Sunday, March 27, 2005

"You Are a Piece of Nothing

without money in this society." This quote is from a peasant who left his village to work to build the New Beijing. Some builders had jumped from the concrete tower they were building to their deaths right before the Chinese New Year. They wouldn't be dutiful husbands or sons if they returned to their village without money, and the Government had decided that, though they'd been working diligently for 5 months or so, sleeping on bunk beds twelve to a room, 2 nights and 1 daylong train ride from home, they wouldn't be paid until the project was finished; roughly another 6 months. Death was preferable to shame. Still, the concrete revolution goes on...three thousand families were vacated in one month from one community to make way for another high rise... grass is being planted to replace the green paint around Tianmen. The paint was good enough to seduce the Olympic Committee, but now that the actual Olympics are coming, well, there must be grass. There's now a Starbucks in the Forbidden City...and the American Embassy in Beijing will be the biggest and most expensive American Embassy ever. All the better, the narrator voices over, Chinese tongue in cheek, for the queues of Chinese applying for visas to come to America and open more restaurants.

1 comment:

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