No Facebook. No Twitter. Oh my god how do the Chinese live. They have their own Baidu and Kaixin . China is magnificently huge with naturally sweet people who surprisingly love the sarees and Indians. My tryst with China started with the flight from Bangalore to HongKong. I was cursing the tour operators for having put me in the Bangalore but it was blessing in disguise when we were the first team to arrive the Hotel. It gave us the time to settle down. Having a syndicated tour operator always has more disadvantages than advantages. I will write a separate post on why you should backpack instead of operating tours.
First day went in long travel and ended up in a Indian restaurant (tour operator). If you are in foreign and if you are Indian – you are always considered to be North Indians – too bad. Beijing is the only city we are visiting in Mainland China. Man, you will get amazed at the infrastructure they have put up. The whole city is linked up with ring roads which connect most part of the city, overhead or multi level bridges where ever needed, AC buses and electric buses (fascinating). Audis and Volkswagens plying around with Hyundai Elantras as standard taxis, even saw a few Rolls Royces. Surprisingly there were very less motorcycles spotted and even lesser bicycles. The people are very friendly except for those who sell in shops and hawkers. They can easily cheat you with sweet talk one of the girls told me that I look charming (!!!?) and asked for a date just to sell a pull over worth 30 Yuans for 100.
If Great wall of China was old China architectural beauty, Bird’s next represents the liberated China. You can see girls in micro mini skirts, lovers closely tugged in public places and open sex shops on the roads. If that’s the one end, I also saw a small girl begging for money to eat and a small boy selling balloons to pull off his livelihood. The other side of liberalization was evident in China too. May be a trip to hinterland will give you more such examples. I was so determined to touch the Tianamen square and watch the road where the iconic guy stood in front of the barrage of tanks to fight against oppression. Initially the tour operator had a pass through but I fought with our guide to take us for a stroll in the square. When i saw those buildings and the place where it all happened, it was chilling. I could hear the whirling sounds of 1000s of people who died that day. Nobody including our guide wants to talk about it. There was a security check on baggage when we entered the square. War monument, Mao Tse Tung’s Mausoleum, National Musuem, National Hall – nothing fascinated me except for the feeling that this place has taken the lives of those students who wanted democracy
May be they have moved on, may be this radical change is what they expected. The liberated china which works tirelessly towards development, which wants to conquer the world economically, which wants to be friendly with people, which wants to learn English at every chance they get, which wants to respect the cultures of other nations and which wants to take over your hearts rather than your money. If India does half of what the Chinese had done, India would have been economic super power already. But to be true, we haven’t done even 5% of it. My love with China started with my NEP presentation in MBA and this trip just reinforced it. I will come back to this country to explore more and fall in love all over again 🙂