Posts Tagged ‘Beijing’

The temperature outside was an unfathomable 3461 degrees Celsius, or at least that’s what the information screen mounted at the end of my train car told me. Of course, minutes earlier the display had read -1340 degrees C, so either I was on the surface of Mercury or the device wasn’t to be trusted.

Regardless, the train was a welcome respite from the blazing heat I had experienced the preceding days as I had wandered the surprisingly Western looking streets of Beijing.

I had been in China for only three (3) days and while I quickly had become adept at dodging the ridiculously overpriced tea girls wandering the streets, I had yet to see anything that I would consider distinctly Chinese, or better yet, distinctly communist.

While my experience in rural China would be much different, what I discovered in the metropolitan hubs was nothing like what I had expected: Cultural seclusion had morphed into uncritical cultural adoption, a feeling of communist camaraderie had turned into egotistical self-interest, and the self-titled beacon of communism in the world had, as a matter of fact, become quite capitalistic.

In fact, as one particularly insightful guide had quipped during a tour of the Forbidden City, “the Forbidden City,” indeed much of China, I discovered, “…not so forbidden anymore.”



Read Full Post »