I'm in Shenzhen, for those who don't know, a "town" on the border of China with the HK SAR. I'm (slightly) in violation of my visa, because I'm not technically in Shenzhen, but on the outskirts of the Special Economic Zone, in Dongguan (which is really part of the Shenzhen agglomeration). The area has been pouring with money, I can so feel it. Well, ever since coming to China from Japan, this is what I've been feeling: money. I get a stronger sense of where money comes from, where it goes, and what it is for. Not in the sense of just getting a salary from work, but all the workings of the economy. It's not as if I'm suddently enlightened with the Spirit of Economy - more like a feel - or actually you can say something like that, the Spirit of Capitalism is really growing in China, and I can sense it (all the headlines about the yuan reevaluation must also be filtering through).

The girls in Shenzhen are hot. Hmm? It's just an observation. I think it's probably because you come to the city from outer province seeking for a better life, and that people from the Mainland are generally from the countryside, thus live less of a sedentary life than in industrialized countries/cities. It's an observation - like the one that in HK and Toronto and etc, not all girls are hot (to my cousins/brother's dissapointment), simply because if everyone was hot, then nobody would be hot. It's a nature's thing, I don't think you can make a lot of sense of it.

The most striking realization is that you can't think everyone's dishonest. Can't think that way. You can think of the World as being limited in resources, and people are just fighting their way to those resources, for themselves, or for those they are akinned with. As simple as that. It's how much you want something - or how much you think you need something - that will bring you to do something about it. Pickpockets? You are not born a pickpocket, but if it means choosing between starving or stealing a few hundreds from a stranger's wallet to survive a month... And otherwise, it's a fringe of the population. To me, the majority of the folks try to live a honest life, just like the majority of people in my own country.

One big point of self-questionning after visiting all those places, and especially with my camera pointing at everything: why am I the one with the camera taking the picture, and not the one sitting there trying to a living out of selling fruits on the side of the street, or working for 800 yuans a month (roughly 140CAD) in a metal factory?

I don't know. I think China is irrestible. Just as much as the manufacturing sector in Hong Kong simply died, there's no way for that of the industrialized countries to survive - unless you mean something local or super-specialized. It's not about cheap labour in China. It's about wanting a better life - and a lot of people wanting that.


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This page contains a single entry by Cedric published on May 24, 2005 11:46 AM.

Shenzhen and Guilin pics was the previous entry in this blog.

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