Tuesday, April 24, 2012

glimpses of beijing and shanghai

# Ambidextrous water calligraphy at Beihai Park #

# I think these are entreaties written on wooden plaques and hung from a tree #

# Bicycles hidden along a hutong in Beijing #

# Street scene in Shanghai #

I recently came back from a trip to Beijing and Shanghai, which was an eye-opening experience.  It provided for a deeper insight into a culture that I have only understood from the outside.  Little things we value (and take for granted) in the Western culture go completely unnoticed--such as preserving personal space and what we consider common courtesy.  The underprivileged live in view of the upper class, though seemingly completely ignored.  I could not help but be startled by the huge disparity between the haves and have-nots that was so readily apparent, with skyscrapers sometimes overlooking a neighborhood of dilapidated shacks across the street.  Behind the veneer of rich historical sites, which truly are amazing (especially the Great Wall), is a society that is broken but possesses a great deal of perseverance.  I may not support the government but coming face to face with the people during my brief trip there, I understand a little better the wonder that is China.