Monday, October 16, 2006

Thoughts on Beijing

In some ways, Beijing is what I expected.
  • Lots of air pollution (perhaps not as bad as New Delhi, though)
  • Stuff being built everywhere
  • Asian people galore

But in other ways... it's a lot like home.
  • People drive on the right - in their Audis and Buicks and Volkswagens.
  • I can watch CNN, National Geographic, and MTV.
  • Asian people galore

I haven't really figured out what obvious differences there are that say "We're communists." It was just as easy to go through immigration and customs as it ever was anywhere else. There may be more security/police/military on the streets than in the US, but there are fewer than there were at other conferences I've been to in other (non-communist) countries. There are plenty of big shiny places to go shopping. And so on.

I begin to think that perhaps the system of government that exists in a country doesn't always affect the daily lives of everyone there. A lot of people here in China are more "capitalist" - focused on earning money and spending it on shiny things - than I am!

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