China 2010

This is my second trip (since settling down in the USA) back home. It differs drastically from my first. The 2003 trip I herded my kids and tried to flaunt my hometown (they were so thoroughly turned off that till this day they adamantly refuse to visit it again). If that trip was showoff, stressful and full of struggle then this 2010 one is intimate, intoxicating and full of insightful involvements.

China, needless to say, has changed for the better. Really. IF you’re still thinking or talking about human rights and sweatshops, then you need to wise up and do some serious catch up. It’s so yesteryear. The changes occur in rapid succession. The available mass transportation that link the airports to the city centers is one of the features that I envy very much and feeling being cheated by New York politicians. Why on earth that the Big Apple doesn’t have a high speed train or light rail that connect our ancient JFK and LGA to Manhattan? I’m indignant and deeply shame every time seeing that elevated crappy track between
Jamaica and JFK. Thomas Friedman mused few years back that many Asian airports make ours look like third world .. well, China actually kicked New York to the bottom of the third world.

But .. the software just isn’t there, yet. MagLev travels fast. The overall progress materializes fast. Even paying for meals in China one needs lighting speed – one step slower, someone on the table would beat you to it even it was your dinner or your turn. Sparkling bathrooms with censor flush but no toilet paper, or one big roll by the main entrance. (Make sure you bring a box of tissue for bathrooms and restaurants.) Somehow, I feel somewhere and someone is over reaching, like 暴发户 parvenu bit vulgar. Well, the east coast establishment thought of west coast techies vulgar too, mere few years ago.

Vice Foreign Minister .. telling foreign countries they had a stark choice between challenging China’s judicial system and developing friendly relations with Beijing .. ..

Some strong words here. China has done well .. Oh well, this trip was all about my genealogy research. I met many unexpected people; toured my maternal great grandfather‘s home where my half aunt still lives; former homes and homes that turned into public gardens; museum .. DSCN8670 (4)

some fees:

  • June 22: air Shanghai-JiNan $213 [CN¥1,320.00元: 票价 ¥1140.00元,税费¥180.00元,保险¥0.00元] 上海航空公司
  • June 28: air JFK-Shanghai-Taipei-HK-NY US$1,296, Cathay Pacific
  • Aug 12: Visa $140, multiple 6 months
  • Sept 7: US$196 flight changing fee
  • Sept 22: $170 on the spot visa to Taiwan
  • Sept 23: $105 flight changing fee

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