Mb Speaks: November 2018

Mb Speaks

I just flew in from Shanghai and is my brain tired. For any of my friends, that I’ve subjected to my frantic rambling descriptions, I apologize. It’s just that, I’m in awe of what is going on there and feel like I need to tell everyone! ‘Cause, I really didn’t know what to expect. So little information gets out. They’re denied the “luxuries” of things like Google for objective reference, or Facebook for unbridled interaction. Word on the street is, they don’t want anyone reading the negative press the rest of the world may be publishing. Someone from Beijing told me people think Facebook is mean and rude. Maybe that’s how thousands of years of Buddhism have shaped things. It’s no doubt that it’s government control, but I got the feeling they were ok with that. I saw no overt depictions of violence or sexual exploitation, and to the contrary commercial brands and messages inspired happiness and love with stores called Hug or Planet Yummy. Mascots were doe-eyed animals and 10 shades of pink. Teenagers held hands and seniors could be seen with their parents everywhere. China has embraced technology and let it do a lot of the work for them, even the elderly. Their adoption of WeChat payment is years ahead of us and when I got back and looked at an Interact swipe at a store, I felt like I was in a developing world. It’s all QR codes and facial recognition over there. Sophisticated road and highway systems, there are seperate lanes for cars, electric scooters, bikes and pedestrians. A whole industry has emerged catering to “scooter bling” and wardrobe. Rent-a-bikes are everywhere. Perhaps 15 million in Beijing, alone. A concept championed by a 22 year old student, some 15 years ago, she’s now one of the wealthiest people in “their China.” The smog is intense, and the government is working at light-speed to clean things up. They literally close the major highways and roadways to power wash them nightly. Devoid of litter and with more urban green space, flowers and shrubs, then in any city I’ve ever seen, not to mention the LED lighting that was everywhere. Health and longevity is important. People dance in the park, practiced Tai Chi at sunrise on the sidewalk and ask if you’ve eaten yet today as a common greeting. I could go on and on about the Great Wall on my birthday or the Forbidden City or Tiananmen Square or the Terracotta Warriors. If traveling alone, it may have been the number of Buddhist temples I visited that I would have enjoyed the most, with their vegetarian cafés and the signs suggesting you speak softly. A little quiet time and reflection. Now just to figure out a reason to go back. You know, I did meet a Bowie fan or two….
Mb. Keep the faith.