What an opportunity, I had a seminar about finance and liquidity in Beijing and Tianjing this January and I added some more days to find out about the places.
My biggest surprise was the logistic in Beijing (of course a post olympic effect), but nevertheless. Ask any travellor with Asian experience and they will all ask you about the spitting on the ground. Already 20 years ago littering and spitting was forbidden in Singapur and you could pay a fee to a watching policemen. The same is true in Cairo, where the city authorities try to keep the city clean. Now – times in Asia are shifting. Due to the respect of international tourist, China tries to reduce spitting, but there is no police controlling it, but a constant cleaning fleet of women and men whipping the floors anytime, specially in public places and in the train- and subway-stations. I have never seen such clean floors. They are shiny – you think twice moving on it – but spitting? The cleanyness makes you resist from it. The postive example teaches the lesson. I made a big collection of pictures of the subway – just to prove it.
The next issue which was very interesting is the film AVATAR. Some poeple in the west think it was even forbidden in China, but actually it was the best selling film ever in China and gave the competitive movie about Confuscius no chance. I saw it 3D on 20th January in Beijing.
Avatar in 3D was the right spirit and excitment of good movie in China and not only I saw it twice. The film is about environment, about being in the flow with nature and listen to it. It is against agression, powergames and military. It stands for learning a new culture, giving yourself in the learning and just follow (the girl). It is about a wider wisdom that you can learn with your intuition. All subjects learned in China centuries ago.
The new buildings in Beijing and Tianjin are huge, some of it still empty. Parts of cities have been destroyed and rebuild. The old Hutongs are only for some tourists and in a poor condition. Old and new is often very close together. Some pictures of the big architecture to illustrate.