When I heard the announcement that Beijing was the next stop, I thought, “Smog.” I was ready for it. I have read that Beijing was covered in pollution, but that day and the days that followed were sunny and full of light.
My first impression when we got off the train was that we were in the Bucharest of the 1980s; that was my first thought. Maybe because the travelers swarming in the immense rail station, rigid kind of people, looked too worried and stressed out to show a smile. We pulled our luggage alongside the river of people and managed to get to subway. I couldn’t wait to take a first glimpse of the city. Our translator bought us the tickets and we boarded a train packed with proletarians, the working machine of a country that was building their communist era. When one would fall, it didn’t matter. The Party and the masses were large enough to replace the sick and the dead without sorrow.
The doors opened and we rushed out to keep up with our guide. The city was marvelous. Breathtaking. But something was odd about the buildings. The skyscrapers made of steel and glass imitated Manhattan. I didn’t know that most of the largest cities in China boasted with replica of iconic buildings in Europe and US.
(According to DailyMail.com – “the head of one of the companies behind the development, …said: ‘…When we decide to learn from others, we should not make any improvements or changes.’ ” Article by Daniel Miller, January 8, 2013, “Chinese fakeaway: How the world’s most famous buildings – and even whole cities – are being cloned in the Far East.”
That was so sad.
-To be continued-
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