We in North America enjoy a variety of publicly funded facilities like community swimming pools, recreational centers, public libraries which charge nominal per entry fees, or very reasonable monthly or yearly rates.
In my limited travels within China, I rarely see public libraries, or recreational centers, neighborhood centers, perhaps, but they are limited to local residences only. In my casual observation, some hotel does have nice swimming, bath and recreational facilities provided for either their overnight guests or walk in customers.
In some neighborhood hotels, I even witnessed the whole family spend a princely sum for an evening of leisure relaxation, sipped teas, play mahjong and smoking. Yes, smoking too!
But the per use fees are not cheap, say if there is public facilities available, if the entry fee to use the shower and pool is $30 RMB, an upscale hotel which has the same facilities would have charged about $160 RMB per person.
I spoke with some expat Canadians, and their common sentiments are, there just aren’t enough places for children to vent their energy after school in China.
I think I mentioned some large scale shopping mall does offer supervised, nice, bright, ventilated, well cushioned play areas for pre-school age children to play. But again, they are pay per use, and it costs between $60 RMB for your children to play in. In some area, $60 RMB can get you lunch for two!
Speaking of food, really there are no shortages of food, or famines in China, I personally would think it has become a thing of the past, thanks to mass transportation, good highway infrastructures, and improvements in agricultural practices.
If anything, I saw propagandas on TV, asking its citizens to not wasting food. One statistic the news media quote,” Wastage of food is in the billion pounds every year in China; please help feed the hungry world by not wasting!”
A neighborhood hotpot place advertising a $36 RMB per person ALL YOU CAN EAT! Children half price! Price including beverages! The only condition is there is a two hour seating time! China is doing great, in terms of feeding her people; basics needs for her citizens are all there. People are travelling more and more by air, or by private cars. Holiday seasons news media would routinely have traffic report aired on news time. Their parking lot on the highways are just as bad as ours in North America!