REVIEWED BY: Marguerite Zelle
MY RECOMMENDATION: YES
AMAZON SUBSCRIPTION LINK: Tai Shan, by Shelly Bryant
WEB ADDRESS: http://www.slothjockey.com/blog/shelly_bryant/
BLOG DESCRIPTION: the scoop about China and all things Chinese
MY REVIEW: I enjoyed this blog for the most part. It's fascinating to learn about a country that really is a world away, ie. China. The only drawback with the blog is that, although there are a lot of photos, they have been shrunk, so you can hardly see them. When it comes to viewing photos, therefore, it might be best to visit this blog's URL to see them.
But there's plenty of Chinese culture and life on display.
City of Tomorrow
Walking through the tunnel that interchanges between Lines 1 & 9 in Shanghai’s Metro system at Xujiahui Station is like being in the middle of a sci-fi movie. The smooth reflective white (or maybe yellow) panels that cover the wall and seem to join in an arc overhead bounce back in brilliant form the ever-changing colors of the lights. It is smooth and slick and shiny — all the stereotypes of the City of the Future that is seen in countless science fiction movies. The only thing missing is the typical sci-fi uniform — all slippery white and body-hugging.
Instead, the style of clothing you’ll see in the Xujiahui station is pretty hum-drum, ordinary old stuff. There’s the office wear, basketball shorts and Yao Ming jerseys, spaghetti straps and short skirts, sandals, and pretty much whatever else you’d see worn on a warm day in any other city around the world in 2010. The closest thing I saw to a sci-fi costume was a set of long, flowing, Jedi-like robes, but they were on the back of a man sitting on the floor with a beggar’s bowl in front of him and didn’t really get much attention from any of the thousands of people in the station besides me.
One young lady’s garb particularly caught my eye as she walked in front of me through the tunnel. She looked like she was trying to start her day off right, wearing clothing that was obviously fairly expensive. Her blouse was neat and tidy, and her pants were fashionably rolled up to 3/4 length with neat little straps to keep them in place. That was why I noticed her. One of the straps, though it was buttoned firmly, wasn’t doing a very thorough job. The inner part of her pants leg had come all unrolled and was flapping down somewhere around her ankle, while the outer portion of the pants leg remained firmly in place. The swishing of the dangling pants leg kept time with the flip-flop of her sandals as she rushed on ahead of me.
Something about the young woman and about the tunnel seemed so typically Shanghai. I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for her, thinking she’d probably spent a lot of effort getting ready to look good for the day, but ended up looking just a little silly. And I couldn’t help but connect that with what the tunnel seemed to represent — that the city is a City of the Future, and is determined to embrace whatever that might entail. Ready or not.
Shanghai is obsessed with tomorrow — it even has a building right downtown called Tomorrow Square. It seems to me that the city is forever trying to define the future we will face, even as it races ahead to meet that future. The highways and highrises all glow with a neon flair, calling to mind scenes from Blade Runner and other similar future-oriented films. The tunnel that I walked through at the Xujiahui Station prompted my friend to say to her little daughter, “Look, baby, we are walking through the new Tron movie.” Whatever our visions of the future are, Shanghai is ready to take them out of our imaginary spaces and plop them right down in the middle of our present, even if we aren’t quite dressed to meet them yet.
But who knows. Maybe this rush toward tomorrow might just help us escape our shabby todays.
Welcome Kindle Users
7:08 pm, September 21, 2010
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6:45 am, October 27, 2010
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--Scrabble Night @ Cotton’s in Shanghai
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--Taishun County’s Memorable Faces
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--Taishun County’s Ancient Towns and Structures
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--Taishun County’s Covered Bridges （廊桥）
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--City of Tomorrow
7:55 pm, October 9, 2010
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Reviews published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
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