Lost.In.China.with the Hutchens Brother:Ice.City国家地理.中国历险记.冰城-哈尔滨.

our beam is extremely cold so freezing cold feels like your skin is just peeling off what’s making that of ourselves Jeff I love that there’s this entire world of ice and not a single handrail to be found we’ve never seen anything quite like this I’m Jeff Hutchins and I’m a photographer I’m Peter Hutchins and I’m a filmmaker we grew up in China and now we’re going back to capture China in its moment of change and there’s only one way to do that to get lost I can’t believe we’re back in a heartbeat after all these years back he was like 2 and we left I don’t think he has any idea what heart beans all about hey I’ve seen pictures and it looks cold it’s freaking cold how many layers you got on I’m supporting five pairs of pants or jackets a hat and gloves I’m sweating you know it doesn’t seem all that cold out here I I’m not really seeing anybody else dressed dressed quite like this this is kind of ridiculous all right let’s go much better and I was like we had our own personal saunas on before look at this place you know what I remember about Harbin is Mao suits and coal dust basically everything was gray and drab and now we got George Clooney up top here on an Omega ad looking out over the central square of Harbin and you know McDonald’s Anita’s Nike this place looks nothing like what it used to look like when we were here before yeah absolutely and talk about shames her bean has been changing for basically the last hundred years from the Russians to the Japanese now back to the Chinese you know it’s really trade is what it’s all about now when Jeff and I grew up here carbine was colorless and cold so cold there were days when our parents wouldn’t let us go outside but it never seemed to stop the locals I have little flashes in my memory crazy people doing crazy things in the coal and I remember images of onion domes old trains and gritty industrial neighborhoods we first came to Harbin in 1981 when our dad took a job teaching English at Harbin teachers university he was the first American to teach at the school and for him it was the opportunity of a lifetime even though he knew next to nothing about the city it was his dream to teach English in China now Pete and I are having our own opportunity of a lifetime to come back to China into the city where we spent time as kids to get a sense of how the city has changed in the last 20 years at the start of the 20th century carbine was the center of construction for the Chinese Eastern Railway which eventually linked up with the trans-siberian railroad in Russia this massive construction project brought hearty and hard-working men and women into Harbin from all over China and helped the city to cement its reputation as a place where only the strong can survive the long bitter winters but to see for ourselves what’s going on in modern Harbin we’re gonna need a little help Huang is a friend of ours from Beijing he spends a lot of time in Harbin on business and his English is really good which means he’s the perfect guide to show us around Harbin and talked to some of the people about living in such cold harsh conditions I mean it’s cold my mind my fingers are frozen and my nose hairs are frozen but you know other than that I’m doing fine this is a warm day it’s colder a couple days ago her beam is located in the northernmost province in China near its border with Russia it’s only about 2,200 kilometers from Harbin to the Arctic Circle making the winters long and extremely cold from November through March temperatures in Harbin average below zero degrees Celsius and frequently can get as low as 20 below and stay that way for days and sometimes even weeks but instead of being victims of their climate people in Harbin followed the long-standing

cultural tradition of embracing the cold and there’s one chilly tradition that really shows the fortitude of the people here so when Wong suggests that Jeff and I should try it we agree to give it a whirl it’s not the smartest decision we’ve ever made so this is where they go I swimming in winter oh no way looks like a swimming pool but it’s part of the river actually this looks like bad news oh man look at that there’s only a layer of ice forming so you guys are gonna stay here and I go find one of the best ice swimmers in harbin the temperature outside this morning is minus 14 degrees Celsius you have got to be kidding me looking on the bright side the water has to be much warmer like a degree or so above freezing but it really can’t be all that bad since we grew up in Harbin we must have some of that tough are being spirit into somewhere right I think I’m in a whole new appreciation for ice cubes after this look at this I think we might be ice cubes after this job how long have you been doing this swimming 14 years we’ve heard that she’s named the queen of ice swimming why exactly is she named that it’s an infant it’s kind of a nickname it’s just like people like me because I think first of all you know there are fewer women than men who put its fate in this sports and I’m kind of younger than other women she’s still alive and what what are the benefits I mean why do you subject yourself to this every day she tells us that ice and snow are part of our main culture and that a friend told her taking a daily plunge in ice water makes you stronger healthier and happier if it doesn’t kill you first she decided to try it once and she’s been hooked ever since what do you think I think we got to do it but the only thing is we have to go in at the same time same time swimmers start pouring out of the dressing room to the cheers of a few hundred people who’ve assembled to watch the madness without too much fanfare the insanity begins we noticed the men and women taking the plunge are a lot older than us our new friend the ice queen is the exception and if you get tired of by swimming there is always ice dancing I believe that’s a waltz no one waits too long on the ice diving blocks before diving into the ice water and no one stays in very long which for two amateurs is extremely good news and survivors receive the congratulations of the crowd I don’t think I’m ever gonna live this down a little too soon it’s our turn we enter to a smattering of applause and the sound of our knees knocking together in the sub-zero temperatures note to self when an older brother says he’s got your back he’s lying freaking cool why can’t I feel my tennis my arms I can’t feel anything cuz your boot I Oh there’s almost no way to describe this it feels like your skin is just peeling off it is so freezing cold yeah there’s no there’s no oh I can’t even talk or think it just feels like your whole body is one piece of ice okay

that is invigorating I’ll tell you what that is what makes the people and heartbeats so tough I mean can you imagine not only doing that once we come out here every single day braving the cold and like thriving out here not just surviving people out here rotting yeah I love you I think it’s because I’m getting crazy so maybe we’re not as prepared for the cold as the people apart being but fortunately there is something that will help us get our blood circulating again and for us it’s not a moment too soon in China there’s a remedy for everything after our icy swim in the river there seems like nothing better to warm us up than a traditional Chinese foot massage maybe this is how people in Harbin make it through the tough weather with a little relaxation after a long winter’s day wow this is this looks like very dirty bathwater yeah it smells like black licorice or a mix of herbs and stuff Jigga sure Shama what’s in here just a dumb job that means as you paid it Jesus I’m talking one little Mima to each other till yo yo yo what’d you find you how are you he said this is some kind of herbal mixture and I guess the main purpose is to stimulate blood flow which probably ice swimming sort of stopped oh yeah absolutely I know my my extremities were killing me out there it’s gone from pleasure to pain in the blink of an eye and I can only imagine it’s gonna get worse even when you relax and heart beating you still need to be tough make it stop man I’m wishing all the sudden we’re back in the water yeah I think the Chinese have this idea that whatever doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger and these two guys definitely subscribe to that philosophy dual tone if I switch you to the factors you couldn’t you factor it you to be a part of the reason for the deep kneading and twisting is to diagnose any medical problems I might have Jeff he’s telling me that I’ve been having trouble with my stomach that my eyes have been dry which is true and something about pain in my left ear and in the last one I don’t know if I can agree with he says I’ve been having trouble taking holy people from Harbin are known for their adaptability not just to the cold but to cultural influences as well located so far north Harbin is practically next door to Siberia so the Russian influence in the city has always been strong this is one of the oldest parts of town like the Russian Quarter I like this building it was the first fancy hotel restaurant in Irvine City Russian influence in Harbin began over a century ago when they extended their trans-siberian railroad all the way to heartbeat the Russians and Japanese controlled the city at various times from the early to mid 20th century our bean became a haven for Russian refugees after the Revolution of 1917 the Japanese took control of the city during World War two then the Soviets briefly occupied Harbin after the war until the Chinese Communists took it back in 1946 and that’s how it’s been ever since so here we are the Saints of fierce church the biggest Eastern Orthodox Church in all Asia it was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution and it was rebuilt or renovated in 1997 and why did they choose to rebuild it well because you know the local government start to value you know the history of Parveen and protect the historical sites and you know this is so typical you know the most valve years Russian style

architecture as you can see you know the the onion domes and spires and the stretcher and it’s beautiful really is I mean the you know the just the light off the paintings up there and it’s pretty stunning this is a perfect holiday to be here too oh yeah light it’s beautiful so this is the Central Street it was created in 1898 and bricked in 1924 the city government turn it into a pedestrian commercial street like this so to promote tourism and commerce Wow yeah it’s absolutely freezing out here but this place is hopping yeah Chinese would say it’s a underlain now it’s bustling and there’s all the international brands and everything carbine is adapting once again this time to China’s new economy people have disposable income and buying power tourism and new business is vital to harbins growth and prosperity something no one thought about when we lived here when we were small we lived here a woman shoots I heart bean hijab I union 1981 the changes are huge ego by any chance I go from a being what changes since 1981 since the most obvious changes are all the skyscrapers springing up and the influx of foreigners like us which you wouldn’t have seen 15 or 20 years ago Pete nine were both pretty young when we lived here but we remember being the center of attention not too surprising since we are the only non Chinese children most are beaners had ever seen but now we blend in with many other foreign faces especially when people come to Harbin from all over the world to see the annual Harbin Ice Festival back when we were kids we knew Harbin was famous all over China for holding a festival every winter to celebrate the city’s most abundant winter product frozen water and gel in Park is where the Harbin Ice Festival got its start every winter since the early 1960s sculptors have created masterpieces using ice cut out from the local song qua River and while my parents swear they took us to see it the past 25 years of all that erased the memory so this will be my first time to see what all the fuss is about how much ice do you think it takes to pull this kind of stuff off oh man you must drain the whole river watch your step every walkway of the park is lined with ice sculptures hundreds of them and Wong has arranged for us to meet up with one of the men who carves them the sculpture seemed to come in all shapes and sizes most of them are quite traditional others less so you’ve got to be kidding me look at that speed these are real fish sad this is the Chinese version of the frozen food section only in China this is exactly how I want to go naked frozen in a block of ice I’m just playing for 125 for all the world to see Wong shows up with his sculptor friend junk Shui Joon who’s promised to show us how it’s done hey what’s the ice sculptor mr. Jung Jeff it’s really cool you can usually tell with Chinese artists they often have long hair and it’s it’s kind of like it’s just a symbol that you’re an artist right yeah Jong is one of the sculptors who were invited here to design and carve their own creations a few foreign sculptors are invited as well but it doesn’t pay enough to make a full-time job chung is actually a full-time painter finally we come to a large block of ice and the sculptor starts unpacking his tools which include a chainsaw that’s serious ice does he notice the ice change from year to year in terms of the quality of the ice depending on how it freezes or is it pretty much the same

every year not Simonian light a Khomeini and the ping Gautama piano are mine yes operation the quality devise is actually improving along with the environmental protection so what are you seeing here what do you think what’s this gonna be Nick kashama Nyonya Bing Yahoo Shama Sunil and huijeong the two of us together a statue of Jeff each artist gets to choose his subject matter and our sculptor has decided to do a bar relief of the Hutchins brothers which looks like you right now it does look like Peter you’ve got this son we’ve caught it egg-shaped head hey actually that’s a good thing in China isn’t it be anxious to invest so much into a piece of art knowing that it’s gonna melt in a few months mm-hmm yeah you got to be dedicated to the case almost like of proponents ours he said just a little fatter I’m a little skinnier I think I think the translation actually means I’m a little stronger Pete’s a little weaker yeah every movement the sculptor makes is sharp and precise we ask him what he does when he makes a mistake he tells us he can’t afford to make a mistake they’re irreversible it’s really impressive to watch him work I mean he just every move is really looks easy almost I mean he’s just chipping away at the ice but then it reveals something that that actually looks like a person I don’t know if it looks like Jeff yet but it does look like a person I think I’m beginning to see Pete’s head I have deaf I have character he’s just flat no nothing going on there you also have chipmunk cheeks Jeff so I mean while just a few yards away there’s a block of ice waiting for Pete and me to attack it Jeff what do you think we should do here I think I’m gonna start small that’s uh it’s kind of go Michelangelo’s David I’m I’m roughing in the head we peek over at what Jung is doing to see how it’s really done it’s amazing that using the same tools as Jeff and I Jung is actually able to create something that looks incredible hours not so much this isn’t really working finally we’re done not because the statues finished but because we’re really cold hey you wanna see what Jung thinks of our sculpture yeah Jung cents on me Kaneesha me joy ahaha it’s yeah it’s it’s sort of the faceless man I mean it could be all of us you know it could be none of us but it’s it’s sort of the everyman all right let’s check out what he’s been up to now this actually looks like something and there we are Jeff and Peter Hutchins immortalized a nice one of us full-faced healthy and strong the other ones thin frail and

weak that’s pretty cool yeah this actually looks like something other than abstract man as junk finishes up his masterpiece we spot the perfect venue for two brothers who love a little competition an ice slide let’s see whose thin frail and weak on this baby yeah where did the rules of engagement I don’t think the rules matter you’re gonna get worked either way one two three Jeff’s won the first t but I’m pretty sure it was because he had the better lane you just got worked I think that was all operator error because I was straight shot down flying all right well if you’re so if you’re so confident Jeff I’m taking yours you try my foot I don’t want to have to do this to you again it’s not good for your self-esteem one two three as I suspect this is the fast side so we’re even once once the Sun has been down for a while when we finally leave the park and the lights are just beginning to come on sure gets dark fast around here and cold extremely cold see those ice lenders colorful yeah everything will be lit up in the unit I bet there weren’t three neon lights and har bein back when we lived here and now look at it the one thing that has stayed the same is the cold with the temperatures now well below minus 20 degrees you can only wander the streets for so long before you have to warm up and we’ve found just the place another Russian influence the vodka bar made out of ice in honor of the Ice Festival this we have to see this is gonna be interesting this bar serves only one brand something called Russian standard but vodkas vodka right the bar seems to blend several parts of the story of heart being together the festival tourists ice and the Russian influence still alive in the city today Russia’s finest vodka in an ice bar in Harbin still warm us up these are some pretty sizable shot glasses I gotta say yeah I don’t think they’re for the faint of heart Jeff grave you’re not getting away with small shots what the hell all right these are huge shots I think these are like 43 size is too big it’s gonna be painful let’s make men of ourselves okay hand it over Cheers this has got to be one of the world’s biggest shots and one of the world’s coldest bars nice throw yeah to your health no this is this is not gonna do anything for my health Wow oh that’s not the best but it’s not the best vodka I’ve ever had either that stuff is brittle porous another the strange thing about this is that neither Jeff nor I are big drinkers we haven’t had a shot of hard liquor for years but we’re both feeling a little competitive after the ice slide come on just do it I don’t think I can do it it’s your friend Oh ready go Oh God shit yeah Hardeen thank you city of my childhood oh man oh that burns all the way down the esophagus Oh Oh God Jeff I can’t feel my toes you don’t have to as Peter that wasn’t funny make it stop

but it doesn’t stop we don’t stop the next thing I know we’re drinking with the other patrons since I blew on get in your propaganda foods the one thing a couple of brothers full of Russian vodka don’t want to happen in this situation is for anyone we actually know to see us especially when they show up completely unannounced and when it happens to be the man who brought you to China in the first place your dad it turns out our dad is on his way to Cambodia with a stopover in Shanghai so he made a call to our producer and this surprised the boys while they’re hammered is what they came up with Cheers in complete honesty I cannot believe my dad came all the way to Harbin China in the middle of North Korea Siberia and Mongolia to come out here and tell us you know what boys I still love you and no matter what do you mean it 1981 is a good guy right here Yeah right 2008 nothing is changed that’s true it’s not very often a couple of guys get to stagger back to the hotel with their dad but this just happens to be one of those times we’re having fun now but tomorrow neither one of us will be able to get out of bed until daylight has come and gone which puts the recovery time for Russian Standard vodka at about 36 hours a day and a half after our encounter with Russian Standard vodka and a monster hangover that followed we managed to make it out to the street again everything seems unnaturally bright and colder than usual we’ve only been out a few minutes and both of my feet already feel like wooden pegs it’s time for a pick-me-up and a Russian tearoom catches our eye inside it feels like we’ve stepped back in time and place it’s more like a grandmother sitting room in Russia than a restaurant in China but since it was the Russians that put hard being on the map in the first place I guess it makes sense hey see if we can get the waiter who you are Neha what do you think they’ll have I mean it’s a Russian place they’ve got to have tea you think they have caviar yeah strong tea caviar toast alright let’s see I get the feeling this may be the standard Russian hangover cure and it can’t come a moment too soon that’s good the caviar is really good and the tea is really strong so gradually we’re able to regain our wits and remember what we’re supposed to be doing in Harbin you know we’ve seen so much of kind of the new the stuff that’s changed all that and I know in a city of you know 9 or 10 million people we’ve got to find some parts that are still as gritty and is kind of like me tea as you know as what Harbin used to be for us yeah you know so I think we definitely shouldn’t talk too long this afternoon

and see if he can take us over you know take us over to that sort of area kind of like the real the grit you know the actual streets of heart being the stuff that’s not new the stuff that’s you know exactly like it used to be yeah I mean where’s where’s the heavy industry where the smokestacks where the the people in the drab green outfits you know selling sweet potatoes on the side of the road that’s the stuff that remember so you got the change and you have the old and we’ve just got to go out and find it back when we were kids our beam was a city full of industry most of the people worked in factories and lived in standard worker housing I remember many gray days when smoke from all the factories hung well in the air blocking out the Sun our beam is still an industrial city with all kinds of food processing plants manufacturing facilities and high-tech development but there seems to be a better balance with other types of industry like agriculture transportation education and research that kind of diversity has brought new people into her beam and created a more livable city for everyone there are parks and trees and much nicer living conditions but the past is still scattered throughout the city the place we grew up in has been demolished to make way for a high-rise but on the outskirts of the city we begin to see the old railway worker neighborhoods and we’re kind of happy to see they’re still here to remind us of what Harr being used to look like this is much more I think the heart being that we remember yeah low buildings grit bikes you know people bundled up out in their neighborhoods this is a varial part are there are a lot of the places around here being demolished north even though you can llama not yet go to make iejima but there is a plan to turn the whole area into a kind of a Russian style park so it seems not even this place will be here much longer and then where where will they move to no I tell you Hold’em they find an arse you know they’re giving the money together somewhere exactly okay this is happening throughout China the old must make way for the new sometimes people are relocated to newly built towns and cities while others are simply given money to find new places to live on their own so what it what does he think living in the cold and does did is there any kind of characteristic that he thinks people from Harbin have that’s different from the rest of the country the ninja long at sea holy do you do that Yoshii midoriyama she was starting her hobby cool you know Harbin people are famous for its honesty they’re all very honest people and we’re also very friendly to Russians we and Russians are partners always before and now it’s it’s interesting the Chinese classify the different types of people by the region they live in so if you’re from the Northeast you’re honest and hardworking and it’s it’s those people in a har beam and they built Harbin and they’re the ones who continue to adapt over the years as we wander through the back alleyways everyone says hello and the Chinese equivalent of cold enough for you many of the houses in this neighborhood are occupied by railroad and factory workers and many of these families have been here since it was constructed nearly a century this is so cool back in here I love it yeah this could be I mean this could be 50 years ago it could be got potatoes kicking around that’s cool whoa what’s up frozen I think so I say yeah that’s as hard as a rock this gives you just a little bit of idea of how

absolutely frigid it is out here you know when we live he’s a frozen solid when we lived here 25 years ago or so they used to people used to get potatoes and vegetables cabbage by the hundreds of kilos and bury them underground so a lot has changed I don’t think people are still doing it well people in the countryside still do that but not in the city because now you can buy vegetables in winter but at that time there weren’t any vegetables in the shops in winter so they have to store enough vegetables you know for them to go through winter back on a Main Street we come across a small food market with the hot steam everywhere in great faces it’s a photographer’s dream it’s been good to see the old face of the city I remember from my childhood gray cold gritty steamy healthy party Barbie but I also can’t wait to see something that wasn’t here 20 years ago the city’s signature winter theme park a city made entirely out of ice about a decade ago someone in heart bean got the idea of building a theme park slash city out of ice as a way of attracting tourists to the area during the coldest months and it seems to have worked because we’re here along with throngs of Chinese and little groups of Westerners like us it’s a great example of how the heart beaners have turned what is usually the dead of winter into a time for old-style celebration and new style money-making just the blocks of ice alone are huge not to mention the sculptures they’re making yeah some of them are life-size thousands of builders descend on Harbin every year to create this spectacular landscape and it’s all built in just over two weeks sculptors come here from all over the world including Europe Canada the United States and more it’s really become a major cultural exchange that brings over 8 million visitors and about 1 billion dollars here every year now wonder the city is looking so good you know how all this started though right they would freeze water in buckets and then hollow it out so that they could put you know a candle down in there to make sort of their own little lanterns yeah because you know they didn’t have money as well to buy you know real red lanterns for the Spring Festival but they have like you know plenty of ice there’s an ice Buddha a nice warrior and even a nice Westminster Abbey there are ice creations of every description to get a really good perspective of the whole thing we have to climb a bunch of ice stairs up to a nice Acropolis I love that there’s this entire world of ice and not a single handrail to be found it’s just it’s got to be the world’s biggest lawsuit waiting to happen the ice Acropolis is pretty impressive and so is the view yeah that’s uh that’s said to be the tallest ice tower in Asia really we’re cold and hungry but we’ll never forgive ourselves if we don’t stay until after the Sun sets and see what the ice city looks like at night so we wait until the Sun sets and get to see the ice town in a totally different light and it’s different all right it’s packed with people the Chinese have always been fascinated with light at night after all they invented fireworks and lighting this place isn’t cheap it costs around four thousand dollars a night it’s an impressive sight one that really illustrates how the people of Harbin have transformed their cold industrial city into a beautiful example of the adaptability of the Chinese people they seem to have found a balance between old and new and work in play

it’s all part of China’s evolution from a developing country into a first world one all in the space one generation power generation it’s only fitting that we say goodbye to the city of our childhood in the place that first put Harbin on the map the railroad station built by the Russians almost a century ago and modified by the Chinese many times since you know I can’t get over how much Harbin has changed in the last 25 plus years well you know what hasn’t changed though is the people I mean they’re still the same tough dongbei northern Chinese people we were available it’s been so much fun hanging out with you again thanks thanks a lot for taking us around whoever said you can’t go home again probably had it right the city were saying goodbye to isn’t the city either of us remember the living in Harbin definitely shaped both of us we’ve got the work ethic the hardness and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances which we’re going to need as we keep on getting lost in China you