How It Looked in Bejing, Early June 2002


Our company recently sent my friend (my next-door-neighbor in our cube-village) to Bejing for a tradeshow.

Tom just got hisself a new digital camera and was eager to try it out.

He's been developing his eye for images for many years.

(There's Tom in Bejing.
Whoa! Dude! You're in Bejing!)


Naturally, a company can't fly you half-way around the world and expect you to jump off the airplane and immediately be at your best. The crew had some free time to get adjusted.

Naturally, a Western visitor to Bejing would quickly visit Tienamen Square.



The proud imperial past finds uneasy accomodation with contemporary Asian sensibilities.


Westerners will be surprised to learn that their impressions of Bejing are out-dated.

The locals aren't wearing gray uniforms. Cute strappy sandals have infiltrated the Forbidden City.


Naturally, some matters are universal, independent of East and West.


The common Western impression of Bejing's pure utilitarianism is also mistaken. Any big city, anywhere, must provide verdant open space for its people.



As in any city, there's a big difference between the sumptuous public spaces and the more intimate, work-a-day spaces where people live.


Ah, the Great Wall of China! Magnificent, eternal.
Another Western bubble about to burst...

The Great Wall is a genuine Antiquity, folks.
Where it's not meticulously and expensively restored, it's falling apart.
What would you expect?

Yeah, I know, this was news to me, too.


One Western truism that is true is that a great discontinuity exists, between the rural and the cosmopolitan.


I have an implausible dream that one day the three top political leaders of the world's biggest nations will get together and argue for a couple of days, and then, totally out of the blue, one of them will come up with a Really Good Idea.

I don't know who it will be—the Chairman, the President, or the Premier—but the other two will stop and think, and then say, "That's a Really Good Idea. We should do that."

And the person who came up with it will say, "Yeah, but it won't work unless we all do it." And they'll look at each other suspiciously for a second, but then they'll all agree, "Yeah, but it's such a good idea! Let's do it!"

I know that's silly.

For now, it's enough for me to see that, in Bejing, just like where I live—

—you only have to look around a little, and sure enough, where you least expect it, there's something that's work-a-day beautiful.


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© 2002 NuMoon Creations