Saturday, March 3, 2012

China Syndrome


Boarding the magnetic train to the airport
Trains, planes and automobiles - the final leg of our journey. All in all we travelled over 17,600 miles and although were only gone twelve days, our journey to China doesn’t seem to fit into orderly segments of day/night/week/work/play. The barrage of stimulants to the senses and the cultural divide suspended all time and reality for us. Home seemed to be a faraway place of another dimension. The trip was trying on many levels but magnificent on many more. I have learned that often the adventures that teach us the most are the ones that are not easy to endure while they are occurring. However once you are home and shake out the experience with time and space, the bad bits fall away like dust in the wind, and you are left to remember and treasure all that you have seen and learned.

My feelings for China are mixed; every person I met and spent time with was kind, sweet and generous. That which is China the government, is not so kind, welcoming nor generous. The people here live with no social net; laws are designed to protect businesses and not individuals; and I fear the success of this country will be borne on the backs of workers and those who are powerless. I am not sure where a Communist government comes into play here as this country is riding a wave of capitalism and greed like there’s no tomorrow – that is, capitalism without democracy.

And there are some fundamental problems that so obviously need to be addressed: smoking needs to be discouraged and promoted as the health killer it is; something has to be done about air quality - the air is unbreatheable in the cities; environmental efforts have to be made and new attitudes adopted.

With over a billion people, China could tilt the earth --- and wouldn’t it be wonderful if it tilted in the most positive way possible?


The magnetic rail to the airport
It went really fast! 33 kms in 8 minutes!

Homeward bound at the Shanghai airport.

2 comments:

  1. LYN...YOU WROTE A GREAT ENDING TO YOUR ADVENTURE. MONTHS FROM OW YOU WILL HAVE A GREAT PERSPECTIVE ON YOUR WHOLE EXPERIENCE AND IT WILL BE A POSITIVE ONE. I LEARNED SO MUCH FROM YOUR TRAVEL. Thankyou for your sharing this without reservations. Polar Bear

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  2. Another post that resonates with me. I like this part best: "I have learned that often the adventures that teach us the most are the ones that are not easy to endure while they are occurring. However once you are home and shake out the experience with time and space, the bad bits fall away like dust in the wind, and you are left to remember and treasure all that you have seen and learned."
    I don't even have words for this since, per usual, you stole the words from me when I couldn't find them myself...just, AMEN.
    And 12 days, okay. I'm glad it was a trip that showed you many new things.

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