Outside the wall

Dan and Sarala’s blog from Hohhot

The view from up here

16 Aug 2014

Our apartment is on the sixth and highest floor of a building of teachers’ residences on the campus of Inner Mongolia University. Since it's at one end of the building, there are windows on three sides. Here's a tour of some views we got in July and August.

The south-facing bedroom window overlooks the parking spot of some itinerant watermelon vendors who show up every two or three days:

At night, the same window affords a view of a few hotels that have interesting neon installations. The grid of yellow lights turn on and off in a waterfall-like pattern, and the outline cycles through various rainbow colors.

The living room window faces west, which affords a spectacular view of the brick wall of the adjacent building. In the early morning when the light is just right, the wall captures the silhouettes of pigeons strutting atop our building:

In fact, the rooftops are populated by vast flocks of pigeons. In the late afternoon, they take to the skies and swoop around for hours (seen here reflected in the window glass). Our dinnertime conversations are punctuated by the whoosh of wings.

One of our neighbors has a pigeon coop built out from their apartment window. Can you spot it in this picture?

The office and kitchen windows face north, towards the Daqing mountains (大青山). There is a lot of city between us and the mountains, but on clear days we can catch glimpses between the buildings.

Some day we'll go up there.