You might have read my little series earlier on Clyde Drexler’s endorsement package for “Athletic,” a Quanzhou-based shoe manufacturer.

But traveling from Qingyang to Quanzhou, you can actually see the Athletic company headquarters.

Apparently Clyde’s endorsement is doing them some good, because their headquarters are looking pretty-darn-fancy-schmancy: statues of white horses, doric column structures, and so on.

These photos were taken from a moving vehicle and unfortunately don’t do the place justice, but maybe you’ll get the general idea…

And here are a couple shots of Drexler billboards nearby. The road from Qingyang to Quanzhou, in fact, is one great gauntlet of Clyde Drexler billboards…

It may interest you to know that I survived minor surgery in a filthy Chinese hospital operating room in 1994 (skin cancer), but here’s a photo set in support of “the modernization of Chinese hospitals.”

The Jinjiang Hospital–like so many other major highlights of the Jinjiang region–is in Qingyang.

Chinese medicine still holds some surprises for Westerners; and even for some emigrated Chinese. Both my Wife and a friend of ours originally from Beijing, now living in the States for several years, have gotten into “disagreements” with Chinese doctors here over the recommended treatments for our kids. For any flu-like symptoms, the doctors have wanted to start I.V. rehydration plans and run a series of x-rays (X-rays? Huh?).

We’ve declined.

But the hospitals themselves are looking good. 😉

Here are some shots of the one in Qingyang…and by the way, that’s a statue of Norman Bethune in the sixth picture. Why they rendered his English name that way, as “Henvy Ivoman Bet-hune,” I can only guess….

Across the road from the new housing utopia I mentioned last week sits one of China’s behemoth “SM” shopping malls.

These huge complexes, four stories high and perhaps 1/4 mile long are sort of China’s modern commercial answer to the Great Wall: The Great Mall.

In the bottom of this complex is a Wal-Mart Supercenter, along with a miscellaneous variety of other shops. The ground and 2nd floors are mostly clothing and department stores–and some of the department stores even include small, clean, attractive play areas for the kids (we’ve made a couple trips to the SM just to give the kids a change of scenery). The third and fourth floors of this complex are reserved for “exhibitions,” but a similar one we visited in Xiamen is packed with 5 floors of shops and restaurants.

Speaking of Wal-Mart, I was amazed to learn that there are now 56 Wal-Mart locations in China, with plans to open perhaps that many more in the coming few years.

And Yes, most of the stuff on the shelves is marked “Made in China.” 😉

Here are the photos….

A panorama of the front of the SM mall in Qingyang–and that’s Jet Li you see on one of the banners in the fourth photo; he’s now endorsing a high-end Jinjiang-based men’s clothing company:

Close-ups of a couple of the 3-story banners:

A couple interior scenes:

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