian script. While Mongolia itself adopted Cyrillic during the communist years, perhaps the Mongols of China felt they had more to prove; clinging fiercely on to their heritage, and with it, the ancient characters that still now appear on street signs across Ordos and Kangbashi.
However, nobody quite anticipated how quickly this new development would fall flat on its face. The ridiculous cost of accommodation in this dream city put off many would-be inhabitants, so that even fully completed apartments became difficult to sell.
According to one local taxi driver I spoke to, many of those who did make the move to Kangbashi were already abandoning their homes — and breaking out of the ghost town.
While some developers still labour on with their thankless construction projects, others are busy slashing prices. A November report on AlJazeera exposed the city of Ordos to a worldwide audience, and the story was run the next year by Time Magazine.
But for all that, none of these reports seemed to venture far from the city centre and its adjoining streets; resulting in broad, post-apocalyptic cityscapes that left much to the imagination.
The more I read about Ordos, the more I wanted to know what lay beyond these hastily fitted doors and windows; to actually see inside, and under the skin of a city that never came to be. Last year, my dream became a reality. I teamed up with Gareth from Young Pioneer Tours — a man just about crazy enough to share my fascination for this otherworldly ghost metropolis — and together we started planning our journey into Inner Mongolia.
From the moment we got off our plane, it was apparent that someone, sometime, had made grand plans for this city. The futuristically sculpted terminal building is decked out with fountains and hanging baskets, chic coffee shops and sub-lit escalators glowing in shades of green and blue.
For all this opulence though, the airport was close to empty. We took the second of two daily flights from Beijing to Eerduosi; departing from the smaller, former military airfield in the suburbs of the capital. It brought us to Inner Mongolia after dark, and we hopped onto the transfer coach headed towards Ordos city centre.
We were on this luxurious coach for around half an hour, enthroned in soft reclining seats replete with cup holders, leg rests and a movie channel… all the while, half-seen hulks of concrete and metal sped past our windows, distant, shadowy shapes appearing and disappearing out of the gloom. I felt hemmed in on all sides by invisible construction sites.
It was hard to make out much of our surroundings, given the bright interior lighting on the coach. On the final stretch into Ordos however, we passed by the shell of a stadium-to-be; the vast, skeletal seating areas rose up in a ring around a central playing field, lit by industrial spotlights and the regular, telltale flares of several hundred welding guns.
Never in my life have I seen anything so closely resembling the second Death Star. We arrived in Ordos sometime in the early hours of the morning, checked our bags into a hotel, and grabbed a beer for the road.
The city centre is not a long way off completion: For all this seeming normality however, downtown Ordos is presided over by a series of doom-struck towers, grey office buildings, flats and shopping malls — and most of them are completely empty.
We walked for a few hours, past restaurants, bars, casinos and sex shops. The lights were shining bright in every establishment, but the people were nowhere to be seen.
Cutting through one backstreet, we passed the pink lights of a brothel. The shop front was lined in wide, glass windows, to expose a troupe of young girls stood as if on parade in a wardrobe of matching lingerie. Everywhere, there seemed to be a show of readiness; of establishments with their doors thrown wide open, not just to welcome guests but also, perhaps, to prove a point.
To show this city for the functional, hospitable destination that it so desperately wants to be.Watch video · Did you know?
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You could be one! Black and White and Technicolor: An Interpretation of, “Desolation Row” Bob Dylan is an artist whose impact was so great, that it still seems as though his music was just released; but, in fact, it is safe to say some people may have lived and died since the release of the song, “Desolation Row”.
Desolation Row is one of many songs that Dylan wrote around the time that he was breaking free from the Folk scene, and turning his focus more toward the electric (or rock) scene of popular music of his day. General CommentWhen reading the lyrics, the first question that I had was whether the "Desolation Row" described in the song was a good or bad place."Desolate" means "uninhabited," and doesn't necessarily have any bad connotations.
From Desolation Row Cinderella, she seems so easy “It takes one to know one,” she smiles And puts her hands in her back pockets Bette Davis style . The CHRONOLOGY files and complete index of reviews in alphabetical order. The Chronology Index; The Alphabetical Index “Big Bill Broonzy had a song called “Key to the Highway.” “I’ve got a key to the highway / I’m booked and I’m bound to go / Gonna leave here runnin’ because walking is most too slow.”. “Desolation Row” is a true listening “experience.” By the time the song’s plus minutes end, you feel like you’ve just seen a movie. Melodically, it’s a fairly simple song, yet it.
Everyone here seems to think it's a bad place to be, but I think the opposite.4/5(17). By Tony Attwood Bob Dylan tried out "Wanted Man" for "Nashville Skyline" but no complete version of the song was recorded at the sessions, (according to Heylin), and so the versions that we know about were those delivered by Johnny Cash.
There has been some debate as to whether the song was a joint compositional venture or a solo Dylan song. Project Gutenberg's Frankenstein, by Mary Wollstonecraft (Godwin) Shelley This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.