I was going to start out my blog post today with this picture.
Actually, since I did start out my blog post today with that picture I ending doing exactly what I intended to do.
However, the departure begins now.
I was going to write about the constant demolition and construction that is going on Beijing.
I’m pretty sure there is not one second of the day that someone, some place, with some tool, isn’t either destroying a piece of property or building up a new one.
At the same time.
I am rather amazed at how quickly the people of Beijing are demolishing, building, and rebuilding. And not always in that order.
The subways, buses and taxis are a good example. Beijing is a city dedicated to moving people.
Underground, with the subway, we move from side to side.
Above ground, with the buildings, we move up and down.
And, I’m pretty sure there is an elevator, somewhere in this town, that goes all four of those directions and will prove me wrong about my assumptions. Heck it probably is able to move in a diagonal direction also.
If there isn’t, my guess is someone reading my blog just decided, “Hey, that’s a great idea!”
If so, I promise you there will be an elevator doing that in about a week or two.
That is how quickly buildings seem to grow out of the dirt in this city.
There are a lot of positive points one can make about having a city that builds that quickly and continues to expand and grow to fit the needs of its population. The ability to move masses of people on quickly constructed subways, the “Ring Roads” being constructed that start in the middle of town and then circle around each other. At this point, the 6th Ring Road is the furthest out and it is about 150 km total distance as it encirlces the city. Beijing is expanding so rapidly that they have to keep building to maintain the city and space for people to live.
I was talking to a friend who grew up here. He is the same age as I am. Well, honestly, I’m 8 months older than he is which made him very happy. I’m the old guy.
He remembers growing up and living in a Hutong and how life was much slower, easier and a lot less pollution.
Yep, that is it.
The main drawback from living in a city that is expanding and growing like Beijing.
I’ve had a lot of friends ask me about it and my simple response is this:
“It is what it is.”
I can’t do anything about it. I can choose to stay in my apartment and worry or I can choose to take some simple precautions and not worry. I choose the later.
As Kurt Vonnegut would write, “And so it goes.”
And, Dear Readers, if you notice, I’m a big fan of Kurt Vonnegut and his views on life.
In my humble opinion, there are things you can change, things you can’t change and things that don’t need changing at all.
It is your choice to decide which of them are important to you and which of them aren’t.
To me, the negative of the pollution is just not that important at this point.
The benefits of living in this magnificent city, with such wonderful people, and all the adventure that is awaiting me, is more than enough to offset this single negative point.
To bring this post back to where it began, this is the sight that made me forget about the previous demolition picture that I had originally intended to be the inspiration for this piece.
I had just come home, set down my backpack, changed my clothes and opened up the curtains on my floor to ceiling windows. No one had called me or talked to me about any changes.
What did I see right on my deck?