goodbye China

Muslims in China
Niagara Falls

 

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As I wrap up my 4 month trans-Siberian railroad adventure – from Odessa, Ukraine to China – I look back with many fond memories.  It is ironic that I should spend the last day of this trip in Beijing.  I have learned so much about China, and about the Chinese on this trip.  I have come to find that the Chinese are more like Oklahoma Americans than they are different.  Aside from physical characteristics, clothing and the type of food that they eat, the Chinese are a moral people who value family and friendship.

It is also ironic, that in my last 12 hours in China, I should see, just across the street from my hotel, a 24 hour McDonalds.  China just surpassed Japan as the world’s #2 economy (as of August 2010) and will likely catch up and pass the US for the #1 spot in the next decade or two.  America’s era of #1 is soon coming to an end.  But, as I see, we will not leave China unblemished; I see that we will leave them obesity and heart disease in the way of our fast food and a lethargic lifestyle that comes from having too much money, too much time and too much bandwidth.  America, be forewarned, your days of glory soon will wane.  China, be forewarned, your people will grow large in size and your children will yearn only for Nintendo and will no longer play outside.

Another side effect of China’s rapid industrial and economic rise can be seen in the photo below.  Most of China looks like this on most days of the month.  Economic success has a price, as we can see below…


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Muslims in China
Niagara Falls

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