Sunday, January 23, 2005

Beijing Suburban Villa Compound

Dragon Villas
The entrance to the Dragon Villas villa compound

Entrance For Residence only
Clean, safe, and empty streets.

At this place (mostly foreign) rich and connected people live in Beijing. It requires car, but comes with a golf course, bowling hall, indoor tennis court, a large fence around the whole compound, and guards patrolling the streets.

It is very quiet and probably very safe. The whole place gives an impression of being mostly empty and hardly anyone is seen on the street. I understand that people choose to move out to these places, especially if they have children, but I can't help thinking it is very sad having this kind of segregation. For a society as a whole I think this is a very negative development. The children living in these compounds, studying in private schools, growing up with the best potential of becoming influential and powerful will have very little experience of the difficulties of less privileged people.

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