Sunday, March 06, 2005

In China

Apparently the Chinese censor the internet, so while it may be possible for me to post to my blog (I am trying right now, and if you are reading this, it obviously worked) I can't see it from here. Everything on blogspot.com is blocked, it seems.

Until I was reminded of that, I would have just talked about how modern and western this place is. I was in a huge shopping mall earlier today. It was full of Sony and Nokia and Motorola etc. Even the plumbing fixtures were American Standard and Sloan Valve USA (I read a lot, including the writing on plumbing). Perhaps we don't have to worry about the Chinese completely overpowering the American economy, if they still import flush valves from us.

On the way in from the airport I even saw a huge billboard for Cadillac. I suppose it would have been more impressive had I actually seen a Cadillac on the road, but I didn't. Just a BMW 7L and an Audi A6 1.8t (not a combination available in the USA I think).

There are some amazing buildings in Pudong. I was stunned. One of them at least I remember from an architecture exhibit I saw recently in a Modern Art museum in the states. Very impressive.

I am at the Public library now, I took a Subway to get here. That was quite an adventure. I may stick to cabs from now on. Packed does not begin to describe it. Stuffed perhaps. After I squeezed on, a couple more people would push and push, forcing me into the folks in front of me, and eventually either getting on or getting stuck in the door and giving up. Unreal.

I read once that Japan has officers whose duty it is to shove people into trains, so that they are as full as possible. That seems to be a task delegated to the public in China. They could also stand to have some conductors yelling "Let 'em off the train!" as I recall from NYC. Here the rule seems to be to start pushing on as soon as the doors open, never mind the folks who want off.


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