Post-Spring Festival, neighborhood watches and McDonalds through the window

Spring Festival holiday ended February 9, but cities still have not returned to normal. As I wrote in my latest article for The National Interest, most businesses are not scheduled to return to operation until late February.

Restaurants are supposed to be closed, in accordance with local regulations, but I did observe some small restaurants skirting/not following the rules, I mentioned in my article. Fast food joints are permitted to be open, however, so if you do not have a kitchen–and I do not, in my hotel–your only options are not-technically-legal family-run restaurant (👌), instant noodles, or dumplings/McDonalds spicy chicken sandwich by motorbike.

McDonalds and KFC only process mobile orders, however, so if you visit one of their brick and mortar locations, you have to order by scanning the QR code at the door then have your food handed to you through the window.

Residential districts have teams of Communist Party volunteers monitoring who enters and leaves and taking temperature.

Those who return to Nanjing from outside of the city (hundreds of millions of Chinese returned to ancestral homes for the lunar new year) are to be monitored for 14 days, with a particular focus on those who are returning from Hubei province or Wenzhou city (one of the hardest-hit cities outside of Hubei, as I wrote in another TNI article).

Almost all the shops are closed except for convenience stores and a few other snack vendors, so most streets are long lines of metal gates. There is something I find beautiful, or just eye-catching, about the multi-colored advertisements for roll-down gate repairmen stuck to roll-down gates.

One in particular, graffiti on graffiti:

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About Mitchell Blatt

Mitchell Blatt is a travel writer, editor, and columnist who has lived and worked in China for six years. He is an author of two guidebooks, Panda Guides Hong Kong and Panda Guides China. He has been published in the USA Today, The Daily Beast, The National Interest, The Korea Times, Roads & Kingdoms, Vagabond Journey, Silkwinds and The World of Chinese, among other outlets. See examples of his published articles at www.ChinaTravelWriter.com