Experiencing China

'Experiencing China' is about ordinary life in China and the wealing and dealing of a Dutchman in the Middle Kingdom. Marc works for DuoArts Consultancy and the Empowerment Foundation, travelling between the Netherlands and China.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Modern China

Ahead of all development China has known since 1978, when China for the first time since the establishment of the People's Republic, are the (coastal) cities. Shanghai and Shenzhen are the most well known examples. They now (almost) can compete with cities such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo. In Beijing the development has lacked behind aforementioned cities, but with the Olympic Games in 2008 in sight, it seems that development now is speeding up.

Other than the contruction of prestigious shopping centers, hotels and business centers, one development already has been taken place, and that is, the establishment of Western style clubs, bars and discos. At Wu Dao Kou, the place where I live, is such a 'going out' centre. Till late at night, Chinese boys and girls dance in the latest fashion in expensive clubs. I've visited a few of them and was, at first, really surprised to find these kind of clubs in Beijing. At the same time I realized I have been living like the ordinary Chinese all my previous visits. As a random visitor it is difficult to find the clubs, but living in a community of foreign students, it's very easy.

Beihai Park nearby Tian'anmen 

My picture of Beijing has changed because of this. Or maybe the word 'diversified' is better. Beijing consists of ancient China (e.g. Forbidden City), displaying the signs of communism (e.g. the Worker's Stadium). Currently, besides these symbols of China's (recent) past, classy bars, discos and clubs have emerged. It is amazing that there are people here living in the famous 'hutongs', Beijing's villages with their narrow streets, small houses, where many cook outside on coal heated stoves, and at the same time the Chinese (and many foreigners) shop in the modern airconditioned shopping malls, to have dinner at KFC and eventually to end up in Club Propaganda.

Yesterday, my new friends (see photo above) and I went to one of the most fashionable clubs to dance. In those clubs it's easy to forget that only about 200 million Chinese can afford this way of living and that another billion still work six, seven days a week for a 20 euro salary.

8 Comments:

Blogger Bicyclemark said...

Marc my friend.. question... perhaps best asked through email... but I wonder if they new things.. stadiums and so forth.. are they getting named with old style names, like workers stadium? Or are the getting more capitalistic names? (well, something opposite like.. Mao Stadium)

9:18 PM  
Blogger stokehole said...

Very Fascinating!

5:39 PM  
Blogger Viktor said...

Hey mark,
You and the other students on the picture above, did you study Mandarin at Yu Yan University (BLCU)?
How long was the course you took?
Do you know if any of them have their own blogs?

Bye,
Viktor Sjölinder

1:46 PM  
Blogger crow3678 said...

Hi Marc David Brand, I am enjoying some idle time and looking to see what WorldwideIncome will bring up. Modern China is certainly interesting and informative. WorldwideIncome is a good word to bring into the conversation. Great post. Enjoy your day!

1:31 PM  
Blogger Chirp88 said...

Hi Marc David Brand, taking a little time today to see what Permanent Income will send me to that is interesting. Modern China looks interesting and is a great read. Will also try Permanent Income in my e-travels. Have a super day!

1:21 PM  
Blogger Chirp88 said...

Hi Marc David Brand, it’s late in the evening, quiet and peaceful. This is good computer time for me. I thought I would check on Prestigious Business and see what came up. Modern China is something that is interesting to many people. I will also spend a little time checking on Prestigious Business. Getting late, have a good evening.

11:07 PM  
Blogger Chirp88 said...

Hi Marc David Brand, I am enjoying some idle time and looking to see what Global Business will bring up. Modern China is certainly interesting and informative. Global Business is a good word to bring into the conversation. Great post. Enjoy your day!

6:05 PM  
Blogger crow3678 said...

Hi Marc David Brand, I am enjoying some idle time and looking to see what Residual Cash Flow will bring up. Modern China is certainly interesting and informative. Residual Cash Flow is a good word to bring into the conversation. Great post. Enjoy your day!

9:51 AM  

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