Thursday, September 15, 2011

Beijing-14 Years Hence


Beijing 2011 Scenes (5)Last time I was here was 1997 and suffice it to say, the city is VERY different now.

Sure, there are a ton of people and I got the full experience of being cramped in the subway, but while we were there, pretty much every single person was using a smartphone.

Yep, China is mobile.

Beijing 2011 Scenes (3)Oh, and when it comes to fashion…America has won that trade war at least.

Last time I was here, the airport was old, dilapidated, and chaotic. Now, it’s stremalined, efficient, HUGE, well lit, and as modern as they get. So, too, for the subway system

I’m sure a lot had to doBeijing 2011 Scenes (4) with the Olympics, but a lot has to do with the growth in general.

One thing that I did notice…and perhaps this is a testament to the modernization ofChina-I don’t know-is that whereas in Japan and India, I was often the subject of starest, being the only Caucasina around, in China, no one seemed to notice or care.

Well, that’s not entirely true, I was often approached by people either trying to sell something (Capitalism has arrived!) of trying to practice their English.

Still, the mass affluence has certainly arrived en masse (intended) in China.

The mall next to the hotel where I sam staying, granted not the greatest data point, is full of luxury Western goods.

Beijing 2011 Scenes (1)Like when I was in Moscow and the mall next to Red Square was full of high-end Western brands, China seems to have plenty of that as well.

Now, the fact that I couldn’t log into Facebook or Twitter from my hotel room (I had to directly remotely access my home PC and do it from there) reminds you that this isn’t quite a “normal” country, but in so many respects, China is like everywhere else…at least on the survace, after my first two hours Winking smile

One incident that caught my attention was a non-violent protester across the street from Tianamen Square. He was limp and not willing to walk with the police. A crowd gathered and the policeman stayed calm, aware of the phones with camersa and the tourists. Soon, a van came up and the guy was put unceremoniously in it…who knows what happened then?

Stil, I suppose that is progress?

Sorry for the typos. I had typing this via my home PC while in China and the latency leads to errors…It’s cumbersome to fix them all,so I trust you’ll figure it out Winking smile

More to come on this. Of course.

Oh yeah, one more thing…I was VERY surprised to see how orderly people were in the subway, forming nice lines. I definitely did not expect that.

Oh…another bonus, I saw a Chinese bride all deck out in red taking pictures in front of a temple. Nice throwback to another era.

I was thinking that some of the older generation, who had lived through Mao and the Cultural Revolution…they must be so confused!


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