I’ll be honest with you Bryan, that smells like pure gasoline.
This place can get depressing. You look down from your ivory tower and you see building after building falling into itself. Upon closer inspection, you see what you were hoping not to… that people actually live there.
I’m sure there are places like this in US… places worse than this no doubt; but, litereally steps away from a 5-star hotel housing “important” western business men? It makes me ill to tell you the truth.
On my way to the factory today, the driver took me through some pretty rough areas. Not rough in terms of me ever feeling as if I was in danger. Rough in terms of it must be rough to live there. On the way back, he noticed me taking pictures, and somehow didn;t end up going back the same way we came. Somehow, we only went through relatively nice areas that, despite his best intentions, were really not all that nice.
That’s one of the things I like about coming to China. Seeing real people with real lives scratching out existence as best they can with no apparent complaints… but it’s also one of the main reasons I like to leave. The double amputee begging for food or money flat on his stomache for lack of a wheelchair was almost too much.
And what’s really crazy is how rich I am here… how rich any of us would be. I paid for some water and some chips that weren’t chips with a $100RMB note and got 99 back. That means my purchase that would have been what(?)… $3-5US came out to be roughly 12 cents.
My only hope is that the cashier was so distracted by how non-Chinese I am that she counted wrong. Even if she did, things here are still so, so cheap, and so so poor. It almost makes you wonder if communism is such a good idea after all.