China’s Two Mirror Cities

The main two cities of China couldn’t be any more different. However both show in their reflection the messed up confusion seems to be in our western eyes.

Shanghai is the city that feeds China need for power and to be acknowledged as the world biggest economy. Beijing works the political and military side, pressing on having uniforms in the most vulgar state buildings and the ideals of communism spread around as a constant reminder of a idealism long gone.

Shanghai

 It is what Hong Kong would be if it was still Chinese. A slowed down, but speedy financial city growing beyond its capability.

It grows to the strange standards of Asian cultures, such as Bangkok. Where poverty goes hand in hand with richness, the big buildings have weird alleys between them, and beside the advancement in so many ways, kids still poop in the middle of the streets.

 It is good however that Shanghai keeps its authenticity. Would hate to see it become the theme park Hong Kong became. Nothing would’ve made me feel more like coming back home. HK is nice to live and to rest from your serious travels, that is it.  Shanghai keeps the culture intact and I love it for it.

In addition to that, my friend Maxi lives temporarily there. We could revenge the fact that I didn’t manage to include Germany in my trip. Was so good to finally see someone from Amsterdam after such a long time without anyone I previously knew (except for Mirella in HK).

That gives a kick in any trip! From having always company for dinner, going out with trusted people, the familiar talks and jokes, to movie night. This made me realize how special the US is going to be because of meeting friends again.

Beijing

This would be the old sister that is always mad, keeps complaining, goes to church everyday just so other people know how religious she is, and keeps you from being what you want to be.

It is what  you expect. Dirty, communist and dull.

Not saying that that’s bad. It’s just the way it is. Where else can you experience being inside because pollution is too dangerous to go out, buy a Prada bag for dirty cheap (not that I did! not enough space on my backpack), eat dog and spider…and so many others.

The weird, rude, the expected. But sadly the main side of China we get in the media and that it doesn’t represent China at all.

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