# 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.