Tuesday, 1 July 2008

The Bird's Nest

One of the great experiences of Beijing is the sheer velocity of construction which has had me pondering for quite some time on the implications of whole neighbourhoods flattened overnight with new superstructures going up faster than I've ever seen in my life. I've already talked about the CCTV building by Rem Koolhaas which we will never see its like again (and he knows it) but the other supermodel on the catwalk is the Birds Nest, or the Olympic Stadium. It's awesome. Period.
Here it is from some photography I took the other day. Notice the traditional peasant (migrant worker) in the foreground. I chose this pic out of the 30 or so I took because like the washing below it represents something about modern China that Noam Chomsky talks about a lot in this podcast here; the human development index for China is still quite low, around 70th if I'm not mistaken. 
There's a lot of people still running around on loose chained tricycles shifting bricks from one place to another. 
Wait till all those have offspring that want to go to college, drive a car and double China's GDP with the 'Chinese Dream' (One World One Dream).........Yeah, we need to rewire our economies and the answer might be most candid in Asian economies today. 
Not tomorrow.
I live only a stones throw from the Forbidden City and a short walk from Tiananman Square. Beijing is often a sooty and polluted overcast metropolis. It's also, in its own way the most tidy I've ever come across for its size. I've never seen a broken glass, a crisp packet or an empty packet of cigarettes on the road and that's because there is no litter. But still there are quaint signs of a rapidly disappearing life, and though I live amongst the political elite (and those who did them favours) The washing is still out on the road drying in the occasional spell of glorious sunshine. For when Beijing shines. It really does shine beautifully.
 
Sorry about the lack of links and layout at the moment as I'm using the new version of blogger and playing with new features.
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