a city between old and new

After living here for about a week, I’m struck by the mix of old and new in this city.  I could be poking around streets that make me feel like I’ve stepped into the pages of a history book, and just as I think I am fooled there is a China Mobile stand sandwiched between a stall selling hanging goat carcasses and just to the other side, a vendor with tanks of squirming eels.  I suppose, though, that’s what China is all about.  New facades and old traditions.

china or bust

Shanghai, 1990 and 2010.  photo: Mamie Young
The DiploMan emailed me the picture above a few days ago.  The photo was taken from roughly the same location in Shanghai, twenty years apart.  Unreal.

Coincidentally, Diane Sawyer is covering China’s massive growth and westernization this week on ABC’s World News Tonight.  From one feature story:

…Chinese engineering is speeding ahead in other areas, outdoing American efforts. By the end of next year, a train from Beijing to Shanghai will take just four hours. It will cover a distance equivalent to that between New York and Atlanta, a trip that takes Americans 18 hours…

For more fascinating articles head on over to the ABC World News Tonight website this week.  At the very least, you’ll know what to look for when the Chinese take over the world (lots of McDonalds’).