Sunday, September 02, 2007

China: The World of Tomorrow and the World of Yesterday

Yes, I've been in Asia again. This time there was some family business to be taken care of (long story involving my mob family and a fantastic car chase John-Woo style... well, not really), but we also had some time to tour around.

Of course I will be uploading lots of food pictures. But here are some general trip photos before we begin - I think they really reflect the absurd paradox that is China:

Here we are in the World of Tomorrow - Shanghai. Behind me is the Bund, a mix of old colonial buildings (old German, French, British embassies, etc.) now dwarfed by towering corporate giants of steel and glass.

But China is also still the World of Yesterday, the world of calligraphy, poets, scrolls, temples, and burning incense. China makes it clear that these things are not dead and are not actually "yesterday."

And then there's the In-Between, the FOB-China that is totally Bhabhian - "not quite, not right" or "not quite, not white." China absolutely mimics the West - but not quite. For example:

Everything is translated into English, you see, and here the English is perfectly correct. But something is just off, missing the cultural mark by a long shot.

Beijing 2008 Olympics should be veeeeerrrry interesting.

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